A chaotic scene of ethic altercation occurred in Niamina Sambang on Wednesday, Freedom Newspaper can reveal. The Mandinka and Fullani tribes were engaged into a land dispute—prompting angry villagers to arm themselves with cutlasses, axes and other deadly weapons. The disputed piece of land is situated in the outskirt of the village. There have been claims and counterclaims over the ownership of the disputed land. It is a farm land.
This is the second time in a span of months that the Mandinka and Fulani ethnic group in Niamina Sambang, have been engaged in such dispute. Wednesday’s dispute nearly turned violent. Young male, elderly and women were armed with cutlasses during the dispute.
Fighting words were used during the dispute. Some even physically attacked each other.
Calm was later restored in the village amid intense negotiations among the villagers for peace to be observed. Some villager elders such as one Kebba Bah, were said to have traveled to Janjangbureh on Thursday to engage regional leaders in that part of The Gambia. The Governor’s office had visited the village in the past to hep resolve the land dispute, but the problem still persists.
Residents of the area have called on President Adama Barrow to help intervene before the land dispute could degenerate into an ethic clash. They said the two ethnic group can hardly getting along in Sambang, following the change of government back in December of 2016.
The two communities have been getting along fine prior to the change of government. But that is not the case now. Sharing place of worship is now becoming a problem, residents said.