Monday, October 3

Official source refutes Environmentalist statement Gambia Complicit in Cassamance Rebellion

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By: Nyima Sillah

An official source on Monday has rejected remarks made by an environmentalist who had claimed that “Gambia complicit in Cassamance rebellion”

In an exclusive interview with The Voice, the source said: “I disagree to associate rebellion with this timber dealing, this can’t be. After 50 years, Senegal invaded our forest cover, and destroy our Northern Gambia forest cover e.g., Badibu, Saloum, CRR North and URR North and so on all is dry and hot caused by the Senegalese. We play no role in that. Gambian Timber dealers are business personnel, dealing with Timber.”

“The timber that is laying in the bush is what the Gambian Timber vendors go and bring to the Gambia. Thus, is not the Gambian people who go there to cut their trees, If anyone says that, it is not true,” Source denied.

More so, the source continued that “this is the reality on the ground compared to the way they (Senegalese) exploit Northern Gambia,” adding that the local communities don’t benefit anything, everything is taken to Senegal because they don’t care about the local communities.

Meanwhile, the source as well disagrees with the Gambia being the highest exporter of Timber, adding that the Gambia cannot compete with Guinea Bissau when it comes to timber exportation, that Guinea was the highest and still the highest of Timber exportation, but not the Gambia.

“The Gambia cannot be the highest, we don’t have that number of logs, we don’t have that amount of biodiversity, we don’t have that number of timbers, so we cannot be the highest, even Senegal is higher than the Gambia,” the source further rejected that statement.

According to the source, in 2016 to date, many timber trucks were been confiscated by Senegalese people. “Where were those timbers being taken, are they in Senegal? All are exported and those timbers were sold to our Timber vendors by the Cassamance people,” the source revealed.

The source further revealed that the country has a forest act with forest policy which are in place, but complained that the problem is good governance, saying that the Gambia is becoming a failure in many areas, because of political governance.