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Friday, September 25, 2020

My take on the Kanilai incident

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Dear editor,

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I am compelled to add my voice to the row that gripped our country and social media of recent. The Kanilai scenario is a very distasteful one, and one that requires putting aside sentiments and egos in order to unravel the situation and uphold the truth. And of the death, we say it is indeed regrettable.
However in law, one has to look at both the Actus Rea and Mens Rea, (meaning the action in question and the intention behind the action) before pressing on any legal analysis. By all indications, the recent happenings in Kanilai must be assessed from both the perspective of the people of Kanilai and that of the new government. In fact why were they audacious to rebel against genuinely stationed military forces? From the trend since the ouster of the dictatorship, what is the force behind them and what did they seek to achieve? Are they acting alone? All these need clarification.

But what struck me more are the actualities of their videos where they chanted their heart’s desire. That with others in the past including gun skirmishes conclusively indicate to us that what is cooking up, most ominously have all the trappings of a rebellion.
In a fledgling democracy like ours, change hypocrisy especially when premised on loyalty to a dead dictatorship and/or tribal, is indeed a national security issue which summons diverse strategic actions. Was it not clear for the blind to see or the deaf to hear the chants like “we want Yahya back” and “we wants All soldiers out of Foni” amongst other daft expressions? And should we wait for further justification to allow shifting from “local weapons” as investigations revealed to modern weapons? Is the state of nature back to return? Nay…
It is very appropriate under the current circumstances for government to engage its think-tank and use every might within its disposal to put a definitive stop to this nonsense. No single community thriving on whims should be let to hold our democracy at ransom. This government should engage the wider Foni and Kanilai in particular through concrete means and putting all options on the table, to bring sense to Kanilai.

If Kanilai refuse to live and let live, if guaranteeing national peace would mean relocating its people and ruining the village, then so be it!
I have also seen and heard even from supposedly learned youngsters smear campaigns against the Honourable Mai Fatty, most of which are either based on tribalism, inherited hatred, ignorance, and for the hero worshippers, for Mai’s affair with their hero, and for all the wrong reasons.

Of course VERY few criticisms are genuine. But I can tell you that even though he has his shortfall like everyone, Hon. Mai Fatty is one of the finest, most genuine, pure-hearted, dedicated and professional state Ministers this country can ever boast of. You can take that to your bank. If not for Mai, …hmm….well, let me just implore government to quickly solve this rebellion and move forward.

Abubakar Darbo
Kotu
Firing live bullets can never be justified

Dear editor,

If something was wrong yesterday just because you were at the receiving end, but you find it right today just because you are the one perpetuating it. Then you can’t call yourself an activist but rather an opportunist.
Firing live bullets on unarmed civilians on demonstration can never be justified by any form, whether it’s Jammeh or Barrow; wrong will always be wrong. No need trying to give flimsy excuses. To say they called for it and got what they deserved, to me such statement is the lowest our nation can ever go to.

It’s not about APRC or the Coalition but rather it’s about protecting and safeguarding the lives of the citizenry as a government.
If anyone breaks the law, the best I expect from my government is to follow the constitutional provisions and make them answerable for their actions but to respond heavily to unarmed civilians to the extent of the loss of life is never the reason I and many citizens voted for change. President Barrow must show leadership at this crucial point in our young democracy.

Do not listen to self-centered individuals and sycophants who made Jammeh what he later came to be. This is how everything would start, one person being killed and before you realise daily reports of death becomes headline news. Don’t say you have never been told and it is your primary responsibility to save the life of every citizen and noncitizen residing in The Gambia.
Engaging every one for a peaceful Gambia is never a sign of weakness but rather a great leadership quality. To tell me they deserve what they got is as telling me we deserve what happened to us for 22 years of dictatorship.
The Senegalese contingent under ECOMIG knows better firing against unarmed civilians is against international law and peacekeeping mandate, we see Senegalese demonstrate against their government on daily basis but that has never warranted them to open fire on them.

So why do it in The Gambia? I expect my government to get to the bottom and prosecute or withdraw those responsible from the mission, because such actions would only build mistrust between the supporters of Jammeh and the government.
God bless The Gambia!

Dabakh Malick
Serrekunda

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