Dozens of villagers have been left critically injured, one in a precarious situation of dying, amid a communal land dispute between the Fulani/Mandinka villagers of Niamina Sambang, Freedom Newspaper can report. The wounded villagers have been hospitalized at the Dankunku health center. Niamina Sambang is in the Central River Region of The Gambia.
The simmering land dispute between the two communities had been unfolding since the advent of President Barrow’s rule. Incidents of communal fighting are a common routine in that locality.
Tuesday’s incident came in the wake of reports suggesting that a donkey had trespassed into the farm of one Pa Jallow. Pa Jallow is from the Fulani community in Sambang. The donkey came from the Mandinka community.
Tempers flared up and there was a fight between the hostile communities. Sounds of gunshot could be heard in the village. The villagers were armed with traditional weapons. They chopped each other with cutlass, axes, and sticks.
An eighty-year-old man, one Kebba Barrow, of the Mandinka community was reportedly attacked and beaten up at his shop. His gun was taken away from him.
On the Fulani side, two houses were reportedly burnt to ashes. They are vowing to retaliate tonight.
Meanwhile, the situation remains tense in Niamina Sambang. There is a strong police presence in the village.
The first contingent of the police intervention unit, who were deployed to quell the communal unrest couldn’t defuse the fight. They had to call for a reinforcement from George town.
A good number of villagers, who were engaged in the fight have been arrested. They are currently helping the police in their investigations.
The police spokesman Superintendent Lamin Njie was contacted for comment, but his line was busy. He was indisposed for comment.
In another development, we just spoke to the police spokesman Lamin Njie. He says he is going to get back to us tomorrow with an update on the matter.