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toubab1020



9306 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2018 :  14:44:29  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
BY KEBBA MAMBURAY
Foroyaa: July 31, 2018

Witnesses testifying before the Faraba Commission, sitting at Faraba Banta yesterday, told the Commission that the PIU fired on them upon their arrival. The witnesses that testified are all residents of Faraba Banta, namely Ms Kaddy Touray, Aja Sanyang, Wonto Kujabi Samateh and Bakary Badjie.
Commissioners examining the chief’s house destroyed during the incident

The Commission also visited the sites as well as the demarcated, destroyed and burnt places in the village. According to the Chairperson of the Commission, Mr Emmanuel Joof, this is the third visit of theirs to Faraba Banta. He explained that they visited Faraba well before they were sworn in as Commissioners to express their condolences to the families of the departed souls.

The first to testify was Ms. Kaddy Touray. She said she was in her garden on the day of the unpleasant incident around 12pm when she heard a public address system saying that Julakay has resumed sand mining. According to her, she said she went to the quarry with the villagers. She explained that the portion where mining is taking place touches some of the portions of her rice field.
Commissioners examining the rice fields

She testified that, if they (villagers) should allow the continuation of mining at the site then they will not be able to cultivate their rice fields. Afterwards they moved to the village and assembled in one place and they saw a reinforcement of paramilitary. Kaddy said they welcomed the paramilitary by chanting, “Welcome, paaral naatalleh” in Mandinka language which mean means, welcome the paramilitary are here.

Then all of a sudden, she said, tear gas canisters were fired at them, which hit her chest; she then inhaled the gas and became unconscious and left for home. According to her, there were paramilitary stationed at Faraba Banta before the coming of the reinforcement.

She explained before the Commission that she saw loaded trucks with sand but she didn’t see any obstruction on the access road for the trucks. She added that whilst sitting by her door, she saw five paramilitary coming with guns and batons. When she saw them coming, she said she was wandering whether they were going to the Chief’s compound but they rushed towards her then she ran inside her house and locked herself in. Then, she said, one of the PIU personnel asked her to open the door but she refused; that the PIU personnel then broke her doors open and destroyed her windows and told her “today we will have sex with you to our satisfaction.” “I was deeply insulted by the PIU” she said. But later, she said, she ran away through the back door because the PIU told her that they were going to kill her.

Meanwhile, Aja Sanyang a native of Faraba Banta also testified before the Commission that on the 18th of June 2018, around 7am she heard the noise of the excavator, and all of a sudden she saw a lot of people (villagers) going towards the mining site. Then she said she heard them saying “we are going to the quarry but we will not fight or cause any violence”; that she then went to join the demonstrators that were standing near the village football field. She narrated that they were sitting and chatting with the PIU who were already stationed there before the 18th June, when they heard someone saying, “the PIU are coming” in the Mandinka language. She added that the PIU came through the back way then as they drew nearer, the PIU wielding shields, guns and batons fired on tear gas canisters on them.

Later, she said, she heard a gun shot and that shot hit one Bakary Seyfo whom she said she saw falling and later was taken away by the youths. She added that before Bakary Seyfo was shot, she saw one Sainey Sonko injured.

She further said, after the PIU fired tear gas canisters into them, many people retreated to their various houses, then that was the time the PIU started chasing people up to their houses. So she said she was telling them, “save lives and property but do not kill”. She added that she was standing on the veranda but upon seeing the PIU coming for her, she ran away and left her mother sitting on the veranda; that one of the PIU personnel then came to her mother and told her, “old woman get inside the house before I kill you.” She said her mother then responded, “kill me that’s what I want but I will not leave this place”; that the PIU left but as they were leaving, she heard one of them say, “these are bad people we should kill them all”.

Wonto Kujabi Samateh also testified before the Commission that the rice field used to have a lot of water during the rainy season but now there is no water in the rice fields due to the mining operation of Julakay. She further told the Commission that last year even though rainfall was not plenty the rice fields still retained water but due to the mining water is no longer retained in the rice fields but empties into artificial ponds caused by the mining.

Meanwhile Bakary Badjie also narrated his ordeal to the Commission. He explained that on the 18th June 2018, he was sitting his house brewing ataya, later did he saw three PIUs coming towards his house, then they arrested him and took him to their trucks and along the way they started beating him seriously one of them hits him in his back around his waist. Adding that when he got to the truck, he saw one journalist too whom was beating by the PIUs and later he pleaded to the PIUs to take them to the hospital because he was so much in pain.

http://foroyaa.gm/faraba-commission-witnesses-say-piu-opened-fire-on-them/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



9306 Posts

Posted - 01 Aug 2018 :  14:51:37  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Tabora Bojang August 1, 2018

An officer of the Police Intervention Unit posted at the Faraba sand quarry during the bloody June 18 riot has categorically denied firing live bullets, stressing that his riffle was in safe mode before it got missing when he was knocked unconscious in the melee that ensued.

“We did not retaliate, or fire any bullets during the stone fight,” he told the Commission of Enquiry, adding that during the terrible chaotic situation in the village, the PIU officers were over powered by the protesters, who threw stones and bottles at them in addition to burning their mattress.
The officer, whose name is withheld, said the whole trouble started when the protesters barred passage by six trucks loaded from the site, insisting that the trucks should return the sand since they are not allowed to mine on the site.

The PIU officer said the situation gained intensity as the villagers surrounded them and started stoning them.
“They destroyed glasses of trucks, took away the sponge from our guard post, burnt it and threw it back into the post. I tried running to the post to secure my belongings but I got hit by a stone on my neck and felt down and my riffle went missing,” the officer testified.

When asked to describe the sorts of weapons the protesters threw at them, the witness said they were stones and bottles but he said he did not see any gas canisters being thrown towards them.
The PIU officer said until now he is not aware of any deaths or injuries sustained by any demonstrators because of the scene.

Another officer who testified earlier claiming that he was injured in the melee, was asked to provide evidence of injuries he sustained during the incident which he did by providing an x-ray film, detailing his injuries and a picture of his hand and wrist, which were marked as exhibits before the commission.

http://standard.gm/site/2018/08/01/faraba-piu-officer-denies-firing-at-crowd/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



9306 Posts

Posted - 02 Aug 2018 :  19:37:12  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
BY KEBBA MAMBURAY August 2, 2018

On the 1st of August 2018, Essa Jallow appeared before the Commission which was set up by the president to probe into the unfortunate incident of that fateful day of June 18th 2018, when live bullets was sprayed on unarmed demonstrators, leaving three people or more dead and scores seriously injured.

In his testimony, Mr. Jallow told the Commission that on the incident of the 18th June 2018 he was called and informed that there was an incident in Faraba Banta but the caller couldn’t tell him what was happening. He said he then told a reporter, Sarjo Brito, about the happenings in Faraba Banta who then told him that there was a report of fatality.

He said he then decided to go to Faraba Banta in the company of a reporter, a camera man and a driver to cover the unfortunate incident. As they took off to Faraba, along the way they met with two ambulances going towards the Brikama end but they decided to proceed instead of following the ambulance.

Upon their arrival at Faraba Banta, Mr. Jallow said some youths stopped them and told them that they should be careful because the place is dangerous. He further said, a few minutes later, a large crowd approached them and asked them what they were doing there? He said he told them that they came to cover the incident. He added that he requested someone from the crowd to accompany them to the mining site, then someone volunteered and took them.

As they reached the site, he said he saw a burning grader and a truck that had already been set on fire and further explained that he saw another truck that was already loaded with sand which was also set ablaze. Then a gentleman, who claimed to be the driver of one the trucks persuaded him to go and see another truck that was burning at the other side of the mining site. He said he then decided to interview their escort who explained to them what had happened.

Then he said on their way to interview some villagers, they saw some angry youth vandalizing one compound and he asked the camera man to film. But as they were filming he said he told the camera man to stop filming because he was worried that the issue might get worse based on his instincts as well as being worried about the safety of the camera man.

He said during the vandalizing, he saw a boy holding a heavy metal and destroying the walls, so they went back to their vehicle and told the escort to arrange an interview for them. He added that he interviewed the VDC Chairman and a lady who claimed that her son was one of the victims who died during the incident. He said during the interview with some of the villagers, he saw some youth burning some household items at the village Bantaba.

http://foroyaa.gm/faraba-commission-programme-manager-qtv-testifies/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



9306 Posts

Posted - 07 Aug 2018 :  16:51:43  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Omar Bah August 7, 2018

Attila Lajos, EU Ambassador to The Gambia, has said that the European Union keeps an eye on events in the country.
“The EU is monitoring events in the Gambia and we do communicate our concerns whenever certain events occur, like the demonstration in Faraba Banta that resulted in the death of three people,” he told The Standard in an exclusive interview recently.
The EU envoy said people should understand that when it comes to issues of democratisation in any country in the world, it is not a one-day or one-year business and it will affect and impact generations.
Ambassador Lajos said the EU believes that the government has followed due process of the law in the Faraba Banta incident by arresting the members of the police intervention unit believed to be involved in the shooting.

“What the EU is concerned about or would be concerned about is if there was no inquiry after such a very unfortunate tragic event. So there are actions taken and the full investigations are ongoing. Until we have the result of the investigations, I shall not pre-empt the investigations,” he said.
He said one of the lessons people might have learned from this incident is the very fact that reform in the security sector is probably slow “hence the security actors acted the way they did because they were never trained how to tackle demonstrations.”

Lajos further said so long as respect for the rule of law is the main game in the Gambia, the European Union will continue to give the country its backing.
On the issue of accountability, Ambassador Lajos said: “This is very important and becoming increasingly relevant as the country embarks on this democratization process. I think it is important to encourage the development or reforming of the political field in the country.
“I do believe it is important for the country to have a proper dialogue among the political movements because there are certain basic rules everybody should apply and adhere to,” he said.

http://standard.gm/site/2018/08/07/eu-monitoring-events-in-gambia-closely/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



9306 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2018 :  22:43:40  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The Chief Inspector at The Gambia Police Force has told the Commission of Inquiry set up to probe into the Faraba incident that he was not armed neither to kill anybody.

Edrissa Sanneh, who was testifying at the ongoing commission set up to probe into the circumstances leading to the standoff between the villagers of Faraba Bantang and the Police Intervention Unit, maintained that he was only wearing his helmet and other protective gears.

Sanneh, who has been in the police service for 14 years, further told the commission that his Commander Baboucarr Cham informed him that Julakay was doing sand mining business at Faraba.

‘’At our guard we were assigned to guard the workers of Julakay. We were forty PIU officers posted at the said mining site as we created the guard post” he told the commission.

He said his men were carrying Ak 47s, tear gasses, gas grenades, seals, batons and helmets.

He explained that this was before the incidents took place, adding that he was in charge of the said guard post.

Sanneh recalled that he reported at work around 8 p.m. on that on 18th of June while at work, he received a phone call from boss OC Cham to get prepared with his men.

Chief Inspector Sanneh further testified that he was informed by OC Cham that the youths of Faraba were about to organise a demonstration.

He said they gathered as joint task force, comprising men from different units under the Police Intervention Unit, estimating the figure to be around 130 PIU officers, who were on standby ahead of the planned demonstration in Faraba.

Testifying further, Sanneh indicated that OC Cham and ASP Bala Musa Fatty engaged the community so as to calm down the angry youths, but he said that the youths started stoning at the PIU officers.

“That’s the time they started defending themselves by firing teargases.”

He also said OC Cham and ASP Bala Musa were the Commanders on the ground, saying he called the attention of OC Cham that the tension is getting critical and that the angry youths are getting closer to their security formation.

Sanneh said he alerted OC Cham that they can’t control the angry youths anymore as they were chasing them with stones and he said OC Cham ordered them to withdraw.

Sanneh adduced that during the confrontation, Musa Fatty, a PIU officer was knocked down by the angry youths, adding that he quickly rushed to safe him, while Musa was already injured. There, he said, he collected Musa’s rifle which was lying on the ground.

Sanneh said he checked Musa Fatty’s riffle and confirmed that some of the bullets in Fatty’s riffle were missing. This, he further adduced shows that Musa was having a pistol in a holster, a purse where they keep pistol, different from the AK 47 he was holding.

He told the Commission that Musa later told him that the pistol was missing during the confrontation, positing that he collected the riffle from Musa which was later handed over to Officer Sanneh alias Osama Bin Laden, who was the unit in controlled of amour in Brikama.

Sanneh testify that he was with Musa till they retreated from the scene, further testifying that after retreating, both himself and Musa and other officers returned back to the scene.

Though, Sanneh admitted that at the Commission that the PIU officers were the only ones with guns at the scene, and that if anyone sustained injury it remain their fault.

Sanneh also admitted that he heard several gun shots during the incident and that was the time when the reinforcement team has just arrived at the scene.

He maintained that their commanders who were on the ground namely, OC Cham and ASP Fatty should be in a better position to explain what happened and who gave orders for the shooting.

Sanneh revealed that his team did not arrest anyone and that they were the first to arrive at the incident before they were asked to withdraw. He added that they later joined the reinforcement team that came to give support. The reinforcement team, he went on, were the ones conducting arrests.

According to him, during the incident he was being posted at the Brikama PIU unit and that he is currently posted at the Fatoto PIU post.
Author: Mamour M. Mbenga

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/i-did-not-killed-anyone-piu-chief-inspector-testifies

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



9306 Posts

Posted - 08 Aug 2018 :  22:45:22  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Wednesday, August 08, 2018

The permanent sectary at the Ministry of Local Government and Lands, Buba Sanyang, Monday testified at the Faraba Commission that he received a letter from the Faraba VDC, requesting the Ministry of Lands to revoke the mining licence issued to Julakay.

PS Sanyang stated that at the commission, the VDC claimed that the area that was issued to Julakay to do his mining operations was not favourable to the community as it affects their farm lands and the village football field.

PS Sanyang told the commission that after receiving the letter from the VDC dated on January 18, 2018, he then later called a meeting with his deputy PS of Technical, Saikou Sanyang and the deputy PS of Administration, Jerreh Sanyang to discuss the issue.

He said later on 9 January, he organised a meeting with various stakeholders including the executive director of NEA, director of Geology, CEO of Brikama Area Council, the chief of Kombo East District, the alkalo of Faraba and the chairman of Faraba VDC to discuss the claim made by the VDC.

Sanyang said this meeting was held at the Ministry of Lands on January 24. He said all the stakeholders were present but the IGP and the governor of West Coast Region sent in their representatives.

He said this was the first meeting organised between the VDC and the alkalo on the sand mining issue so that the matter could be solved amicably.

Sanyang revealed at the commission that the alkalo of Faraba was earlier said to have been informed by Julakay that (he Julakay) was issued a licence to mine but the authorities told Julakay that he should meet the Faraba community for memorandum of understanding before starting any activities on the ground.

PS Sanyang also explained the second time they organised another meeting, which they talked about private properties, football field, the access road to the mining area.

Sanyang assigned a technical team on the ground to compare the 3.4 hecters allocated to Julakey and also to verify the claim made by the VDC that the Julakay given area to mine had entered the private property of someone and the village football field.

Sanyang said the reason why he assigned a team was to map out the 3.4 hecters and to make sure the claim made by the VDC is true.

Sanyang further explained that at the end of the meeting, they decided that if there was any ongoing activities on the ground, they would tell one Mr. Jawo from Lands Office who also attended the meeting to inform Julakay to stop operation if he had already started, but Mr. Jawo had told them that Julakay had not yet started mining operations.

PS Sanyang said a technical team from Lands after visiting the Faraba mining site, organised a stakeholders’ meeting so that the technical team will provide a presentation report on the area.

PS Sanyang said he got to know that during the meeting, the alkalo and the VDC were not present during the time the technical team from Lands were assigned to do their Faraba survey exercise.

Sanyang said he organised another visit for the technical team to make sure they did another proper survey in front of the VDC and village alkalo.

Sanyang also revealed that the NEA in a letter addressed to Julakay dated April 17, 2018, was copied to them.

He said the letter stated that Julakay had been issued a licence to mine at Faraba at a volume area size of 8.4 hecters which was increased from the volume size of 3.4 hecters in the beginning.

Sanyang said he was invited to a meeting on May 23, at the office of the Inspector General of Police alongside with director of Lands, director of Physical Planning, Faraba VDC, Faraba alkalo, Ministry of Petroleum, council of elders, IGP Kinteh and his assistant.

Sanyang further revealed that they were informed by the police that Julakay had been issued with a legal licence to do sand mining operations in Faraba. Sanyang said he observed during the meeting at the Office of the IGP that the residents of Faraba were not happy with the decision taken by the IGP that Julakay should go ahead with his mining operations.
Author: Mamour M. Mbenga

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/vdc-requested-julakay-licence-to-be-revoked

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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Momodou



Denmark
8883 Posts

Posted - 10 Aug 2018 :  09:42:46  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
FARABA COMMISSION: “We Are Coming To Burn Down And Destroy Your House”

Foroyaa: August 9, 2018

BY KEBBA MAMBURAY

http://foroyaa.gm/faraba-commission-we-are-coming-to-burn-down-and-destroy-your-house/

Yesterday on 8 August 2018, Pa Touray Sanyang, a resident of Faraba Banta told the Faraba Commission that that he was threatened. He said that on the day following the event of 18 June someone called him and told him “we have burnt some people’s houses but next time it is your turn, we are coming to burn down and destroy your house.”

THE VILLAGE MEETING

Testifying before the Commission, Pa Touray Sanyang said Julakay doesn’t know him personally but there was a day when he was called by the chairperson and was informed to go to the village Bantaba to attend a meeting; that when Julakay arrived with his team, he told them that he had a licence to mine sand in Faraba but he (Julakay) was told to come and meet the villagers first. He said Julakay brought D15,000.00 and 3 kilos of cola nuts and the VDC accepted the Idea of Julakay and welcomed him.

Later, out of the D15,000.00 that was given, D10,000.00 was given to Alagie Sanyang for the development of the village mosque and the remaining D5,000,00 was distributed between the attendees of that meeting but he said the money was not changed into coins it was shared in notes.

THE 18 JUNE INCIDENT

Pa further said after the incident of 18 June, 2018 he received a call from Julakay who told him that he heard his place was burnt down and Julakay further expressed his sympathy. Pa added that he came to know Julakay when he was in need of a mason to build his office beside the mining site and then some villagers identified him to Julakay.

Pa said on the 18th of June 2018 he was in Faraba in his house and around 6am he heard sound of firing of tear gas and then saw a lot of smoke coming from the mango plantation but that he sat still in his house. Pa further added that he was in fear that’s why he couldn’t go out; adding that he knows nothing about the incident.

The following day, after the incident he said someone called him and told him that, “we have burnt some people’s house but next time is your turn, we are coming to burn down and destroy your house”. He said in response, he told the person to come and burn his house because he is innocent; but he added that after receiving the threat, he did not report the case to the police.

ABOUT HIS ROLE IN THE VDC

In his testimony, he narrated that he is a member of VDC of Faraba Banta since November 2015. He added that he lives in Faraba Banta currently without his family because his house was burnt down. Pa said he was the one responsible for the sand mining site because the VDC assigned him to be in charge of the revenue collection from the truck drivers that transport sand.

He added that, he succeeded one Tombong Colley who was responsible for collecting the fees from drivers that transport sand. He narrated that Tombong asked him (Pa) to take over because he is a soldier and is very busy lately; adding that, later he quit working for the VDC because the issue of Julakay was becoming tense.

But he also added that, before the coming of Julakay, the villagers were mining from the site and other neighbouring villages. Pa said at the beginning, any truck loaded with sand paid D300 flat but after the stoppage of the Pirang mining site, they increased the fee to D500 for outsiders and D300 for the people of Faraba Banta which gave daily takings of roughly D2,000.00 from the site.

He testified that out of all his service for the VDC, he was never paid and he had an agreement with the VDC that he would be paid D3,000.00 per month. He further told the Commission that, the VDC issues no receipt to the truck drivers after collecting revenues from them. But he added that he hands over the money to Tombong Colley daily after work. He further explained that there is no accountability in the transaction because there were no issuances of receipts to the truck drivers.

He said the VDC told him that the money collected from the site, will be used to buy cash power for power supply of the borehole; adding that the treasurers in the persons of Tombong and Ismaila never reported to the villagers about how the money is spent but he attested that there’s always water supply. He further narrated that, weekly they buy D2,000.00 cash power which is amounted to D8,000.00 monthly.

He said that he only knows of the buying of cash power by the VDC from the money collected and nothing other than that. He further told the Commission that 30,225.00 was spent on renovating the village youth centre. He also said that after the money earned from the collection of fees was given to the treasurers, it would be given to the VDC Chairperson for deposit. He further explained they conducted a series of meetings in the village but they were not told how much the committee got or how the money is spent but he said he never asked the VDC how much is gained from the sand mining revenue collection.

Pa further added that there is democracy in the VDC but the money issue is exempted. He further testified that the VDC has a Vice Chairperson by the name Fatou Barjo but she never attended meetings, only Alagie does.

A clear concience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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toubab1020



9306 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2018 :  12:56:29  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Kebba Secka August 8, 2018

Chief Inspector Edrissa Sanneh has told the commission probing into the Faraba incident that more than one hundred and thirty five PIU officers were deployed to the village on the fateful day of the incident. He revealed that some of the officers were armed with AK47 with live ammunitions, tear gases and grenades.

According to him, he had knowledge of the site under dispute prior to the day of the incident, noting that he usually visits the village with his commander, O/C Babucarr Cham of Brikama Police Station.

Asked to narrate what had happened on the day of the incident, Edrissa said: “On 18 June, 2018, my boss O/C Cham informed me that the natives of Faraba Banta were protesting against Julakay and they were causing obstruction on the highway; that I have to prepare the officers under my command for the area,” According to him, the PIU deployment at Faraba Banta protest was a joint-operation between officers from Brikama and Kanifing Police Stations making it more than one hundred and thirty five officers altogether. According to him, most of the officers were armed to the teeth when they were going to the scene. He further explained that ASP Musa Fatty commanded the troops that came from Kanifing while O/C Cham and himself (Sanneh) led the troops from Brikama.

Reacting to what happened when they arrived at the scene, Sanneh said his two superiors ASP Fatty and O/C Cham were busy persuading the angry villagers to a negotiation; that during the course of this, lots of stones were thrown at them. “Were you the only Chief Inspector at the time of the incident,” asked deputy chairperson of the Commission. Witness responded: “No, Paul Gomez, Malick Touray, and myself were all Chief Inspectors,” he told the Commission. The witness went on to say that when the villagers overpowered them, he made a telephone call to O/C Cham who was at the scene busy managing the protesters and informed him that most of the officers were hurt seriously and Cham asked him to withdraw his troops immediately. “At that moment, we started withdrawing our personnel while the villagers were following us and throwing stones at us,” he told the Commission. Sanneh also told the Commission that ASP Musa Fatty’s AK47 was short by twenty-three live rounds when he (Inspector Sanneh) conducted assessment on the content of his gun (NSP). According to him, the NSP was done after he rescued him from the stones thrown by the villagers.

Another witness that appeared before the commission was Chief Inspector, Momodou Saidy who is attached to the PIU base in Brufut. He too confirmed having knowledge of the disputed site at Faraba Banta prior to the day of the incident through some visits he made with his senior, O/C Cham. “Why did the O/C take you to the mining site,” asked Deputy Commissioner. “Because he was the commander and also there is usually be a joint patrol in the region,” he told the commissioners. He added that after frequent visits to the area with his senior, they installed a PIU based for the protection of Julakay’s properties at the mining site.

National Assembly member for Kombo East Constituency Hon. Lamin FM Conta was the next to appear before the Commission to give his testimony. In his evidence Hon. Conta said in spite of being the parliamentarian for the constituency, he was never suspicious or been informed of a dispute at the mining site in Faraba until the day of the incident. He explained how the National Assembly Select Committee on the Environment intervened in finding a solution to the problem. He said when the Select Committee made a telephone call to Julakay and advised him to stop the mining until they establish the facts, Julakay disagreed with them arguing that he had legal mandate from the geology department to mine in the area. Hon. Conta said Julakay refused to adhere to Committee’s advice and said: “What is a National Assembly over my legal authority to conduct mining.”

http://foroyaa.gm/faraba-commission-more-than-135-piu-personnel-deployed-some-armed-with-ak47/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



9306 Posts

Posted - 11 Aug 2018 :  18:40:13  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Here is a report from The Daily news about the appearance of " Buba Sanyang, the Permanent Secretary (PS) at Ministry of Lands and Regional Government on 6th August appeared before the commission looking into Faraba bloody clashes." a bit late but it differs in some respects to the article posted by the Point on August 8th.:
http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/vdc-requested-julakay-licence-to-be-revoked

===================================================================================================

By Madi M.K. Ceesay -
August 10, 2018

By: Neneh Galleh Barry

Buba Sanyang, the Permanent Secretary (PS) at Ministry of Lands and Regional Government on 6th August appeared before the commission looking into Faraba bloody clashes.
Testifying before the commission, Sanyang said he received a letter from the Village Development Committee (VDC) of Faraba on 3rd January 2017 requesting for intervention regarding the mining license issued to Julakay. Then he said he called a meeting with his team members and they had two areas of intervention: dealing with the local governance between the VDC and the Alkalo as well as Julakay’s entry to other lands.
Sanyang went on to narrate that on 9th January 2018, he convened a general meeting to which stake holders were invited to attend. Among those in attendance, he continued, were: the Director General of Geology Department, CEO of Brikama Area Council, Chief of Kombo East, Alkalo of Faraba Banta, Chairperson of VDC, Governor of West Coast Region, former IGP and himself.
During the deliberations of the meeting, he said he came to realize that the VDC had distrust in the Alkalo who later explained that Julakay had informed him that he got a license to mine but was asked to meet and discuss with the villagers. According to Sanyang, they advised members of the VDC to discuss with the alkalo so that they could come to terms as a way forward regarding the controversy over sand mining. He added that they also discussed about the allocated place for Julakay to mind but it was alleged by the VDC that Julakay was entering private properties as well as the village football field for the new access road to the sand quarry. As a result, he said they concluded that they would send a technical team to visit the site and one of the reasons which was to compare the sand availability regarding the 3.4 hectares allocated to Julakay and secondly to observe whether Julakay was entering the private properties including the football field.
He added that during the meeting, he instructed one Mr. Jawo who represented Julakay to ask the company to stop operation until they verify but they were told at the meeting that Julakay had not started working then. Sanyang further testified that the technical team went to the field and after the visit they were told to report back on what they had observed at the field but then the VDC and the Alkalo told them that they were not aware of the visit and the team however, was asked to go back to the field with the Alkalo and the VDC.
Before the second visit to the site, Sanyang said he received a letter from the police inviting him to a meeting. During that meeting with the police, Sanyang said he told the Faraba VDC members that they were under his ministry and if the VDC had anything to complain about, they should go to him and he further advised them not to be a source of physical barrier or hinder Julakay from continuing his operations.

http://dailynewsgm.com/lands-ps-faces-faraba-commission/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



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Posted - 15 Aug 2018 :  21:12:45  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By; Kebba AF Touray August 14, 2018

Two PIU personnel told the Faraba Banta Commission yesterday 13 August that the PIU personnel that were sent to Faraba Banta were armed with AK 47 rifles. This Commission is charged to probe into the circumstances surrounding the 18th June 2018 Faraba Banta incident.

In his testimony, Inspector Ba Foday Njie of the Kanifing PIU said his platoon were armed with rubber cops, guard shields, batons, 3 gas guns, helmets and 2 AK 47 rifles given to two of his officers, whose name he said he could not recall. He said he led the platoon from Kanifing to Faraba. He further said they were at the village on guard for three days prior to the actual date on standby, to ensure that mining was done unhindered but on the D day they were sent by their Superintendent for reinforcement.

He added that while at Pirang village on his way to Faraba Banta, he received a call form ASP Balla Musa Fatty who asked him of his whereabouts and when he responded that he was at Pirang going to Faraba, ASP Musa told him to hurry up. He said he then asked his driver to speed up because he felt that Musa was in trouble. He added that ASP Fatty made a second call and this time he (the witness) told ASP Musa Fatty that he was already in Faraba Banta; that ASP Fatty then advised him to use the access road constructed by Julakay to avoid being attacked by the villagers and he did as instructed.

He said he then ordered his men to come down and make formations. He said the group begun engaging them and he told ASP Musa that he will try to engage the group to allow them access their truck. He said the group started stoning them from about 20 metres and he ordered the use of gas gun to retreat the group, which he said was successful. He testified that no arrest was effected by his platoon and could neither see any officer carrying a rifle nor an injured villager. He further said he was together with O/C Babucarr Cham on standby in the area to see the reaction of the villagers, but have not seen any reaction from the villagers and they got an order to go back to Brikama.

The other PIU personnel to testify, SGT Samba Ndong was the third witness. He told the Commission that on 18 June he was at the PIU in Kanifing and they were ordered to go to Faraba and were armed with AK 47 and live rounds with the serial number 1602895 and they had shields and batons, smoke guns and rifle. According to him ASP Fatty made a proclamation that it was not right for the villagers to gather there and should disperse failure of which necessary actions will be taken, to which the villagers failed to pay heed and they used tear gas to disperse them.

Nfamara IBL Jarjue, the second witness of the day also testified that on the 18th June he was in his house in Faraba Banta between the hours of 8 and 9 in the morning and saw a crowd comprising youth, males and females who were going towards the mining site and insulted him and were threatening to kill him, burn his motorbike and house. He said he advised his family to leave the street and get inside the house. He said his family left and went to his sister’s house and he also escaped through the back door with his motorbike and while he was going he saw a group who chased him with stones, sticks and catapults.

He said he left for Ndemban and was there for 4 days; then he moved to Nyoro Jataba where he decided to do farming and came back to Brikama to see his family and find out the outcome of the attack. He told the Commission that the youth burnt and destroyed his house, removing his corrugated roof, windows and doors. He stated that the villagers agreed for Jualakay to mine in Faraba and should fulfill the agreement set with him.

At this stage he tendered the list of destroyed items and was shown some pictures of burnt houses and he identified picture CE 14N as his burnt house and were admitted and marked as exhibit CE 42.

http://foroyaa.gm/piu-units-sent-to-faraba-were-armed-with-ak-47-rifles/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



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Posted - 16 Aug 2018 :  15:45:58  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Famara I.B.L. Jarju an elder at Faraba Bantang, told the Faraba Commission on Monday, August 13, that the residents of Faraba threatened to kill him and burn his house.

According to Mr. Jarju, who is widely called Boyo Jarju, member of the Council of Elders testified before the Commission that he nearly lost his life during the Faraba incident.

“I was with my family inside my compound when I heard a noise from outside the compound, then I saw a group of youngsters comprising both boys and girls; shouting that they would kill me and burn my house including my motorbike.’’

Mr. Jarju said he could clearly hear the insults from the angry youths who were walking towards his house, which he said was not far from the mining site.

He further stated that the Faraba people believed he gave Julakay a passage through his garden, which he agreed to but said he did so because they had a mutual agreement with Jualakay.

According to Jarju, he said Julakay came to the village with cola nuts and an additional sum of D15,000 and made an agreement with the residents’ elders to pay one hundred thousand dalasis every three months. He further stated that Julakay claimed that the government had issued him a legal licence to operate the mining site.

He said, however, that the VDC and Council of Elders later had a disagreement because they could not fathom how the alkalo could give the go ahead to Jualakay to do sand mining without the consent of the villagers.

He said the Council of Elders requested him to revoke the passage he gave to Julakay because things did not work out well among themselves.

Jarju said he refused to comply because Julakay had already paid him and he accepted his payment based on the agreement he had with village elders.

He said that the residents had a grudge against him, saying they (villagers) thought he was supporting Julakay’s interest. Mr. Jarju mentioned one youngman whose name remained anonymous throughout the sittings, claiming the young man threatened to kill him and burn his house.

He concluded that his house and that of his brother were both destroyed and vandalised.
Author: Mamour M. Mbenga & Fatoumatta Samateh
Source: Picture: Faraba Commission

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/faraba-resident-receives-death-threats

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



9306 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2018 :  15:49:07  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Thursday, August 16, 2018

Inspector Ba Foday Njie, an officer with the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) on Monday 13 August, testified at the Faraba Commission that he did not give orders to any PIU officer to shoot during the Faraba incident.

He said during the confrontation, he did not see any resident that was injured during the scene.

“I was the one leading the reinforcement platoon; we did not shoot neither did we kill any villager. We only used our gun gases and batons to engage the angry youths”.

“I did not hear any gun shot from the reinforcement team, but I heard that some of the villagers were injured during confrontation.”

Inspector Njie added that he did not enter the village to witness what had happened there, but he was with the reinforcement team at a place around the village near a mango tree.

He said his reinforcement team did not have access to the scene due to the tension of the angry youths.

He said on their way to Faraba, his boss called him not to use the main road that enters Faraba before they might be attacked by the villagers.

Njie said he even discovered that the access road was covered with stones as road block by the angry youths.

Officer Njie said he told his truck driver to stop the vehicle and he ordered his men who were the reinforcement team to form a security formation.

He said that was the time his comrade by the name Bala Musa Fatty called him on telephone to see their conditions. Njie said that he told Bala Musa Fatty that the angry youths had started stoning them.

Inspector Njie said that was the time he ordered his men to fire gas guns so that the angry youths can retreat.

He added that many of his men sustained injuries during the confrontation. Officer Njie further explained that his reinforcement that came to support their comrades did not conduct any arrest but he said that the first team did the arrest.

Inspector Njie was the platoon reinforcement commander who led his men to Faraba. He testified that he was not aware who signed for the AK 47’s given to them by the Armoury Man.

He said on the 18th of June 2018, during the Faraba incident they were alerted at the PIU Kanifing Headquarters where they were assembled on a parade with a platoon that comprises both men and women of the Police Intervention Unit.

Inspector Njie said that it was his boss Spt. Saine who informed them that they should be in Faraba for reinforcement.

Inspector Njie said they were assigned by his police boss Spt. Manneh for his team to be in Faraba in order to relieve other platoons who were on guard post at the Faraba mining site.

He said that they spent three days on guard duties before the incident happened on the 18 June.

He also added that they were first given orders by Spt. Manneh that his team should be at the Faraba mining site for them to be on standby in order to prevent activities that will obstruct the mining activities of Julakay.

He said during guard post in Faraba, they were armed with gas guns, AK47s, helmets and gas breathing apparatus.

He said his boss told him that there was an argument between the villagers of Faraba and one Jualakay, a businessman who does sand mining.
Author: Mamour M. Mbenga & Fatoumatta Samateh

http://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/article/i-only-ordered-piu-officers-to-use-tear-gas

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



9306 Posts

Posted - 16 Aug 2018 :  16:10:33  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By Tabora Bojang August 16, 2018

The former executive director of the National Environment Agency, Momodou B Sarr has told the Faraba commission of inquiry that Environmental Impact Assessment of The Julakay Group could be reviewed to confirm whether the procedures are followed and if the process is not done properly, its license can be cancelled if necessary.

Sarr, who is now a private consultant served as the NEA boss for a decade before stepping down in 2013, was invited to provide his expert view on critical environmental issues, impacts and recommendations to the commission as it continues probe into the bloody June 18 mining unrest that claimed lives of three individuals in Faraba.

He said an MoU cannot be signed by the Alkalo alone and the licenses can be issued on conditions, saying the area should be mapped out clearly since there are certain projects that are obliged to conduct EIA which include major roads, industrial complexes and mining by a consultant prior to the start of any activity.
He stressed that the country has adequate mining laws but only needs reinforcements as he recommends use of laterite mud dust as bricks in lieu of sand mining, stressing that they are more durable and stronger than sand blocks.

He said in the case of mining, the first step is to discuss with the Geology Department on the plans and site of the mine, upon which the department issues a screening form, which is sent to the NEA, and based on the content of the form, they would determine whether the project needs EIA.

He said the consultant is required to seek the wishes and concerns of the communities, which is answered in a report sent to the communities and that consultation is a requirement owing in the TOR.
He said it is not possible to sign an MOU without consulting the communities and by extension list the contact details, names and pictures of those that have attended the meeting, prior to the issuing of license.
He said when all the requirements are met the secretariat of EIA at the NEA and the chairman of NEA now approve the report. He said the chairman also scrutinizes the report and authorizes the Officer in Charge [EIA] to write to the Geology and Developer indicating that the EIA report has been approved.

He said the approved report also contains conditions among them the access roads be constructed, timely payment of royalties to the communities which is collected by the Area Council and the price is negotiable, saying the communities, the Area Council therein and the NEA have their share from the royalties, mitigating grievances among others and the project starts, which is monitored by NEA, Geology and Area Council.

http://standard.gm/site/2018/08/16/julakay-license-could-be-revoked-if/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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toubab1020



9306 Posts

Posted - 17 Aug 2018 :  00:54:57  Show Profile Send toubab1020 a Private Message  Reply with Quote
By: Kebba AF Touray August 16, 2018

Momodou Sarr, in his testimony before the Faraba Banta Commission on Tuesday, 14 August, outlined the steps and conditions to be met by an investor, before the issuing of a licence. These steps and conditions, which include seeking the wishes and concerns of the communities are included in his evidence which are stipulated below.

Mr Sarr, the former Executive Director of National Environment Agency (NEA) said there are certain projects that are obliged to conduct Environment Impact Assessment (EIA) and these include major roads, agriculture, bridges, factories, housing estates, industrial complexes and mining by a consultant.

He narrated that in the case of mining, the first step is to discuss with the Geology Department on the plans and site of the miner, upon which the department issues a screening form, which is filed with the developer after which it is sent to the Program Officer of the NEA, and based on the content of the form, they would determine that the particular developer or project needs EIA, especially for mining which is taken to the Executive Director. He added that a Working Group at the NEA meets and questions the developer on issues such as the mechanism the developer would use in levelling the ground, when too much is extracted, whether a land is communal or private and mitigation of environmental impact. He added that from the answers they [the working group] draw a Terms of Reference, which is sent to the Geology Department and then to the developer through a consultant.

He said the consultant is required to seek the wishes and concerns of the communities, which is answered in a report and the consultant is demanded to attach the CV of the consultant to the report for qualification purpose and the draft report is sent to the communities and NEA, which is required to announce over the radio to enable interested people to access and know the content of the report.

He added that consultation is a requirement included in the TOR, there are question that must be answered by consultation and it is not possible to sign an MOU without consulting the communities and by extension listing the contact details, names and pictures of those that have attended the meeting, prior to the issuing of licence. He said when all the requirements are met; the report is now approved by the Secretariat of EIA at the NEA and the Chairman of NEA. He said the Chairman also scrutinises the report and authorises the Officer in Charge [EIA] to write to the Geology and Developer indicating that the EIA report has been approved.

He said the approved report also contains conditions, among them the construction of access roads and the timely payment of royalties to the communities (which is collected by the Area Council at a negotiable price, with the communities, the Area Council and the NEA having their shares from the royalties, mitigating grievances among others).

He said that the project can now start, which is monitored by NEA, Geology and Area Council. He also said that Geology now writes to the Miner that he has been granted to mine in his area of interest after meeting the requirements, but does not have the right to grant any mining rights without the NEA and that the role of the NEA in the dialogue is to support the communities to ensure that they don’t lose their benefits of the mining, because they are pivotal in the matter, as well as monitoring the mining processes and averting any complications. He said approval is either denial or approval on conditions, but the working group can disapprove the proposal if it feels that the impacts are numerous and cannot be mitigated.

He clarified that everybody in the community should be consulted and should be reflected in a document entitled Focal Group Meeting Report. He said a situation whereby the NEA is not proactive can lead to reoccurrence of the Faraba Banta incident and the communities are at liberty to petition to the President and highlight that they were not consented. He also stated that the MOU cannot be signed by the Alkalo alone and the licenses can be issued on conditions and the area should be mapped out clearly prior the start of the activity.

He stressed that the country has adequate mining laws but only need reinforcement and that mining is illegal when it is commercialized and recommended the use of laterite mud dust as bricks in lieu of sand mining as they are durable and stronger than sand blocks.

He also clarified that the EIA can be reviewed to confirm whether the procedures are followed and if the process is not done properly, the license can be reviewed and cancelled if necessary.

http://foroyaa.gm/faraba-commission-expert-witness-outlines-requirements-for-issue-of-licences/

"Simple is good" & I strongly dislike politics. You cannot defend the indefensible.
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