The Gambia Police Force (GPF), have confirmed that it has dispatched reinforcements to Diabugu village in Sandu district of the Upper River Region, to maintain peace and order in the wake of recent violent scuffles over the caste system.
As readers can recall, violent clashes broke out between the 'freeborn' and 'slaves' of the village last Friday, when the former attempted to deny the latter from observing Friday prayers due to the status of their social class. This was the information given to a Foroyaa reporter by the Station Officer (S.O) of Diabugu Police Station, Inspector Kumbi Sarjo.
According SO Sarjo, the freeborn including the Alkalo, laid down five conditions which include the following:
human remains of slaves will not be buried at the village's cemetery;
they will not be allowed to pray in the village mosque;
they will not be allowed to attend any social activity within the village
they will not be allowed to use public water supply facilities such as taps and finally,
the Police Station be relocated from the village, because they no longer need their services.
S.O. Sarjo said they are facing challenges in their operations to maintain peace and stability in the community, because some of the natives see them differently; that some of the so called 'freeborn', think the Police are siding with the so called 'slaves'; that this is eventually leading to some Officers renting in their compounds, to driven out.
S.O. express fears for the safety of the officers indicating the possibilities that they could be attacked by villagers.
However, Police spokesperson ASP Lamin Njie said the situation is now calm for the Police to stay, because the GPF Commander has dispatched a reinforcement team to maintain peace and order.
"The police are present in Diabugu to maintain the peace. We want to ensure that violence does not erupt in the village and for peace to prevail. The Station is not under threat so far, since the incident. All we are doing is to monitor the situation on the ground and ensure that such kind of issues do not erupt again," said ASP Njie.
He said the monitoring is being done by the Police Reinforcement team.