By Aminata Ceesay & Aminata Camara
Gambians have voiced their views following the shooting of 3 Gambian soldiers by Ecomig forces in the country, with the Interior minister describing the shooting as an “accidental discharge”.
But The Standard made a follow-up on the “simple misunderstanding” between the military mission and the Gambia Armed Forces standoff by engaging ordinary Gambians to express their views on the issue.
Ba Seikou Darboe, Teacher: “I know that obviously it’s a misunderstanding and it will be better for Ecomig soldiers to go back now, in order to avoid such from happening again because I have tried to analyse this for a while now and I cannot see the reason why they should still be here.
Secondly, we have a constitution which guides the country. We also have our own security forces to guide the country, and as far as I am concern, there is peace in the country. If Ecomig are here for peace keeping mission as others said, then I see no reason for them to stay any longer because peace has prevailed. Mission accomplished. In fact, on that note the incident that took place at Kanilai is not a good indication or sign of them keeping peace in this country.”
Oumie Bangura, Market vendor: “The Gambia is known as a peaceful nation, so its obvious that we feel insecure when cases like this occurred. The Government should also decide now on how best to work this misunderstanding between our soldiers and Ecomig, there is always a solution to every problem and I hope in solving the matter the Government will consider the interest of its people for a sustainable development.”
Maimuna Jabang, student: “That night I could not sleep because my mind was on the whole saga. Imagin we could not sleep during the political crisis. Now with this problem, obviously people are worried about our future under GAF or Ecomig.”
Yassin Darboe, concerned citizen: “If I get this right, the purpose of Ecomig coming here in the first place was to maintain peace and stability of our great nation, and we really appreciate that. But even before the incident I believe their mission is accomplished as peace is prevailing in the country. On that note I see no reason for them to continue staying because as far as I am concerned peace keeping missionaries always go back whenever their mission is accomplished.
“We are independent and have our own security forces who will protect and guide us for peace and stability. I called on the Government to address the Ecomig troops and remind them once again of their mission, as the saying goes ‘a stich in time, saves nine’.
As a concerned citizen you don’t like to see your fellow citizen hurt. What happened had happened already and we wish for such incident not to happen again.”
Ousman Jammeh, Taxi driver: We appreciate their efforts, but after the incident at Kanilai things will just become more complicated and there are so many rumors circulating about the Ecomig which is not encouraging.