A large crowd, on Saturday, 4th May, 2019 assembled at the Alkalo’s residence in Gunjur to demand for justice over the killing of Buba Jammeh, an end to land disputes and the protection of their environment.
Buba, a native of Gunjur was shot in a communal land dispute between Gunjur and Berending, which turned violent on 16th March 2019. The suspect is still at large.
The crowd including men, women, children and youths from Gunjur made their presence felt by chanting, “Justice delayed is justice denied! Gunjur will never forget 16th March 2019.”
Addressing the huge crowd, Dembo Tuttiba Darboe, speaking for the Alkalo of Gunjur, Alagie Gikke Darboe, expressed satisfaction in the peaceful nature of the gathering, adding that this is exactly what Gunjur is known for; discipline and respect for the law of our land.
He appealed to the authorities to engage the two communities of Gunjur and Berending for justice to be served.
He said it has been a long time now, noting that although this is the first time someone has been killed, many have been wounded, and vehicles and orchards vandalized. He added that the government should not sit down and watch when land disputes have been to court and judgment entered on behalf of the rightful owners who should be protected by the law.
Lamin Jassey, Chairman of Gunjur Youth Association (GYA), one of the organisers of the event said among other things that responsibility falls on youths, as the present and the future, to shape their future.
“This communal land dispute which claimed the precious life of our brother is one of the many problems confronting us as a community, and unless we stand together and face these issues head-on we will be foreigners in our own community pretty soon,” Mr.Jassey said.
He said land is wealth and that let them respectfully prevail on their parents to stop the unregulated sale of family lands. “The unsustainable mining of our dunes has to be regulated immediately or we are done forever,” he asserted.
“The indiscriminate disposing of the fishmeal waste into our ocean is dangerous to our health and poses immediate danger to our thriving tourist industry; we have to take measures to ensure that this abuse of our environment is stopped immediately,” Mr Jassey said.
Mr. Jassey further said he would like to take the opportunity to remind The Gambia Government of their responsibilities, asserting that the simmering land disputes between some families in Gunjur and Berending have been ongoing since 1988. During these times there have been numerous confrontations and in most of those battles, injuries have been sustained and death could have occurred, and eventually it did occur recently, he said. He added that along the line, several court rulings have been made and nothing has been done to make sure justice is served. He remarked, “As the saying goes, justice delayed is justice denied and in the case of Gunjur we were not only denied the truth but also lost a brother whose life could have been saved if those in authority did the right thing.”
Tijan Bojang the VDC Chairman of Gunjur indicated that they would let justice take its course, while pointing out ‘justice delayed is justice denied.’
Other speakers like Musa Manjang, Bunama Jatta, Omar Diamond Darboe, Lamin Boyso Saidy, Ismaila Darboe gave similar remarks.