The Governor for the Upper River Region, Alhaji Omar Sompo Ceesay, recently served as a mediator between the two Sarahuleh communities in the Region. As a result, Gambisara and Numuyel, both in the Jimara District of the Region, have decided to make peace.
The impasse came as a result of a crowd trouble that took place in the second half of a football match between the two neighbouring villages at the Basse Mini-Stadium, leading to 14 people sustaining injuries.
The Chairman of the Nawettan Organising Committee of Basse also sustained injury to his left eye and a police officer who was on duty at the field was also hit by a stone on the head.
Since then, reports indicated that natives of the two neighbouring villages weren’t allowed to set foot at each other’s territory. But during the course of the last weekend, a meeting was convened by the regional governor held at the Governor’s Bantaba bringing together the alkalolu and council of elders from the two villages, the security command in the region and youth representatives.
Speaking at the two-hour-long meeting, Governor Ceesay spoke at length on the significant of peace and stability particularly among young people. The government of The Gambia, he said, will not compromise anything that will jeopardise the peace and stability of the country in any of its form.
“Gambisara and Numuyel are the same people because you inter-marry and do everything together; therefore, we will not sit in our offices and allow you the young people to break that brotherlihood,” Governor Ceesay remarked.
The aim of the tournament, he added was to bring the faction groups in Jimara under one umbrella, particularly the youths with a view to enable them participate meaningfully in national development.
“Football in general is all about peace and harmony, thus it is important you work according to the ethics of the noble profession. We are not going to compromise the security of the region; whosoever, is found creating problem within the two villages would face the full force of the law,” he added.
Governor Ceesay noted that calm, peace and stability will continue to prevail in the region and the country at large as the securities of the country are committed towards the crusade, while urging active participation from the young people.
For his part, the Deputy Governor of the Region, Cherno Barra Touray spoke on the importance of the meeting, urging the youths from the two villages to settle their differences and nurture unity.
The purpose of the 12-team tournament, he said, was been defeated by the violence. “I was shocked when I heard about the problem because I always told the governor that there will be a time in URR when the Sarahulehs will dominate football in the region,” he affirmed.
DG Touray added that football cannot go in the absence of discipline, thus it is important for the parties to ensure unity in order for them to achieve their fundamental desires, while urging their parents to take the leading role in settling the impasse.
The Police Commissioner for URR, Omar Darboe dwelled on the significance of peace and security, adding that no meaningful development can be achieved in the absence of peace and stability.
“Nobody has the right to say that the community of Gambisara will not go to Numuyel and the people of Numuyel will not go to Gambisara,” he stressed, saying that whosoever, is found creating problem within the two villages would be arrested and taken to court.
After the meeting, representatives from the two communities promised to restore peace and order between them. They were seen involved in emotional handshakes, an indication that they have finally buried the hatchet.
by Momodou Jawo in Basse, URR