Saturday, November 26

Army border patrol in Foni welcomed

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By Mustapha Jarju

Residents and people of border villages affected by the Casamance conflict have welcomed the Gambian soldiers’ border patrol in Foni, as they expressed relief.

Gambian army last weekend toured some of the most affected Gambian villages at the south border to offer psychosocial support and assured their safety amid the Casamance conflict.

Speaking to reporters, Malamin Colley, Alkalo of Karunorr said the “Gambia Army patrol team is helping us here when they are on patrol. They allow us to give water to our animals and also provide security for people to go their cashew farms to harvest. Doing this they spend some hours, at least 3 hours guarding us to make sure we are safe.”

According to him, many of his villagers have fled after the rebels come closer to the village to launch attack on the Senegalese soldiers.

“The rebels were standing behind us this has caused a lot of fear among the people of our village that many of them fled the village,” he disclosed.

“When the fighting tension was high and shells were landing in the Gambian territory, we were advised by the Gambian soldiers to leave the villages with the promise that no Senegalese soldier would enter into any of the Gambian villages in the border. When normalcy returned, they called us to return back to our villages,” he narrated.

According to him, they got to understand that some of their cattle were killed.

Count his loses and blessings, Musa Colley from the Karunorr village said “Our cashew farms are at the border but we are not harvesting them because it is not safe. The amount of money I have from cashew annually goes around one hundred and fifty thousand dalasis. Now our farms were burned down, we cannot be at our farm and our kids are not learning. We are frustrated.”