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T O P I C    R E V I E W
toubab1020 Posted - 15 Mar 2022 : 15:57:43


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https://dailynewsgm.com/gambia-government-says-its-aware-of-the-senegalese-military-operation-against-mfdc-separatists-in-southern-cassamance/#
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Gambia Government says it’s Aware of the Senegalese ‘Military Operation’ against MFDC Separatists in Southern Cassamance


By Madi MK Ceesay on March 14, 2022

The Gambia Government Spokesperson, Ebrima G Sankareh, said in a press release that it has come to the awareness of The Gambia Government that Senegal launched a ‘Military Operation’ against MFDC separatists in its southern region of Cassamance on Sunday 13th March, 2022.

Given its proximity to The Gambia, several communities and villages particularly in Foni Bondali, Foni Kansala and Foni Bintang Karanai Districts have been affected by sounds of heavy gunfire amid reports of shells landing in these Gambian border villages.

The release further added that The Gambia Government can confirm that as of last night, several Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees from the border areas began arriving and are being registered in the villages of Foni Bintang, Foni Kansala and Foni Bintang Karanai.

‘‘In the wake of this military operation and its attendant refugee situation, His Excellency, President Adama Barrow directed that the Vice President working with the relevant Ministries, Government Departments and Agencies (MDAs), urgently respond to the pressing needs of the IDPs and refugees’’.

‘‘Equally, President Barrow has directed for the exercise of more vigilance, robust border patrols, and intensified security activities on The Gambian border for the safety of citizens as well as safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country against any potential foreign threat’’.

President Barrow also wishes to reassure citizens, members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps that The Gambia will neither be used as a launching pad nor allow anyone to enter the country with arms and ammunition.

The Gambia continues its peaceful advocacy for a resolution of the Cassamance Conflict and envisages lasting peace, security and stability in our region.

Meanwhile, The Gambia Government strongly urges citizens to desist from spreading false news and recycling of old videos and audios of similar past events to create confusion and fear in the minds of innocent, peace loving citizens affected by this conflict’’. The release said
9   L A T E S T    R E P L I E S    (Newest First)
toubab1020 Posted - 08 Apr 2022 : 15:02:16


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https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/lactating-woman-narrates-ordeals-as-bullets-land-in-her-compound

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Lactating woman narrates ordeals as bullets land in her compound

Apr 8, 2022, 12:04 PM | Article By: Sankulleh Gibril Janko
Adama Bojang is among thousands of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) who fled their homes for safety after Senegalese soldiers launched a “special operations against the Movement for Democratic Forces of Cassamance (MFDC) last month.

Fear gripped thousands of villagers along the Gambia-Senegal border upon hearing sounds of heavy gunshots coupled with uncertainty as Senegalese forces launched the attack on the rebels on a Sunday afternoon of 13 March, 2022.

Speaking to Reporter Sankulleh Gibril Janko at Mbatutu Danelo, a village in Foni Bintang, West Coast Region, where she and 300 others sought refuge, Adama said she left with her twin babies – a boy and a girl and their 9-year old sister because it was no longer safe at home in Siwol, a village near the border.

Recollecting events as they unfolded, Adama Bojang said, “bullets were landing in our house, bullets were coming from Cassamance and landing in our house.”

Asked if she was afraid upon hearing gunshots, the mother of three responded in affirmative.

“Of course we were afraid, that’s why even the elders left there. Children were crying, going in and out and that is why we are here to be able to hold on to something.”

Another Internally Displaced Person is Madi Gibba, the head of a family of 18 including his three wives that left Siwol to seek refuge in Danelo.

“There is conflict around my area and that conflict is very serious and that is why we all fled. Bullets were landing in our houses so we couldn’t stay there because this brought fear from all ends not only in my village, all the surrounding villages people left.”

“We left behind our cows, goats, chickens and sheep. We left everything behind,” he added.

This latest clash in the decades long armed conflict has once again showed the kind nature of Gambians.

The people of Mbatutu Danelo led by Musa Sanyang, opened their homes to the IDPs, shared their foods with them and made them feel at home.

They do not have much, but the people of Danelo continue to happily share the little they have with the IDPs.

“We have been sharing our food provisions with them since they arrived because they came with nothing,” the alkalo of Danelo Mbatutu Musa Sanyang said.

“Accommodation too isn’t enough. We sleep on the floor and allow them to sleep on the bed and the beds are not even enough for them,” the village alkalo went on.

“You see that man;” pointing at one of the IDPs “he has been sleeping under the mango tree since he arrived here. We can’t fit in the houses because there were 340 people in this village.”

According to the Gambia Red Cross Society, the conflict has displaced about 900 families in the Gambia affecting more than 5000 people.

The latest clash somewhat temporarily disrupted education as children fear going to school.

All that these IDPs yearn for is lasting peace in the region so that life could return to normalcy.
toubab1020 Posted - 28 Mar 2022 : 15:50:23


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https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/cassamace-conflict-gambia-senegal-and-guinea-urged-to-dialogue-with-mfdc

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Headlines

Cassamace conflict: Gambia, Senegal & Guinea urged to dialogue with MFDC

Mar 28, 2022, 12:03 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

The Young People Without Borders has called on the governments of The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea Bissau to dialogue with members of the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC), with a view to bringing a lasting solution to the Cassamace conflict.

The Youth led organisation in Siffoe yesterday organised a day long sensitisation forum with Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) as well their Senegalese counterparts (COSCPAC), a French acronym meaning Coordination of all CSOs Groups for peace in Cassamace.

Participants at the end of the day released a position paper that is expected to be submitted to the three governments.

Addressing the convergence at the SiffoeTraining Centre on Sunday, Kalipha Kanteh, chairperson of Young People Without Borders, said the recent ongoing conflict between the Senegalese forces and members of the MFDC directly and indirectly affects The Gambia, Senegal and Guinea Bissau. He added that it is fundamentally important that the three governments open a dialogue with the members of the MFDC in bringing lasting solution to the Cassamace conflict, saying: “Peace is an eminent commodity that we all need, hence we all need to jealously safeguard it.”

“Gambia borders with Senegal and Senegal borders with Guinea and oftentimes there’s intermarriage between these countries. Therefore, if one of these countries is at peace it goes to shine in the other nation and the same thing happens if any of the countries is in conflict.”

“Our work has always been dialogue with a view to engaging the CSOs to engage the government of the three countries in order to educate and sensitise the people about maintaining the peace and stability that we have. Any small chance for it to go will result in severe consequences on the people of these three countries,” he posited.

Alimou Diallo, a representative of (COSCPAC) said: “Our association for the past years has been working towards maintaining peace in Cassamace but also in Gambia and Guinea Bissau, given the fact that we are neighbouring countries. If there is no peace in Casamance, there is high tendency that either Gambia or Guinea Bissau will also be affected.”
toubab1020 Posted - 25 Mar 2022 : 19:45:27



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https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/ecomig-forces-not-here-to-aid-and-abet-what-happens-in-cassamance-info-minister

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#Headlines

ECOMIG Forces not here to aid & abet what happens in Cassamance: Info Minister

Mar 25, 2022, 11:23 AM | Article By: Sankulleh Gibril Janko


The minister of Information and Communication Infrastructure (MOICI), Ebrahim Sillah, says the ECOMIG Forces (Senegalese) stationed in the Fonis are not there to aid and abet the ongoing war in the Senegalese region of Cassamance.

Speaking to West Coast Radio on Tuesday, the minister denied that the Barrow led government stationed the ECOMIG Forces in Foni to aid the Senegalese soldiers in their current “special operations” against the MFDC Rebels.

“The presence of ECOMIG in this country is not by any means to aid and abet what happens in Cassamance; that has to be understood and anybody who is a law abiding citizen of this country would not have any problem to have Gambian security forces or ECOMIG deployed in any part of the country.”

When quizzed why government could not easily redeploy the Senegalese troops and replace them with Ghanaian or Nigerian soldiers in the ECONOMIC, the minister declined to comment citing security reasons.

He went to state: “The issue of deploying soldiers or our security forces in any part of the country is a strategic decision by the government of The Gambia. It is not because a particular region is hated or because we don’t like them. That has to be understood.” Minister Sillah stressed.

The Information minister said the decades long war between Senegal and the MFDC rebels is not the Gambia’s making, adding: “President Barrow came to power in 2017, this conflict has been raging since the early 1980s, two successive governments came here, they did their best to mediate and they could not resolve it.”

Senegal launched what it described as a “special operations” against the Movement of Democratic Forces for Cassamance (MFDC) early on 13 March.

This came after the rebels killed four Senegalese soldiers and captured 7 others before their eventual release thanks to mediations by The Gambia Government, ECOWAS Permanent Mission in the Gambia and an Italian negotiator.

Many Gambians say President Barrow and his government should redeploy Senegalese soldiers stationed in the Fonis to prevent any further clashes.
toubab1020 Posted - 24 Mar 2022 : 20:14:57


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https://standard.gm/gambia-news/senegal-army-says-soldier-killed-rebel-camps-taken/

==========


AFP – Dakar – Senegal’s army said on Wednesday that it had “totally destroyed” several rebel bases belonging to southern separatists, with one soldier killed and eight wounded in the military operation.

On 13 March, the army announced that it had launched an operation in the Casamance region of the country, aiming to dismantle bases of Salif Sadio’s rebel MFDC faction.

The Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) has led a low-intensity separatist conflict in southern Senegal since 1982, which has claimed several thousand lives.

However, the Casamance conflict had mostly lain dormant until Senegal launched a major offensive last year designed to drive out the rebels.

In a clash on 24 January, four Senegalese soldiers were killed and seven were captured alive and taken across the border to The Gambia. The rebels released the hostages the following month.

On Wednesady, the army stated that it “totally destroyed or occupied” rebel bases in several areas of Casamance.

One Senegalese soldier was killed in the latest operation and eight were wounded, it added.

Several rebels were also killed, the army said without specifying a number, while others fled leaving behind arms and materiel.

“These criminal gangs will be hunted down to their last entrenchments, inside the national territory and everywhere else,” the army said.

Recent fighting in Casamance has sent inhabitants of border villages in the tiny river state of The Gambia fleeing further inland.

The Gambia’s government vowed last week that it would neither allow its territory to “be used as a launching pad nor allow anyone to enter the country with arms and ammunition”.

Casamance rebels, who are accused of trafficking timber and cannabis, have traditionally sought refuge in The Gambia or Guinea-Bissau, which also borders Senegal.
toubab1020 Posted - 23 Mar 2022 : 13:40:33


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https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/5626-internally-displaced-amid-senegalese-military-operation-in-cassamance

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#Headlines

5626 internally displaced amid Senegalese military operation in Cassamance

Mar 23, 2022, 12:25 PM | Article By: Bekai Njie

At least 5626 Gambians have been internally displaced across the Fonis near the Gambia-Cassamance borders as Senegalese military operations against the MFDC intensify.

The Senegalese military operation against the MFDC was launched on 13 March 2022, affecting 9973 of the Gambian population, according to the National Disaster Management Agency – the body responsible for disaster related matters.

More than 2000 children that are under the age of five are affected by the war, NDMA says in its graphic report on Tuesday.

The war also rendered 691 refugees hosted by 3656 families.
toubab1020 Posted - 21 Mar 2022 : 18:57:42


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https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/editorial/good-mr-president-on-casamance-trrc

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#Editorial

Good Mr. President: On Casamance, TRRC

Mar 21, 2022, 11:44 AM

Mr. President, the situation in Casamance in Senegal has been escalating for the past few days with the Senegalese army launching attacks on the MFDC bases and seizing them which resulted in one Senegalese soldier killed and several people wounded.

Following these offensive attacks by the Senegalese army, hundreds of people in the Fonis especially those who share borders with Senegal have left their villages to find refuge in other parts of the country.

Mr. President, the battle between the Senegalese army and MFDC has caused a lot of panic in the Fonis leading to schools closures, no political activities and businesses. Gambian security should be alert and take actions against those causing the instability. The current situation should not be politicised and people should refrain from spreading fake news through the social media giving reports that create#8203; fear and panic amongst the people of Foni who have left their villages.

Mr. President, it's high time that the Gambia government takes action to help#8203; people of#8203; Foni#8203; feel comfortable in#8203; their settlements.#8203; Your government should work hand-in-glove with Senegal since we are next door neighbours and what happens in Senegal will automatically affect the lives of people living in the Gambia. The issue of the 40 year old Casamance conflict should be a concern to both countries that should work together by patrolling their borders and exchanging intelligence reports. The two governments should join efforts to make sure that this banditry should be wiped out immediately. MFDC aims to destabilise the security of the two countries to enable them to continue the illegal traffic of drugs and selling of timber to get funds to equip themselves. They will also join hands with jihadists who are many in the subregion if not stopped causing destabilasation in the subregion. The intelligence services of the two countries should identify members of the MFDC and monitor them closely and their activities.#8203;
Mr. President we congratulate the police for introducing a new number 117 accessible to the public free of charge to inform them of crimes within their areas. People should take this opportunity to eliminate crimes in the country, kudos to IGP Abdoulie Sanyang.

Finally Mr. President, TRRC has recommended amnesty to the former vice chairman of Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council, Sanna Sabally#8203;, who was accused of lot of atrocities and the killing of 11 soldiers and military officers in November 1994.#8203; We agree with the Victims’ Centers who have denounced this amnesty. Those who are named by TRRC and were not present during the atrocities and were out of town should be considered for amnesty when they show their passports and it's correct. Those also named in the 2017 report when Jammeh left should be considered for amnesty whilst those who#8203; committed atrocities should not be given amnesty but should face the full force of the law.

Mr. President, the release of junglers Alieu Jeng on March 18 2022 after 5 years detention and Malick Jatta on August 2019 should be followed up. They participated in the killing of co-founder of The Point Newspaper; Deyda Hydara in 2004 should all be prosecuted without delay.

Good day!
toubab1020 Posted - 17 Mar 2022 : 17:16:06


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https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/senegal-mfdc-scuffle-forces-100s-in-dire-situation
==========

#Headlines

Senegal-MFDC scuffle forces 100s in dire situation

Mar 17, 2022, 1:13 PM | Article By: Bekai Njie just back from Foni
Hundreds of internally displaced Gambians across the Fonis near the Gambia-Cassamance borders are in need of humanitarian assistance amid scuffle between the Senegalese military and MFDC.

The Senegalese military launched an operation against the Movement of Democratic Forces of Cassamance (MFDC) on Saturday in a form of retaliatory move following a fracas between the two sides a month and a half ago resulting in four deaths and capture of seven Senegalese soldiers serving the ECOWAS mission in The Gambia.

The president on Monday announced D5 million pledge for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs), which will be disbursed through the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) – the body responsible for disaster related matters in the country. Mr. Barrow had also directed Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray to work with the relevant government agencies to urgently respond to the pressing needs of the IDPs.

At least 115 people have sheltered at Bujinha, the home village of former President Yahya Jammeh’s mother in the wake of Saturday's Senegalese military operation against the MFDC in the southern region of Cassamance.

The refugees are from: Karrol, Kappa, Karan, Monom, Karunor and Funtang villages in the Foni Kansala District. Others have sheltered at different villages in Kampant.

The alkalo (head of the village) of Bujinha, Abdoulie Bojang, who goes by his sobriquet, Aba, said the refugees started arriving at his village on Saturday.

"They have been here since Saturday due to the military operations in Cassamance region," he confirmed. "When they arrived here, we sheltered them in our houses but we don't have mats and mattresses for them and that is unfortunate."

Mr. Bojang said since the arrival of IDPs, no humanitarian response has been received from the government or any NGO. "We did not receive any call as regards to the situation of these people but we are with them as family.”

"We had never experienced such a dire situation. This kind of thing had never happened in the colonial government, Sir Dawda Jawara's government and Yahya Jammeh's government, says Ismaila Bojang, the alkalo of Karrol, a village two kilometers away from the Casamance-Gambia border.

Mr. Bojang who fled leaving his sons behind, blamed the Gambian leader Adama Barrow for letting this "ugly situation" happen. "It is very sad that we had to leave our village and come because of this scuffle between Senegal and the MFDC," he said. “We left our foodstuffs behind and became a burden for others."

Even though these people are our family, we are still being forced to live with them. This is really a burden."

"I'm shocked that I had to leave my sons behind and come here. That is not my wish. Because we are elderly people, so we had to leave and so they would stay and keep our houses safe for us."

Mr. Bojang who had seen the bullet shells with his naked-eyes due to gunfire said the bush around Karrol had been set on fire due to gun fire and putting animals in dire need.

"We are not only worried about ourselves but our animals as well. At the moment they don't have a place to graze. One of the cattle was shot dead and this could happen to others. When we return, the first thing we want to do is to ask the young men to go and search for our animals in the bush," he said.

"This is an example of lack of leadership. If you cannot wash your body, how can you wash other people's bodies, he said, citing that Adama Barrow cannot lead himself much more the nation.

"We are here but our minds are on Karrol. Even this morning, I was telling someone that I would go back home," he disclosed.

Tuti Jammeh, another IDP from Karrol village, recalled that they got a tip off on Friday that there was going to be a fight between the Senegalese soldiers and MFDC.

"But we did not believe that because it was a rumour. But all of a sudden, on Saturday, we heard gunfire and we had to leave."

"I have never heard this kind of sounds in my life and it was the first day and we were very scared and that's why we had to leave our village and come here."

"Since we arrived here, five of us sleep on a bed and some sleep on mats on the floor. The situation is very dire but we have to manage it. Some people had to leave their shoes behind and come here barefoot."

"We hear gunfire every day from here, and we don't even feel safe here because we are hearing gunfire and the next time when you come here you won't find me here."

"I stayed for some reasons because my husband is here and I don't want to run away and leave him here. I want to die with him."
toubab1020 Posted - 16 Mar 2022 : 11:24:32


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https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/govt-reacts-to-senegal-military-operation-against-mfdc
==========


Gov’t reacts to Senegal military operation against MFDC

Mar 15, 2022, 11:48 AM

Banjul, The Gambia - It has come to the awareness of The Gambia Government that Senegal launched a ‘Military Operation’ against MFDC separatists in its southern region of Cassamance on Sunday 13th March, 2022.

Given its proximity to The Gambia, several communities and villages particularly in Foni Bondali, Foni Kansala and Foni Bintang Karanai Districts were affected by sounds of heavy gunfire amid reports of shells landing in these Gambian border villages.

The Gambia Government can confirm that as of last night, several Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) and refugees from the border areas began arriving and are being registered in the villages of Foni Bintang, Foni Kansala and Foni Bintang Karanai.

In the wake of this military operation and its attendant refugee situation, His Excellency, President Adama Barrow directed that the Vice President working with the relevant Ministries, Government Departments and Agencies (MDAs), urgently respond to the pressing needs of the IDPs and refugees.

Equally, President Barrow has directed for the exercise of more vigilance, robust border patrols, and intensified security activities on The Gambian border for the safety of citizens as well as safeguarding the territorial integrity of the country against any potential foreign threat.

President Barrow also wishes to reassure citizens, members of the Diplomatic and Consular Corps that The Gambia will neither be used as a launching pad nor allow anyone to enter the country with arms and ammunition.

The Gambia continues its peaceful advocacy for a resolution of the Cassamance Conflict and envisages lasting peace, security and stability in our region.

Meanwhile, The Gambia Government strongly urges citizens to desist from spreading false news and recycling of old videos and audios of similar past events to create confusion and fear in the minds of innocent, peace loving citizens affected by this conflict.

Signed:

Ebrima G. Sankareh, The Gambia Government Spokesperson
toubab1020 Posted - 16 Mar 2022 : 11:20:18

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https://thepoint.gm/africa/gambia/headlines/barrow-pledges-d5m-for-displaced-persons-in-the-fonis

==========


Barrow pledges D5M for displaced persons in the Fonis

Mar 15, 2022, 11:51 AM | Article By: Sarjo Camara


Her Excellency the Vice President Dr. Isatou Touray, yesterday announced that His Excellency President Adama Barrow has pledged D5 million for the Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in the Fonis through the NDMA as a humanitarian response.

Mr. Barrow’s intervention came in the wake of Senegalese military operation against MFDC on Sunday leading to the displacement of hundreds of Gambians within the Foni-belt.

Her Excellency Dr. Isatou Touray made this announcement during a meeting she convened with stakeholders to urgently look into the issue of Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs).

Mr. Barrow had directed that Vice President Dr. Touray working with the relevant ministries, government departments and agencies urgently respond to the pressing needs of displaced Gambians in Foni.

Vice President Dr. Touray said: It is time for The Gambia to act immediately to address the urgent needs of these vulnerable people, who include women, the elderly and children.”

During the discussions, the World Food Programme (WFP) Deputy Country Director, Malick Ndiaye, who is representing the UN body on humanitarian response, committed to give assistance in the current situation by working with the relevant government institutions.

In order to facilitate the process, a rapid appraisal will be undertaken within 48 hours to guide UN Humanitarian Response Mechanism in their intervention with the government. The activity will be supported by UN.

Meanwhile, the National Disaster Management Agency (NDMA) is making efforts to distribute food packages and mattresses to the affected people in the region.

The Committee agreed on a number of actions and would meet again on Thursday, March 17 to update the public about their findings and what the emergency response package is expected to be for the vulnerable groups.

The meeting brought together security apparatus, government, and UN agencies, and a representative from the business community. All updated Her Excellency the Vice President about their current findings and immediate need assessments.

The meeting concluded that all communication and resources are to be coordinated accordingly.

The Vice President also urged the public to be mindful of misinformation, and to desist from peddling hate speech or spreading false information.

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