I learnt with deep regret about the clashes between some members of the Police Intervention Unit – PIU and some members of the community of Faraba in Kombo East. We are a mourning nation today, and my sincere condolences go to the families of Bakary Kujabi and Ismaila Bah for their loss, and I pray that Allah grant them solace.
Today, I visited the Francis Small Teaching Hospital and met the wounded from the incident. My prayers are with them, and my heart is with all those who have been injured and are recovering at the hospital.
I have instructed for a full investigation into the matter to determine the actions needed to address the situation and prevent a re-occurrence in any part of the country.
I have been updated that three of the armed PIU officers involved in the incident at Faraba are currently in police custody, and one of them, who was armed and got injured during the incident, is also admitted to hospital.
Our security forces are mandated to protect lives and property and, under no circumstance should they use live bullets against unarmed and defenceless citizens, and all those found wanting will be dealt with according to the laws of the land.
The Gambia has been known for its culture of peace and stability, which makes it the pride of Africa as the home of Human Rights and the smiling Coast of Africa. There is no reason why we should resort to violence or illegal use force to solve our problems.
My government will take practical steps and legal measures to avoid such forms of violence. The laws of the land are available to all citizens to seek for re-dress through legal means. Let us engage in our activities in a responsible and civil manner, as a sure way to jointly build a better and brighter Gambia for all.
In the New Gambia, we are determined to safeguard our freedom and democracy in a peaceful atmosphere as we aspire to develop our dear motherland. All citizens in the New Gambia should enjoy their constitutional rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful demonstration within the ambit of the law. My government will not condone violent acts to continue by either armed officers or civilians. The peace, security and stability of the country are fundamental for all citizens to enjoy their basic human rights, and allow us to pursue our agenda for social, economic and political reforms.
We are One People, One Nation, One Gambia. Let us remain united, and as enshrined in our national anthem, “let justice guide our actions, towards the common good.”
Thank you for your attention.