The Gambia Transport Union (GTU) has vowed to file at the National Human Rights Commission a complaint against the ECOMIG contingent for an alleged assault of a Gambian driver by a Senegalese soldier.
The union made this pronouncement on Saturday following the alleged assault on one of its members who is a KMC truck driver on Saturday at the Westfield roundabout.
“We will engage the National Human Rights Commission as well as the Office of the Inspector General of Police to look into this assault.
“Assaulting him is a human rights violation. Our Union is calling on the government to investigate this matter and those found wanting to be held accountable,” the union said in a statement.
Giving an account of the incident, the driver, Ebrima I.S. Bah said a total of 5 personnel in the ECOMIG convoy (3 Gambian and 2 Senegalese soldiers) were involved, but only one 1 Senegalese of the 5 soldiers hit him for not giving way to the contingent’s convoy.
“It was around 9:11am when I was reporting to work (on Saturday). I came up to Westfield roundabout, I into my vehicle side mirror and saw the ECOMIG security convoy coming. I instantly packed my vehicle. But some security (3 Gambians and 2 Senegalese) came and they opened my door and asked whether I didn’t see the convoy. I told them I saw it and it was the reason I packed my vehicle. But they insisted that should have left the road and started insulting me. Someone among them call me a bastard and I also paid back after, warning them to stop insulting me.
“This was the time they started assaulting me. They are 3 Gambians and 2 (Senegalese) ECOMIG security personnel. But the second Senegalese did not hit me,” KMC truck driver Ebrima I.S. Bah told Kerr Fatou.
The Project Manager of the KMC Waste Trucks said the incident has cost the council.
“The incident has seriously affected our Saturday operations. Because we have specific areas that that the trucks will go to collect waste. That means the people around that area will not have the service of the truck today. The council is also loosing revenue because of the incident.
“As a Manager, I feel so bad and it’s so unfortunate. What ever crime people commit, gone are the days when soldiers in uniforms will just come and hit people and wound them or create chaos in the environment,” Ousainou Colley Told Kerr Fatou.
He added that the matter would have worsened had, he not communicated to the KMC management to intervene at the right time, because people at the scene there were all angry.
The KMC Project Manager advised that this are the kinds of things, The Gambia should do away with.
Meanwhile, a witness account confirmed that the incident occurred on Saturday morning around Westfield in the Kanifing Municipality, when a convoy of ECOMIG was passing, while Mr. Bah was driving a KMC garbage collection truck, and the security personnel stopped and had a verbal altercation with him (driver) before subsequently assaulting him physically.
Efforts to engage the spokespersons of The Gambia Armed Forces and ECOMIG Forces for comments on the matter proved futile.