A Guinean, resident in the Gambia’s southern Foni region was shot and killed by separatist fighters at a border town in Senegal’s Casamance province, family members and the police said.
Alpha Omar Jallow, 53, is a 30-year resident of Foni Bullock and works as a local coal worker, producing charcoal in Foni and Casamance.
Jallow was shot in the Casamance rebel stronghold of Kurage, not far from the Gambian border last week when he got into a dispute with some the separatists.
Gambia Police Spokesperson, ASP Foday Conta said Jallow was shot in the neck by his attackers when he went into the forest across the Gambian border to burn some wood to get his charcoal.
“He left to see if the wood had burnt into charcoal and he never returned. One of the Casamance rebel commanders informed that he [Jallow] was shot and has died,” a relative, Momodou Krubally said.
“We informed some people and later went to retrieve his body. A rebel commander handed the body over to us, which was laying near the heap of charcoal.”
Jallow’s killers threw him on the burning charcoal, which smoked most parts of his body. The remains were carried to the Bullock Police Station by family members.
Detectives took photos and other evidence but advised that the incident happened out of Gambia’s jurisdiction. Family members buried Jallow the following day.
Jallow has been in the charcoal business for decades but over the last three years, he was reportedly contracted by the rebel force to work for them, producing the fuel to help finance their liberation struggle.
Gambia’s border with Senegal, although being heavily militarized lately is very porous. Separatist fighters have been trying to gain independence from Dakar.
The Casamance conflict is an ongoing low-level struggle that has been waged between the Government of Senegal and the Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance.
The MFDC had organized peaceful independence demonstrations. In 1982 the organization’s leaders were arrested, sparking a vicious circle of increased resistance and Senegalese Army clampdowns.