Two Gambian soldiers have been withdrawn from the Kanilai garrison and detained at the Yundum barracks after been accused of encouraging the villagers to embark on a protest march against the ECOMIG forces. The arrested soldiers are: Mustapha Y Badjie, and Yusupha Sanneh, of Arankole, both from the Jolla ethnic tribe.
Meanwhile, two video footage have been circulating on social media exposing the activities of the Senegalese troops in the area. One Kanilai resident had a used blank bullet in his hand to proof that live bullets were fired at the protesters. The man, whose identity has not been revealed is dark in completion, short and heavily built. He was dressed in a white shirt, and could be seen holding the bullet. He accused Interior Minister Mai Fatty of trafficking false news and unfounded stories against the protesters. It is not clear if the person in question is a member of the Gambia armed forces.
The man speaking on the video attributed the statement in regards to the discharging of rubber bullets by the Senegalese forces to Mai Fatty, when the statement was made by Information Minister Demba Ali Jawo. Mr. Jawo has since apologized to the people of Kanilai and the bereaved family for making such an inaccurate statement to the BBC. He made the apology during an interview with Freedom Radio Gambia. Jawo said he regretted making the statement and has sought for the forgiveness of the parties affected. He said the information was given to him by the Gambian security officials was scanty and incorrect. Hence, he tendered his unreserved apology to the families for saying that rubber bullets were fired at the protesters.
In the second video, a ground of angry Kanilai ladies accused the Senegalese forces of harassment, stealing Jammeh’s cows, and false imprisonment of the locals. One of the residents said villagers are often subjected to routine detention and punishment by the Senegalese troops for no just reason.
“People are forced to make money dance. People are detained for no reason. Occasionally, they will shoot at cows in the area. They use such cows to feed themselves,” she said.
The man holding the used bullet also made similar claims against the Senegalese forces. He alleged that sounds of gunshots are common thing in Kanilai, in the late evenings. Hence, terrorizing the locals.
“People’s cows are killed. The Senegalese forces harassed our people. They will even deny access to cattle owners to a certain location in Kanilai to feed their cows. That’s where the cows normally drink,” he said.