Gambia’s Interior Minister says Kanilai shootings were ‘accidentally discharged’

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Τhe Gambia’s Interior Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty told a news conference on Friday that gun shots between Senegalese led ECOMIG forces and Gambian soldiers on Thursday in Kanila, home of former President Jammeh was as a result of ‘miscommunication’. And described the gun shots an ‘accidental discharge’.

“There was no intentional effort by Senegalese soldiers to shoot anybody.

“It was an accidental discharge that resulted into minor injuries.

They were all taken to the hospital and release the same day. The incident was regrettable,” said Fatty.

Minister Fatty confirmed that 3 Gambians soldiers were shot and wounded on their legs but their injuries were not life-threatening. He said the incident was a result of ‘miscommunication’ between the commands bases of both sides.

“At the time of the incident, our arm forces did not get clearance from the Gambia Arm Forces command base. The Gambian soldiers could not allow ECOMIG access.

“Fundamentally, the Senegalese forces also, acting within their mandate, which allows them unrestricted access to that area, also felt that they have a right of access to the place,” Said Fatty.

He said there is no cause for alarm and that there was no serious confrontation between the Gambia Arm Forces and ECOMIG forces on the ground. He said it was due to ‘miscommunication’ that resulted to what transpired.

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He added:

“The meeting took place between the ECOMIG and Gambian sides and we have reaffirm our commitment to work together to secure the country. There is no confrontation.”

Fatty further praised Gambian soldiers for their responsible and disciplined attitude they used to handle the situation.

“Our soldiers are very experienced and they are very disciplined.

“They did not return fire, which really helped in deescalating the tension. All measures have been taken to avert this kind of a situation.”

Fatty said the incident has been used by people he called ‘confusionists’ to peddle rumours that the country is not safe or certain people are being targeted. And, added “ECOMIG forces are not here to be against us. They are here for us.”

The regional forces have been deployed in Gambia on January 19 to restore democracy following former President Jammeh`s refusal to cede after an election defeat.

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