President Adama Barrow of the Gambia will in the coming days receive an independent report into June’s fatal clash between the villagers of Faraba Banta and the Police Intervention Unit.
Three people were killed and scores of others seriously injured after riot police fired live ammunition at a crowd of villagers protesting against sand mining in the village.
The killing of the protesters angered many Gambians and right groups who put pressure on the government to set up an independent inquiry into the incident presided over by Emmanuel Daniel Joof, Neneh MC Cham, Abdoulie Colley, Omar Cham and Yusupha Jallow as commissioners and Chalis Njai as secretary to the commission.
As part of effort to get to dig out the circumstances that led to the death of three villagers, injuries of many others and the damage to properties, the commission heard evidence from 85 witnesses and conducted field trips to Faraba Banta, Sanyang and Gunjur.
It also interviewed and consulted members of civil society organisation and individuals who although not witnesses to the events on 18th June 2018, were however considered knowledgeable and or conversant with the issues and related matters being investigated in order to assist the Commission reach an informed decision.
The commission summoned both Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) and Quantum Television (QTV) to provide video footages of the incident recorded in Faraba Banta on the 18th June 2018 by their cameramen and reporters to assist the commission with their fact finding.
And although the report is yet to be made public, it is expected to identify the officers responsible for the deaths, including those who may have ordered the firings and those who fired the shots and a number of recommendations to avoid future recurrence of such events in the country. It also made recommendations aimed at improving police duties and police crowd control capabilities.