Youth leaders of Gunjur and a representative of the village’s Alkalo Gikke Darboe have met governor of West Coast Region on Wednesday.
Natives of Gunjur are demanding action from central government over the land dispute the town has with Berending. Close to a dozen youths from Gunjur have met Governor Bakary Sanyang on Wednesday at his office in Brikama.
Berending is a village few kilometers from Gunjur. The village has been reportedly given land by natives of Gunjur to settle. However, Gunjur now said Berending is claiming ownership of land that does not belong to them.
The land dispute started over 20 years ago and there was reportedly a court ruling on the case involving the disputed lands in 1988. However, the case which cost one person his life few months ago still festers.
Lamin Jassey, a youth leader in Gunjur, said they have listened for too long to the Government and their community is now pushed to the wall.
“There were several court rulings in this case… We have had several discussions and yet no actions were taken by the state to solve the issue,” said Lamin Jassey in discussion with Governor Sanyang.
“… After leaving your office without any practical solution, we are going ahead to take what belong to us…
“We are not listening to any promises and we are not coming here again… We have come for our last meeting so that you could hear what is with the youths…”
Dembo Darboe, the Gunjur Alkalo’s representative at the meeting, said natives of Gunjur feel that the authorities are not listening to them.
The community also complained of what they consider an unwillingness on the side of the authorities to arrest and prosecute Buba Drammeh, the young man who reportedly shot and killed Buba Jammeh. The dispute between Drammeh and Jammeh is connected to the same land issue.
“Buba Drammeh, the guy who shot and killed our Gunjur native comes to Berending… We see him all the time…,” said Omar Bun Darboe. Darboe claims the soldiers stationed at Gunjur do see Drammeh but don’t arrest him.
“This is a provocation,” he said. Meanwhile, there is already a commission established by the President Adama Barrow to look into the land dispute. On that Commission sits Governor Sanyang.
Sanyang has asked the youths to be patient and have faith in the procedure that is being followed. He said the Commission that is looking into the land dispute is finalizing its work shortly.
“… We have started mapping the land to establish which lands are in dispute and which lands are not… We had a meeting on this issue last Wednesday. Today should be our last meeting on this issue,” said Sanyang.
“I want you to have trust and faith in the system… This issue will be resolved… amicably and fairly.” Sanyang said the Government has no interest in the case and thus have no reason to take sides.