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 Gunjur, Berending land scuffle claims one life

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T O P I C    R E V I E W
Momodou Posted - 18 Mar 2019 : 12:40:13
Gunjur, Berending land scuffle claims one life

The point: Monday, March 18, 2019

A land dispute between Gunjur and Berending villages in Kombo South has claimed that life of one individual on Saturday.

One Buba Drammeh of Berending shot the victim Buba Jammeh in the stomach as the two villages scuffled over land issue. The deceased was in his late 40’s.

Police have arrested nine people in connection with the matter.

The accused Mr. Drammeh is alleged to have shot one Foday Jammeh who sustained injuries. The victims were rushed to Brikama Major Hospital, The Point has learned.

Eyewitnesses told The Point that after the arrest of nine people by the police an angry mob stormed the police station and threw stones, damaging windows and wind-screens of the police vehicles. Both the Inspector General of Police and the PIU commander of the West Coast Region were stoned.

Our Kombo North correspondent said that the police chief upon arrival at the scene could not step out of his car as he was surrounded by the angry mob who were stoning at him. He was forced to drive rough to save his life.

A human right activist and former minister of Information, Amadou Scattred Janneh, a native of Gunjur, told The Point that the priority at the moment was to calm the whole situation, saying there was no point for a blame game.

“We need to save lives and make sure there is peace in the area. And then the community also, we have our chief here and those who know the history of this problem to find a common solution to it,” he said. “But the priority right now is to make sure that there is calm in both communities so that we do not have revenge of killings or revenge of attacks from both ends.”

He said there are many occasions when they warned the authorities that unless something is done about the land situation in the country, there would be problems, citing Faraba case as an example. He said authorities always act late even after several warnings.

Author: Yusupha Jobe

President Barrow calls for calm in Gunjur, Berending

The Point: Monday, March 18, 2019

His Excellency, President Adama Barrow said he is concerned and closely monitoring the situation of reports of rising tensions and violence coming out of Kombo South between the communities of Gunjur and Berending is very disturbing.

President Barrow is advising both sides to exercise maximum restraint and calm. He equally calls on the two communities to allow local authorities and the deployed law enforcement agencies to do their jobs.

The president urges people not to take the law into their own hands, especially on matters of land ownership. The government has instituted a Land Commission, where all matters relating to land issues should be addressed.
9   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
toubab1020 Posted - 17 Feb 2021 : 17:29:55



By Mafugi Ceesay February 17, 2021

Police spokesperson Superintendent Lamin Njie has confirmed to The Standard that “a good number” of the 17 prisoners who escaped from the Jeshwang Prison on new year’s day have been re-arrested.

He said the arrests were made “in bits and pieces” but could not confirm the number of those still at large.

The deputy spokesperson at the State Central Prison in Banjul, Luke Jatta, said he was not officially informed of the new development.

Earlier on, Mr Jatta had told this newspaper that his department informed the police that a manhunt was ordered to track down the escapees.

On whether they suspect any foul play by rogue elements in aiding the prisoners escape, Jatta said he could not say but that investigations are being carried out to get to the bottom of the matter.

Mile 2 escapee rearrested

Jatta confirmed to this medium that one Muhammed Hydara who escaped from the state central prison on November 7th, 2017, has been captured.

Hydara was serving a jail term for burglary at The Gambia College and escaped by cutting the window with a hacksaw.

Jatta also informed that they are still hunting for the escaped remanded prisoner Buba Drammeh who was standing trial for the killing of one Buba Jammeh during the Berending-Gunjur land skirmish.

Drammeh who was arraigned in October had denied the charge and was remanded at Mile 2 pending the outcome of the trial.
toubab1020 Posted - 02 Jan 2021 : 22:12:56

By Mafugi Ceesay on December 31, 2020

A remanded prisoner Buba Drammeh standing trial for the killing of one Buba Jammeh during the Berending-Gunjur land dispute has escaped from Mile 2 Central Prison.

Drammeh from Berending who was arraigned in October had denied the charges and was remanded pending the outcome of the trial.

The incident happened in 2019 over a land dispute between Berending and Gunjur natives. Drammeh fled the country and was arrested upon his return months later.

A senior prison source yesterday confirmed to The Standard that Drammeh has indeed escaped from the prison on December 27.

“I can confirm only that much so far because investigation is on going,” our source said.

Another security source said there are strong suggestions that Drammeh escaped with the help of an insider. “There is suspicion of conspiracy,” our source added.

He added that the prison administration is making swift investigations to establish how he escaped the prison because there was no jailbreak.

The issue is an embarrassment to the prison authorities who have vowed to get to the bottom of the case.
toubab1020 Posted - 22 Jul 2019 : 14:00:31
Monday, July 22, 2019

The alkalo of Gunjur village, Ba Gekki Darboe, has cautioned President Adama Barrow’s government to immediately resolve the land dispute that still grips two neighbouring villages – Gunjur and Berending in Kombo South to avert further tension between two communities.

The previous land conflict on 16 March this year claimed the life an individual and injured scores of people who participated in the scuffle.

Mr. Darbo’s warning comes following a just concluded community outreach sensitisation on democracy, political pluralism, tolerance, civic rights and duties by the National Center for Civic Education (NCCE) at Gunjur over the week.

He added that the regional governor’s office is every day informed of certain activities that are still ongoing between the communities of Gunjur and Berending over the same land.

He stated that the community of Gunjur has since the land conflict between the two villages been abiding by the law and adhering to the advice of concerned government authorities and waiting on the decision of the taskforce that was set up to investigate the entire process.

“What I wanted to advise the government is that let them try by all means to resolve the land crisis that still exists between the two villages. This is because what I am seeing in future is really not signaling good for anybody,” he advised.

“I really have sleepless nights; so please whatever the government is doing let them not consider the land problem between Gunjur and Berending as a minor issue. I am saying this because I am really afraid of what I am currently hearing.”
Author: Yusupha Jobe
toubab1020 Posted - 28 Mar 2019 : 21:31:54

March 28, 2019

The reaction of the residence of the Gunjur when high security and law enforcement officers visited the village when a resident of Gunjur was shot by a resident of Berending, confirms that the state should not remain silent on the conflict between residents of the villages.

Human right is more important than land. The land dispute appears to be the source of the conflict between residents of the two villages.

In a country where there is rule of law the rule of might has no place. When the law or its enforcement is deficient, taking might as the law becomes inevitable. The demand and challenge of our time is for the state to maintain the rule of law and a culture of justice. These are not mere stories. They should be put to action to ensure peaceful co-existence of villages in particular and citizens at large.

Foroyaa is finding out from the state whether it has found a way of diffusing what is potentially an explosive situation.

Foroyaa will keep the public informed. The authorities should save the situation by being pro-active rather than being reactive.
toubab1020 Posted - 26 Mar 2019 : 09:28:27
QUESTION OF THE DAY Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Both the Darboe clan of Gunjur and Berending claim a given land area which has led to a violent clash and death. The police and the military have restored order, though troops are still stationed at strategic points in Gunjur, Berending, Seefo and Kartong.

But life is not normal. Hostility between the two communities aggravated because of the recent conflict, particularly the death of someone from Gunjur. There is fear in Berending that they may be attacked if they go to Gunjur, preventing some from Berending continuing their economic transactions in Gunjur, or from attending Upper basic and Senior Secondary School there, which is unavailable in Berending. Besides one cannot travel out of Berending without passing through Gunjur, unless one uses the footpath to Seefo.

Does the government have any short term solution to restore normal life and ease tension in the communities? Does it have a long term strategy to ensure a lasting solution to the dispute? As it stands no indication is evident that moves are on to deal with the situation and avoid another conflict.

Foroyaa will get in touch with the government spokesperson to find out their take on this matter.
toubab1020 Posted - 25 Mar 2019 : 18:28:47
Monday, March 25, 2019

Station officers at Gunjur Police Station have deserted the station building for more than a week amid fears of any possible attack by the angry and bereaved Gunjur community in connection with the killing of Buba Jammeh in a land clash with Berending.

The said police station was earlier attacked in a recent land dispute between Gunjur and Berending villages, with stones being pelted leading to destruction of doors, vehicle windscreens and furniture, by the angry mob of Gunjur who accused the officers of taking bribes and accepting plots of land by their rival village Berending.

Our reporter while investigating the matter visited the Gunjur police station yesterday and can confirm to have found the station to be completely abandoned by the station officers since the land clash between the two neighbouring villages.

Sources have told The Point that the attacked police station has since the outburst of the land dispute between the two communities been entirely evaded by the station officers.

They claimed that the said officers are currently posted at the Sifoe Police Station, leaving the community in a state of insecurity.

In an interview with The Point, police spokesperson A.S.P. Lamin Njie said he has been receiving calls with regard to the desertion of the station by the police officers at Gunjur, but could not at the time of going to press establish the fact, adding that information will be given in due course about the matter.
Author: Yusupha Jobe
toubab1020 Posted - 22 Mar 2019 : 21:24:04
QUESTION OF THE DAY March 22, 2019

A VERY sensible decision,there is NO ALTERNATIVE in such desputes regarding "family lands" In other words LAND WHICH HAS NO TITLE WRITTEN ON PAPER Oral History only, which is unreliable and WILL ENEVITABLY GET EMBILLISHED AND CONFUSED AFTER REAPED TELLING >
The case against nine accused persons involved in the clash between citizens of Gunjur and Berending have been withdrawn after directives from ‘high command’. Is this an indication that the government has seen that mediation is the way out of the conflict? Is this a matter for the land commission to study and make policy recommendations to the government?

Needless to say, any measure that makes a community landless can only be a recipe for another conflict.
toubab1020 Posted - 19 Mar 2019 : 21:31:50
“The president urges people not to take the law into their own hands, especially on matters of land ownership. The government has instituted a Land Commission, where all matters relating to land issues should be addressed,” the release concludes.

Land Disputes have been VERY UGLY recently with the result that DEATH has occoured,I note that yet another commission is being "institued" too many lives have been lost I hope that this Commission will provide a SIMPLE ,ENFORCABLE, AFFORDABLE,(by the AVERAGE GAMBIAN !) solution.
Momodou Posted - 18 Mar 2019 : 13:36:32
Gunjur/Berending Communal Clashes lead to one death

Foroyaa: March 17, 2019

By Hatab Nyang / Louise Jobe

Gunjur, The Gambia – Clashes over the weekend between Gunjur and Berending in Kombo South, West Coast Region, involving the use of shot guns and machetes resulted to the death of a man in late forties.

The victim one Buba Jammeh, who is a native of Gunjur village, is alleged to have met his untimely death on Saturday 16th March 2019, in a fierce confrontation over land between Jammeh Kunda kabilo (clan) of Gunjur and some villagers of Berending.

According to eye witnesses’ accounts at the scene, one villager from Berending village opened fire with a shot gun at the victim’s stomach which led to his sudden death. Another victim by the name Foday Jammeh who is also a native of Gunjur, was also alleged to have been shot twice by the same person, but he was able to survive, before being hit with a stick and sustaining severe injuries. Both persons were rushed to Gunjur Health facility and later to Brikama Regional Hospital.

Information has it that nine people from Berending have been arrested after the incident on Saturday and detained at various Police Stations, with the killer still at large.

Soon after this an angry mob pelted stones at the Gunjur Police Station, destroying the doors and windows of the building housing the station. They also destroyed the door of the pick-up vehicle of the PIU Commander, on the arrival of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) at Gunjur Police Station.

The information further indicate that the angry mob surrounded the IGP’s vehicle despite the heavy presence of para military officers and his car was also pelted with stones and sand forcing the driver to whisk him away, in order to escape from the angry mob.

Calm was later restored that day but looming tension and the death of a member of the community led to another clash on Sunday, 17th March 2019, forcing security forces to be reinforced.

On Sunday some people from the communities of Gunjur and Berending in Kombo South were involved in another serious clash and two native of Gunjur were shot on their legs sustaining wounds and they were hospitalized.

The police intervention unit (PIU) who were stationed at the border fired tear gas to disperse the protestors but there was a stalemate, which went on for hours while PIU officers engaged in negotiations to no avail. Then there was soon reinforcement of more and more security personnel. But even with that huge presence of the security forces the people of Berending continued to shoot at the people of Gunjur multiple times and two people from Gunjur namely Buba Jatta and Musa Manjang were both injured and rushed to the health centre.

During the confrontation many people were wounded including PIU officers.

The PIU were backed by the Gambian soldiers and the Ecomig forces. Tear gas was used to disperse the crowd and order has been restored. There is now uneasy calm in Gunjur.

Bunama Cham said he was among those who demarcated the border between Gunjur and the said land in Berending; but that few hours afterwards, some citizens of Berending approached them with cutlasses and sticks in readiness to fight them. He said further that in a revenge attack, angry youth from Gunjur destroyed the vegetable gardens and different fruit trees belonging to the villagers of Berending. He indicated that the fire had the potential of going towards Berending.

Senior officers present at the Police Station included the Majority Leader and NAM for Kombo South, Kebba K. Barrow, the Chief, the Alkalo of Gunjur and sympathisers of the bereaved family members of the late Buba Jammeh.

Youths gathering just outside the Gunjur Police Station

Meanwhile, in a press release issued by the Office of the President, the President is reported to have described the developments in Gunjur/Berending as very disturbing. He has expressed concern and closely monitoring the situation.

“President Barrow is advising both sides to exercise maximum restraint and calm. He equally calls on the two communities to allow local authorities and the deployed law enforcement agencies to do their jobs.

“The president urges people not to take the law into their own hands, especially on matters of land ownership. The government has instituted a Land Commission, where all matters relating to land issues should be addressed,” the release concludes.

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