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Gov’t establishes commission to probe land disputes


Meanwhile, the newly appointed secretary general, Ebrima O. Camara, has taken oath on Monday.

Members of the commission established by President Adama Barrow to investigate land disputes in the country have taken oath on Monday at State House.

The five-member commission headed by Justice Raymond Sock is tasked with the responsibility of investigating land disputes, property registration and look into matters of national boundaries, among others.

Gambia has dethroned a dictator, Yahya Jammeh, in December 2016 who was notorious for land grabbing and during his time several communal lands were taken.

“Today marks an important milestone in our efforts to put the country on the right path in ensuring that conflicts emanating from land administrations are addressed. As a country, the foundation of our democracy has been shaken and corrupted,” said Barrow.

“Former government abuses the rights of citizens and many communities lost their lands for political or dubious reasons…”

However, the commission is not a court and it will not handle cases that are before courts, added Barrow.

Government said there are currently over 60 lands that are in disputes across the country.

Barrow said when they came to office, they have faced many challenges regarding land administration.

“The five-member commission is not an appeal court and will not handle cases already being handled by the courts or the ones on which judgment has already been passed. The commission has an advisory role on policy matters to ensure that the policies are implemented and there is transparency in land allocation,” Barrow said.

The commission members are Justice Raymond Sock, Buba Barry, Kemo Conteh, Momodou S. Jobe and Nancy Nyang.

Justice Sock said the functions of the commission will have profound impact on everyone in Gambia.

Sock said the Commission have no power to make resolutions or any determination on entitlement to land.

“I will urge the commission to expedite the functions bestowed on it and submit its findings and recommendations for actions to my ministry in shortest possible time…,” said minster for land and regional government, Musa Drammeh.

The government did not announce a time-frame for the work of the commission.

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