The people of Foni felt provoked flaring tensions that led to confrontations between opposition and government supporters.
A senior member of a reconciliation committee that submitted recommendations to President Adama Barrow said the people of Foni felt that certain comments by some senior officials were provoking.
“The people of Foni expressed their support to the new government. They have nothing against them. But they felt provoked, especially by some comments made by some senior officials,” said Gen. Lang Tombong Tamba.
“The confrontations that happened in Foni were between them and government supporters, not the government itself.”
Tamba, a former military chief said the people of the opposition stronghold felt left out following ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s ouster.
Jammeh had made Kanilai the second political capital, making the Foni region a prominent area.
His defeat also saw the people of Foni missing out on handouts, mostly food items and free electricity provided to them by Jammeh.
More than 50 people have been arrested by Gambian authorities since February further fueling unrest in the region.
A protest outside Jammeh’s compound in Kanilai left one person dead and several people injured, forcing the government to give a strong warning that while it will protect citizens rights it will not condone any act that seeks to spark a political crisis.
Calm has returned to Foni since talks for reconciliation by prominent citizens from region started last month.
Gambian prosecutors have dropped charges against at least 23 people who were arrested during post-electoral skirmishes in the region in the spirit of reconciliation.