By Lt Colonel Omar B Bojang
The Honourable Minister of Defence Ambassador Sheikh Omar Faye on Wesnesday 28 May 2020 visited Garawol Kuta Village in the Upper River Region of the Gambia.
The visit was to reassure the great people of Upper River Region and the people of Garawol Kuta in particular that the Government of Mr Adama Barrow has been working tirelessly since 8 March 2020 when the shooting incident occurred and the subsequent arrest of one of our own Mr Sulayman Trawally. He informed the gathering that it has been a long and rocky undertaking for them to reach this far. He reminded them that as devout Muslims it is important to believe in predestination.
“I appreciated all the efforts played by members of the security forces and the community leaders in promoting reconciliation and confidence building after the incident,” Minister Faye said.
According to him, this truly reflects the genuine and collective efforts in ensuring that peace continues to prevail in the motherland. He saluted the efforts of the local taskforce headed by the Honourable Member of Parliament of the area, the Chief and other influential community leaders who contributed in no small measure in ensuring that the matter was resolve.
Minister Faye described them as true patriots. He further went on to inform the gathering that a lot of things have happened behind the scene which is not out to the public domain since the incident occurred. He asserted that he was not there to cover up or bend the truth but to inform the villagers that the Government is aware of the situation and they are doing something about it . According to him the experience of Mr Sulayman Trawally and the villagers as a result of the incident and the ordeal Mr Trawally went through is indeed regrettable.
He assured the people that the Government of the Gambia will never abandon her citizens and the immediate deployment of a patrol team that crossed into Senegal to follow up the case it a clear indication that the security forces and the government will never abdicate their responsibilities.
At the diplomatic level according to him a mediation team has been composed to work out modalities to avoid the reoccurrence of this kind of incident but however the mediation efforts has been marred by this global pandemic Covid-19.
Faye concluded by assuring the gathering that every frantic effort will be put in place to avoid reoccurrence of such an incident in the area. Others who spoke at the gathering were; the Deputy Governor of the Region, the Member of Parliament of the area, the chief of the area, the Alkalo of the Village and two community leaders. They both expressed appreciation for the visit and requested for more support in terms of road infrastructure and security.
The Hon Minister was accompanied to the area by Commissioners of Police, Immigration, Commanding Officer of 3rd Infantry Battalion and other Security heads of the region.