Gambia: Mixing Religion With Land Dispute

Everybody claims that The Gambia is unique in terms of religious tolerance. Examples are given of how Muslims and Christians exchange gifts during the commemoration of different feasts. Hence no one envisages a conflict between members of the two faiths.

Foroyaa however is beginning to detect threats due to the mixing of land claims with religion. In short, human settlements have been linked to the establishment of grave yards, shrines and other places of worship. Practice has shown that beliefs are treasured more than life and some are ready to go to their graves for their beliefs.

Now that land disputes are common, the state needs to identify all those places which have been used as graveyards and shrines, where claims of ownership are being made to try and settle the claims through the offer of alternative sites so that conflict could be avoided. Such matters are not settled by courts. They are settled by Alternative Dispute resolutions.

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