By Louise Jobe
President Adama Barrow, on Friday June 22nd 2018, visited Faraba Banta village to extend condolence to the victims’ families on behalf of his Government and the people of the Gambia, and to foster peace between the community of Faraba Banta and his Government.
The President in his speech regretted what happened and said the unfortunate incident has touched the hearts of whole nation.
He stressed that a commission to independently inquire into the circumstances that led to the death of the protesters, has been constituted; that for 22 years we have come as a Nation to foster democracy and respect for rule of law.
The President urged the community to calm and allow investigations to continue to the end, for justice to prevail.
Pa Kalifa Sanyang, a native of the village, said the community of Faraba Banta is overwhelmed with grief and sadness on the untimely demise of the three youth protestors of the village; that the situation of the village needs to be urgently looked at; that they have experienced the destruction of their environment that has led to severe floods during the rainy season, by two quarries in the vicinity. Sanyang said the youth of Faraba are Law abiding citizens who went to the extent of looking for a lawyer to handle the sand mining issue.
Alhagie Sanyang, the VDC Chairperson of the village, said they have been assured by Government with the setting up a Commission to inquire and investigate the matter and therefore appeals for calm.
Madam Jarju said that they rely on their rice farms to make ends and will not allow a mining company to destroy those farms. She added that the youth were unarmed and was shocked by the PIU personnel opening fire on them. She urged the president and his Government to do everything to make sure that justice is done.