The Chronicle Gambia

Gunjur Protests for Justice for Compatriot Allegedly Killed During Land Dispute

Protesters in Gunjur Saturday took to the streets to call on the government for speedy dispensation of justice for Buba Jammeh, a native of the town who was allegedly killed during last month’s land dispute.

On March 15th, Jammeh a security officer at the Brikama Area Council died after being allegedly shot during the dispute between Gunjur and neighbouring Berending village in Kombo South. His alleged killer, Buba Drammeh has been declared wanted by the police after he failed to report himself. In a purported audio message he recorded via Whatsapp, Drammeh said he fled in order to avoid arrest. The hunt for him is ongoing.

The Gunjur Youth Association, the organisers of the solidarity march called on the government to ensure Drammeh and others accused of taking part in the violence are brought to book. The protesters held banners and placards calling for justice.

Gunjur protester

“We are staging this solidarity march as a means to calling on the government to speedily resolve this issue. We are also urging the government to do everything possible to bring the perpetrators to book immediately,” said Musa Manjang, the spokesperson of the association.

He described the alleged murder of Jammeh as callous and unwarranted, adding that his association wouldn’t allow the authorities to brush it under the carpet.  He called for justice and warned that failure to act may spark further violence.

“We are afraid that if the state fails to take action people may take matters into their own hands. We don’t want to see a situation where neighbours fight each other and the best option is for government to take the right measures and solve these land problems in our community,” Manjang told The Chronicle.

The Gunjur/Berending dispute has triggered the establishment of a buffer zone between the one time friendly neighbours, guarded by the army.

Last Sunday, a regional association set up for the development of the region of Kombo called on the authorities to act in order to prevent the escalation or recurrence of recent deadly disputes over land in the region.

The Gunjur/Berending land dispute has been on since the 1980s. In 2016, the Supreme Court made a ruling on the case, asking all occupants of the disputed land to vacate or face forceful eviction. This order has not been executed.

Some activities blamed the failure to act on the ruling for last month’s deadly dispute between the two communities.

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