WAVE, MOJ Facilitate another Peace, Social Cohesion Dialogue in Kerr Mot Ali


By Kebba Secka

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ), in collaboration with Women Association for Victims’ Empowerment on Tuesday, June 4, 2024 held a day-long dialogue in Kerr Mot Ali to promote peaceful social cohesion. 

The convergence was funded by Freedom House. This came at a time when the leader of the Ndigal Community in exile paid a second courtesy call on the leader of the current occupants of Kerr Mot Ali Gambia.

This gathering, which is the first of its kind, brought together key relevant stakeholders recommended by the TRRC to foster peace and social cohesion in Kerr Mot Ali. The Stakeholders used the occasion to preach peace and social cohesion while exploring ways to end the animosity in Kerr Mot Ali. The Stakeholders include Deputy Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Justice, National Human Rights Commission, Ministry of Local Governments, Lands and Religious Affairs, Regional Police Commissioner, Chiefs, Alkalolu among others. 

The discussion was mainly centred around peace, social cohesion including a court judgment in favour of the exiled Ndigal followers,TRRC recommendations and the government position on the White-Paper of the TRRC recommendation.

In her opening statement, Board member of WAVE, Fatou Manneh, briefly explained how her organization’s intervention in Kerr Mot Ali and other communities like Jambur in the West Coast Region registered success. 

She said they came to Kerr Mot Ali at a time when relationships between members of the exiled Ndigal community and the surrounding communities were too hostile and broken. 

However, she said after their interventions, broken ties were mended and petty trading among communities with Ndigal followers was restored. “We’re grateful to God. 

“Today we’re gathered under the same tree (venue) for the second time to promote peace and social cohesion between people who are closely related by blood, but separated by devil’s effects,” said Fatou Manneh.

Mr. Alieu Jallow, Director of Curator at the Ministry of Justice, expressed optimism that the signs of the gathering show light at the end of the tunnel. He spoke about the TRRC recommendations for the repatriation of the exiled Gambians which the government wants to implement in peace and social cohesion. “Looking at this gathering, I am optimistic that there can be a way for peace and social cohesion,” Jallow observed. 

The religious leader of the current occupants of Kerr Mot Ali Gambia, Serign Ousman Secka, appreciated the gathering and stated that peace between him and the leader of Ndigal followers may not be a challenge, but their followers and some external influencers may be the challenge.

“I want to make it clear that some people are saying the problem of Kerr Mot Ali is not a religious issue, it is indeed an issue of different faiths. If the government wants to resettle them (exiled Ndigal followers) in The Gambia, it can do so on a separate land in the territory of the Gambia. I do not believe that we can live together with them in peace because of our different faiths. Faith is very fundamental. As much as nobody can change my faith, I equally believe that nobody can change their (Ndigal followers) faith,” he said. 

He continued “Many people state here that we’re related. I am saying that only people of the same faith are related and that is what the Quran stated,” he said.

In a brief statement, the Ndigal Leader Muhamadou Basirou Secka said he’s calling on all to facilitate peace and social cohesion in Kerr Mot Ali. He expressed his reserved respect for Serign Ousman, whom he said is his father. He said he’s hopeful that peace and social cohesion between people of different faiths in Kerr Mot Ali is possible. “Whatever that can jeopardize peace and social cohesion between us can be avoided,” he stated.

Other speakers included an Investigative Officer of the National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), Regional Police Commissioner, Alkalolu and others. At the end of the gathering, it was stated that the establishment of a peace committee and a roadmap will foster and consolidate peace and social cohesion in Kerr Mot Ali.


The report of the TRRC recommendation states: “Members of the Ndigal Sect still living in exile in Senegal should be returned to live in Kerr Mot Ali Gambia and their properties returned to them. The government should enforce the judgment obtained by members of the Ndigal Sects from the High Court. The government should establish a peace committee for Kerr Mot Ali comprising of all relevant stakeholders and the National Human Rights Commission.”

The white paper states: “Government notes the recommendations of the TRRC with regard to the enforcement of the judgment of the high court obtained by Ndigal Sect. While reiterating its respect for judicial pronouncement, the government notes that prior reconciliation and social cohesion activities are essential as a precursor to the comprehensive implementation of the judgment.” On the recommendations of a peace committee for Kerr Mot Ali, the white paper states: “Government accepts the recommendations of the TRRC and will take all the necessary steps to establish the proposed peace committee consisting of National Human Rights Commission, traditional leaders, religious leaders, Ministry of Local Governments, Lands and Religious Affairs and other relevant Stakeholders.