Thursday, October 29, 2020

Lands Minister Calls for demining on Gambia-Senegal Southern Border

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By: Kebba AF Touray

Musa Drammeh, the Gambia’s Lands Minister, has called for the demining of the Southern border between Gambia and Senegal, as it is hampering their activities in the area.

He said this on Thursday at the Assembly while responding to issues raised by the lawmakers on the President’s speech regarding his Ministry.

He said some of the incidents that happened between the security officials of the two countries have been reported to the authorities in the Gambia, but he was quick to say the interior Minister would explain the matter as it concerns his Ministry.

He said his Ministry is currently devising a regulatory framework, which needs to be validated for the bill to be tabled before the legislature for enactment.

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He said the Lands Commission, is enacted by an Act of Parliament which defines their functions, which include but not limited to section 14(A), to advise the Minister on policy matters relating to land and administration, to ensure strict adherence to the policies and ensure transparency in land allocation.

He said: “Its function also includes investigating land disputes and occupation in an area in the Gambia. This can only happen when there is complete cadastral mapping of the country”.

He said the Ministry has formulated a policy, and undertook to investigate land disputes and ensure transparent land allocation, but finance is impeding the execution to investigate these disputes and ensure transparent land allocation, adding that unless that is done, the activity will not be noticed in the country.

He said most of the land disputes in the country are either adjudicated upon or are before the tribunals in which cases, the commission has no authority to interfere in those cases, such as Gunjur-Berending, Tumana- Waliba Kunda and Wuli West land cases.

He said: “There are land disputes everywhere in the country, but most of them are either settled at regional or Ministry levels”.

On the closure of Lumos, he said most of them are along the borders, and that the border closure is meant to contain the spread of COVID-19, and as such, the re-opening of the borders would mean inviting the spread of the disease in the country.

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