By Muhammed L. Bojang
The Imam Ratib and Khalifa General of Foni Besse Jabbie Kunda, Alhaji Muhammed Lamin Jabbie on Monday called on religious leaders in the Gambia to pray for peace, calm and stability in neighboring Senegal.
Tensions escalated in Senegal following the arrest of opposition leader Ousmane Sonko over allegations of rape.
In an interview with Mamos Media, Imam Jabbie, widely known to many as Douwa Jabbie Morro, due to his efficiency in prayers and marabout proficiency, described Senegal and the Gambia as one compound with different houses and kitchens.
Imam Jabbie said if there is a problem in Senegal, it affects the Gambia, adding that, “we cannot stay in our houses while there is a conflict in the compound”.
The Khalifa General therefore appealed to religious leaders in the country to pray for peace to reign in Senegal during their Friday sermons and Sunday masses in various mosques and churches across the country.
Meanwhile, speaking after his release on bail on Monday, Sonko called for much larger but peaceful anti-government protests to continue. He was officially charged with rape and placed under judicial supervision pending his trial.
After Sonko’s arrest last week, protesters torched cars, looted shops and threw stones at police, highlighting longstanding grievances about living standards, unemployment, corruption and inequality. It has been reported that the protests claimed at least five lives. Schools in the capital Dakar had been ordered closed for a week.
Sonko who finished third in Senegal’s 2019 presidential elections, was arrested after an employee of a beauty salon accused him of raping her. He has however denied the allegation and said it is an attempt by President Macky Sall to kneecap a political rival, which the Senegalese government has denied.