‘Barrow calls for joint investigation over death of Gambian national’

‘Barrow calls for joint investigation over death of Gambian national’

Gambia’s Defence Minister Sering Modou Njie has reaffirmed the government’s continued commitment to protecting the sovereignty and territorial security of the country, stating that the “peace and stability of the The Gambia will never be compromised”.

Minister Njie was speaking on Wednesday at Gilanfary village during the funeral service of one Duwa Badjie who was reportedly shot and killed by the Senegalese Forces stationed in Casamance.

The Defence Minister said: “The president directed that the Senegalese Ambassador to The Gambia be summoned so that we can do something about the matter. The President has given us three main areas to engage the Senegalese Ambassador during the cause of our discussion. Among these, is to engage the Senegalese government about the death or the deceased and all other incidents in Foni, and ensure there is joint investigation between The Gambia and Senegal over the death of Duwa Badjie. In fact, that was why the National Security Council team was there on a fact-finding mission. This clearly indicates that the president and his entire government are committed to the Welfare of Gambians.”

He further explained: “The death of Duwa Badjie is a tragedy to the entire country. I can tell you all that since we were informed about the shooting incident involving the deceased, we immediately called for a National Security Council meeting, which was chaired by President Barrow. President Barrow immediately gave directives for the matter to be investigated.”

After more than one month since the shooting incident, the deceased was finally buried last Wednesday after a funeral service attended by hundreds of mourners and sympathisers including cabinet ministers, lawmakers and senior government officials, and cross-sections of communities.   

The fact-finding mission, he went on, was also to assess the security situation in Foni. “Again, President Barrow directed that all the members of the National Security Council contact their Senegalese counterparts and discuss with them about the death of Duwa Badjie as he (President Barrow) was going to talk to President Macky Sall about the incident,” the defence minister stated.  

Commenting on reports that the Senegalese soldiers do close the road by 6pm, Defence Minister Njie said: “I am surprised to hear that the Senegalese soldiers are closing the border by 6pm. If it is something that is happening, it shouldn’t have happened. However, I will instruct personnel of the GAF to verify this information and if it is true, it will stop immediately.”

The territorial security of the country, he said, is in the hands of the security and it would never be compromised, adding: “That’s why we even increase our deployment in the Foni region.”

Hon. Tumani Sanneh thanked the government for their relentless effort since the death of Duwa Badjie, saying: “But what happened pains us so much. We want this to be the last incident in Foni. As lawmakers, we will continue to stand for the people of Foni. If Foni is not in peace, the country will surely not be in peace.”

The deceased, he claimed, was reportedly shot on The Gambia soil and taken to Senegal. “Enough is enough. It is so painful, but we leave everything in the hands of Almighty Allah. We want this killing to be the last one involving the people of Foni. We can’t be united when others are crying. In fact, the Military checkpoint by the Senegalese soldiers at Bwiam is even wrong as it is causing so many accidents.”

Burama Sanyang of the No-to-Alliance also added his voice, saying: “It is important to let everyone know that Foni is not Casamance but part of The Gambia. You can’t come from another country and be killing our people.”

The government, he continued, is aware of what is happening in Foni. “Enough is enough now, especially other nations killing our people,” he resented. “We have been patient for quite a while now. The government should try to put off the smoke that is emanating from the fire. We want the government to know that we want this killing to end in Duwa. If they kill anyone here and the government fails to take any step, we will take steps. We are tired now; so, the government should try and put off the smoke.”

After listening to various speakers, the country’s Defence Minister, Sering Modou Njie, on behalf of the government, commiserated with the deceased family, saying: “Duwa’s death is a tragedy to the entire nation.”

Source: The Point

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