Sunday, June 11

Gun Shell lands in my Compound – Alkalo of Upart-Foni –

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By Mustapha Jarju

Narrating his ordeal in the recent operation of the MFDC, Sadibou Sonko, the Alkalo of Upart, one of the Gambia border villages in Foni Berefet District, just a stone’s throw from MFDC base in Casamance, on Wednesday, 10th May 2023, explained to The Voice that many gun shells landed at the center of his compound and around the village but they were recovered by the Gambian Military force in Kanilai.

Alkalo Sonko said on Tuesday morning, they heard heavy gun sounds around 7:00 AM which continued until past 5 pm, and the sounds were coming from a far distance shells from the gunshots were landing in his village. 

“Upon realizing this tense situation I advise my people to evacuate women and children from the village to other villages along the trans-Gambia highway. Currently, it is only men that are in the village,” Alkalo of Upart confirmed.

He said, whenever there is any instability in the bushes of the neighboring village, Cassamance, they always call the Gambian Army to come and guard them and evacuate their families.

He said further that since last year when the conflict between the Senegalese soldiers and the MFDC, movement began, they have not been able to get firewood from the bushes.  

He said, “The refugees that ran from Cassamance into our village are the ones we are living here with, we lean on the support they are having for our survival. The government provided us with seedlings that we benefitted from, and currently, we are clearing the bushes for this year’s farming season”.  

He went on that “we are afraid and some are even debating if they will be able to do farming this season, while others already confirmed that they cannot go inside their farmlands to farm until there is peace in the area. Bricklayers and carpenters working on new buildings have stopped working to avoid stray bullets that can come from any direction.”