By Lamin Njie
President Adama Barrow has suspended officials of the National Environment Agency and Geology Department who were implicated in the Faraba Banta tragedy.
The suspension of the officials is contained in a report by President Barrow on Wednesday where he outlined a string of measures being taken in respect of the Faraba Banta incident. Faraba was thrust to national focus on 18 June 2018 when villagers there protested against the granting of a licence to a private company to win sand in Faraba. Armed police officers who were drafted to the scene clashed with the protesters leading to the death of three protesters.
The President, announcing the suspension of NEA and Geology Department officials on Wednesday, said: “Those persons at the NEA and GD directly responsible for the failure to follow established guidelines in the issuance of the mining licence to Julakay Ltd have been suspended without pay for six calendar months with immediate effect.”
President Barrow also said in the Gambia Government White Paper on the Report of the Faraba Banta Commission of Inquiry that Julakay Ltd will not be ‘issued any other licence’.
“The licence issued to Julakay Ltd for sand mining in Faraba Banta has since expired in July 2018 and shall not be renewed; nor shall Julakay Ltd be issued with any licence for the conduct of any other sand mining activities in Faraba Banta until further notice,” the President said.