Gambia: 3 Months After Gilanfari Landmine Explosion, No Sign Of De-Mining (Gambia)
More than three months after the tragic landmine explosion on 2 December, 2007 at Gilanfari, a border village with the Senegalese region of Casamance, which led to the death of two students, there appears to be no sign of de-mining by The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF).
Following the aftermath of the tragic explosion, the Public Relations Officer of The Gambia Armed Forces, Lieutenant Alagie Sanneh, noted the resolve of GAF to de-mine the suspected border areas but the residents of Gilanfari have repeatedly expressed concern that they have not seen any sign of de-mining.
Residents who spoke to Foroyaa, said they last saw security agents and other authorities a few days after the landmine explosion but none has visited them to discuss the proposed de-mining exercise. They noted that the area where the mine exploded is strategic for their numerous activities. They said the areas link their village to The Gambian border villages, such as Tamba Kunda and that they feared a re-occurrence of the incident.
They also claimed that herdsmen have abandoned the said area and that this has caused difficulty in grazing their cattle. They reiterated that the landmine incident has sent a wave of fear in the villages close to the Senegalese region of Casamance.
This reporter has been making efforts to get the comment of the GAF PRO for more than two weeks now, but his efforts failed to bear fruit. As soon as we get information from him, we shall publish it.
Our readers could recall that the landmine explosion led to the tragic death of two students, Edrisa Badjie and Lamin Jammeh and the other one, Jainaba Badjie, sustaining injuries. The deceased were both nine years of age and attending Tamba Kunda Lower Basic School, while the injured was eight years old girl and at Grade Three in the same school.
Von: 7.4.2008, allafrica.com, Modou Jonga