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City of Banjul
Thursday, March 4, 2021

Mr President, time to solve Tallinding conflict

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There was an ugly standoff in 2014 when Ahmadis were refused entry into a cemetery to bury their dead in Tallinding by a section of the youths. This generated a huge debate with many, including the Supreme Islamic Council, taking sides by declaring Ahmadis as non-Muslims. The problem was never solved; it was just ignored and life went on.

Mr President, the same problem has reoccurred last week when Ahmadis were stopped from burying their dead in the cemetery. Like all times, the debate is back on and it has resumed on the same ugly manner.

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Mr President, many people have suggested that the Supreme Islamic Council should intervene to diffuse the tension that has the potential to trigger a bloodbath but the Council was never and will never be a legitimate power broker in this because it is an interested party in the conflict.

Therefore, it is important that you, the President, takes charge because the standoff has unnecessarily protracted. If the people of Tallinding said the Ahmadis will not bury their dead in the cemetery and they are prepared to fight to prevent it from happening, then you are now under obligation to provide a sustainable solution to the standoff.

In our view, to prevent this conflict from escalating, it is either the parties involved partition the cemetery or one of them vacate the cemetery. If any of the parties settles for vacation, the government is obliged to allocate them land. Either of the above mentioned suggestions must work to prevent this country from plunging into a sectarian war. Time to act and do it now!

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