By Louise Jobe / Hatab Nyang
Foroyaa has been informed of a land dispute between the Darboe Kunda family of Gunjur and residents of Berending village in the West Coast region on Friday 16th March 2018.
The seriousness of the dispute called for the intervention of the Police, CID, SIS and CIU in order to maintain peace and security between the two camps.
Mamadou Sanyang, a younger brother to the Alkalo of Berending who spoke on his behalf, said the incident started on Sunday 19th March when they received information from women gardeners of Berending that some youth who claim to come from Darboe Kunda, entered their orchard and started cutting down the orange tree plantation at the Garden; that few youth from the village (Berending) left to see the action of their fellow youth from Gunjur and found them with cutlasses and other weapons and a fight ensued leading to some injuries.
Mr. Sanyang explained that Berending village is a settlement of over 200 years; that no complain was ever received from any one that they own the land until the years 1993 / 1994, when the Darboe and Jammeh Kunda families of Gunjur claimed that they were the owners; that they filed a case against the village at the Gunjur district tribunal; that the case was transferred until it reached the high court when the court ruled in favour of Berending village.
Sanyang said when the new Government came to power, the same dispute started again because those involved said the former President supported Berending and “we come from Cassamance”.
Bubacarr Drammeh, V.D.C Secretary said Berending is a village of its own; that the Darboe Kunda family in Gunjur should stop destroying people’s properties and think of development and he further advised them to be engaged in something that will shape the development of this nation forward.
Amadou Jobe a victim whose property was vandalized by the marauding youth from Gunjur, said it is important to keep and maintain the peace that this country is known for; but asserted that if they should meet him in his Garden and destroy what he has labored for year to develop, then the story will be different.
Mr. Dembo Tutti Ba Darbor, the son of the Alkalo of Gunjur who spoke on behalf of his father, confirmed the story; that the incident started since Friday 16th March 2018 and continued to Sunday when the security intervened. Tutti Ba Darboe said Berending was founded in 1925 and the people settled in their kabilo lands; that it was their Kabilo who gave part of their land to the Jammeh family; that the land owned by their Kabilo extend up to the Gambian border with Cassamance.
This reporter visited Gunjur Police Station and met the Officer who confirmed the incident; that the CID, SIS, CIU, Police Commissioner Buba Sanyang, O\ C Gunjur station Seedia Kujabi and the S\O Suntu Keita, all visited the scene.
At the scene of the incident, cement blocks, barbed wires and other garden items can be seen vandalized by the youth from Gunjur not to talk of the orange and other fruit trees that were cut down by the people who claim that the land belongs to them.