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Monday, June 5, 2017

Gambia: Jammehs Village Riot True Story

Foni Kanilai is ex - President Yaya Jammeh's hometown in Gambia.
The Farato and Kanilai riots took many looking in from outside wondering. At least the Farato incident caught many unawares but not the latter. Kanilai -being Jammeh's home village -was predicted to give goosebumps to Barrow's administration, so many were little surprised when nothing happened after Jammeh's hastily exited the country in January fleeing arrest from Ecowas soldiers. The village was at first cooperative with the new ball-players at the President's Palace largely due to the undivided Coalition group. But then the seal that bonded the coalition-forming parties broke, and trouble flared first beginning with Ecomig-Gambian soldiers dispute. Friday's riots, many are of the strong conviction, stemmed from the village's refusal to dance to New Gambia tune, reverberating from around the country.
However, here's exactly what happened. Bruised as they may have been under Jammeh's rule at least food was free to many homes largely in the majority and Barrow's decision to get Ecomig soldiers posted there in strategic locations-apparently fearing a likely sabotage from an area close to rebel -held Cassamance -didn't sit well with dwellers there. And so many felt neglected and Barrow and his crew' uncompromising stance towards the area only served to isolate leaders of the communities more.
So something of a spark was needed to stir up a bit of instability and the Farato incident merely emboldened the disgruntled Foni youths to stage a protest demanding withdrawal of the soldiers even though there has been zero reports of civilian harassment by army men in that area. And so, what began as a peaceful demonstration turned ugly as women and youths, en masse, took to the streets, waved placards , burnt tires and marched towards where Ecomig forces were stationed. The problem escalated when panicked Ecomig soldiers used live bullets after getting, apparently wrongly informed, that rebel soldiers were part of rioters.
First Ecowas soldiers fired a warning shot into the air before firing few more on the ground at the now advancing wild crowd who refused to heed. Close range bullets then strayed wounding two people, one on the shoulder. Badjie, one of the wounded today died from his gun wounds.

Photo: One of the wounded

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