By Buba Gagigo
The five National Assembly Members representing the five Foni constituencies in the National Assembly, have on Sunday petitioned the Gambia Government to immediately withdraw the Senegalese contingent of the ECOMIG forces stationed in Foni and if necessary, replace them with troops from the Gambia Armed Forces; saying failure to do so would have grave consequences and ripple effects in the peace and security of the Gambia.
The demands of the five Independent National Assembly Members were encapsulated in a letter that was read to the waiting press by Hon. Almami Gibba, the Secretary General of the group. The Five lawmakers who signed the letter addressed to the President of the Republic of the Gambia were: Hon Almami Gibba of Foni Kansala, Hon Pa Dembo Sanneh of Foni Bondali, Hon Amie Colley of Foni Berefet, and Hon Kebba Toumanding Sanneh of Foni Jarrol.
In the letter, which was read at a joint press conference today Sunday 4th December 2022 at Kampant village in Foni Kansala, the group made the following demands of the Government:
1. To immediately remove the Senegalese troops from the Foni regions, and in the alternative to replace Senegalese forces in all bases and checkpoints in the Foni with our very own Gambia Armed Forces personnel.
2. We demand your government to conduct a transparent inquiry into the death of Mr. Haruna Jatta, the Karor Village, Fabakary Bojang of Karor CID officer Abdou Jammeh, the six hospitalized boys sustained from gun wounds as [a] result of drone shooting.
3. To close and remove the Senegalese at the Bwiam checkpoint with immediate effect and allow the women of Bwiam [to] have access to their rice fields and discontinue their unlawful arrest and detention of Mr. Modou Bojang (Alkalo) of 3 farming activities uninterrupted.
4. To conduct an impartial investigation into the circumstances leading to the drone usage that killed Yankuba Badjie of Gifanga and compensate him immediately. To immediately publish the investigation report surrounding the death of Sherrifo Gobi Kujabi and Jankeh Bojang of foni.
5. To immediately publish the investigation report surrounding the life gunshots of one Ismaila Tamba of Kanilai, and
6. To immediately publish the investigation report surrounding the death of Mr. Haruna Jatta caused by the Senegalese troops in Kanilai during the protest and compensate his family immediately.
The National Assembly Members, in addition to the demands listed above also captured a list of grievances and humiliations that they alleged their constituents suffer at the hands of the Senegalese troops stationed in the region. The letter didn’t make any reference to the timeframe they would want these demands to be met and when asked by this reporter, the spokesman said they don’t have any.