By Aboulie John
Former Inspector General of Police Landing Kinteh on Friday told the commission of inquiry into the bloody Faraba Banta riots of June 18 that preliminary police investigations had revealed that all the five PIU officers had fired live ammunitions.
“When it was established that lives were lost, I ordered the arrest of the five police officers who were armed during the confrontation with the youths including their commander, Baboucarr Cham and the preliminary investigation revealed that virtually all of them fired live ammunition. There was only one gun that remained intact,” Former IGP Kinteh told the Commission.
Kinteh said he had to cancel an official trip to Dakar, Senegal on the day of the incident because of the importance and severity of the matter in order to look into the root causes of the events.
Kinteh also blamed a breakdown of communication in getting information from the officers on the ground fast enough, as they were relying on mobile phones with sometimes poor network connection.
Kinteh, who resigned in the aftermath of the incident which resulted in the deaths of 3 residents of the village, said he took the decision to quit his job because he is interested in the peace and stability of the country.
”After seeing my personnel being accused of not handling the situation very well to the extent of loss of lives, I decided to step aside to allow the healing process to take its course,” he told the commission.