By Omar Wally
The leader of the Gambia Action Party (GAP), Musa Batchilly, has condemned the recent Sarahule caste clash in Koina. At least ten people sustained injuries and eleven others were arrested following the caste fight between the so-called slaves and free-borns in a Sarahule village in Upper River Region.
“I’m pleading to all Sarahule communities to do away from the caste system or clan superiority among them. Our forefathers lived harmoniously in a society free from conflicts, misunderstanding or attacking one another. We live in a world where everyone is born free and no one is superior to the other in the eyes of the law,” Batchilly said in a statement shared with The Standard.
The incident, which sparked a wave of panic in the region, saw a colossal destruction of properties in a violent protest by the two groups.
“Slavery is not allowed in any part of The Gambia and we are not living in a barbaric world as slavery was abolished since 25th March, 1807. The caste conflicts in Diabugu, Bajaha Kunda, Garawol and Koina which eventually caused loss of lives are uncalled for,” he added.
He said GAP believes that no single nation is secure unless all its citizens are secure. “Therefore, I call on all the Sarahule associations in The Gambia to embrace dialogue in these areas to stop the menace immediately. We cannot afford to lose or compromise our peaceful coexistence.”
Batchilly called on the government to take the lead and take drastic measures to ensure peace returns in the affected Sarahule communities.
He said although previous governments have tirelessly made efforts to avert situations of this nature, “the current administration has not demonstrated its commitment to the course”.