Longstanding URR Land Dispute Tackled
Authorities tackle longstanding land dispute in URR
Thursday, July 12, 2012
A serious land dispute that has been a tussle between the Camara Kunda of Fatoto and the villagers of Chewel, in the Kantora District, for the past two years, has finally been solved by the local authorities in the Upper River Region.
The dispute that had caused animosity between the parties involved was put to an end by the URR governor, police commissioner of the region, operatives of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) officers, chiefs, among other officials. It came after the governor of the region led the delegation to Chewel village on Tuesday to bring lasting solution to the two-year-old dispute.
Speaking at the farms that were the subjects of dispute, the alkalo of Chewel, Jobe Jawo, who gave an account of how the brawl started, said the Camara Kunda family has been staying with them for over a period of 70 years, butthat they later migrated to Fatoto in the same district.
He explained that the said farms were given to the Camaras for them to farm, but they were not making the best use of the farm. “What they did was to rent the farm to other neighbouring villages while the villagers (Chewel) are in need of farms,” he narrated.
Alkalo Jawo further explained that the Camaras were later called and advised to stop renting the said farms, but had turned a deaf ear to the villagers’ advice, who later decided to take the said farms and cultivate groundnut and rice on them.
Speaking on behalf of the Camara family, Mbemba Camara described the whole saga as a misunderstanding between them, and was quick to assert that there was a cordial relationship existing among their parents for many years.
He acknowledged that they migrated to Fatoto, but dismissed the allegation that they were renting the said farms to other villages. He then commended the governor and his team for their timely intervention in restoring peaceonce more.
After listening carefully to both parties, the governor of the region, Omar Khan said, “The aim of our visit is to ensure that peace prevails between you, the government of the Gambia and the Ministry of Regional Administration, Lands and Traditional Rulers, which do not tolerate any form of land dispute in the country.
So therefore we are doing everything possible to ensure that we bring peace between you.” He expressed optimism that the peace and cordial relationship that existed among their parents would continue to prevail among their children.
The police commissioner of the region, Ousman Jatta, commended the villages for accepting to end the misunderstanding, while urging them to come to terms and adopt the recommendation that the governor and his team have given them. The police commissioner was however quick to stress that land dispute of any form will not be compromised in the region.
After solving the problem, the governor and his team issued recommendations that the two parties should comply with. The recommendations included the compensation of the groundnut and rice cultivated on the farms, which were destroyed by the Camara Kunda; that Camaras should not rent the farms to others but that they should cultivate the farms themselves; maintain the relationship that exists between them; and to work as villagers with respect for each other.
The peace gathering culminated into hands shake and goodwill prayers that the crisis will never ever erupt.
Author: Momodou Jawo in Basse, URR;Observer