By Tabora Bojang
The five-member presidential commission of inquiry into the bloody 18 June Faraba Bantang riot, has completed its investigations and is due to submit its report to the Office of the President on Friday.
According to Commission chairperson Emmanuel Joof, the commission has listened to testimonies from 85 witnesses including experts, members of the Faraba council of elders, youths, Gunjur and Sanyang residents, personnel of the Gambia Police Force and other stakeholders.
He added that the compilation is completed, edited and the printing process of the report has begun.
Asked about the non-appearance of some people such as the current Interior Minister who was Governor of the region at the time of the crisis, Chairman Joof said the commission is premised on a need basis and it wanted to talk to those who may have given the command and those who fired the shots. He said the information from the former and current IGPs as well as police operations commander, is sufficient and the Interior Minister will not have added any value to its evidence.
“We were talking to the witnesses based on relevance. We had their seniors, the former and current IGPs and the people in the chain of command. The people who are directly commanding the PIU are the people we called,” he said.
The Commissioners were appointed by President Barrow in July to look into the circumstances leading to the standoff between the community of Faraba and the personnel of the Police Intervention Unit which led to the death of three residents of the village.
In its one-month engagement, the commission was tasked to identify those responsible for the deaths, including those who may have ordered the firings and those who fired the shots as well recommend measures to prevent any recurrence.