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Gambia’s former Inspector General of police Landing Kinteh says he resigned from his post to give chance to the nation’s healing process amid the killing of two Gambian environmentalists by the country’s police intervention unit (PIU). Kinteh, speaking for the first time since he tendered his resignation letter on Thursday, said, he also resigned based on principles. “ Yes, this morning I tendered my resignation with the president through the Secretary General. Shortly after submitting my resignation, I got a response that it has been accepted. It is confirmed,” he told the Freedom Newspaper in an exclusive interview.  

Landing Kinteh is a lawyer by profession. He contends that he deems it imperative to resign to safeguard his image and that of the police.

“ Well ofcourse, that is not farfeteched. It has a lot to do with the happenings; where over the weeks, there has been a lot of tensions. I think the country needs a heal and I think I should be part of that healing process. And for the fact that it is for the command’s responsibility even though I am not actively responsible; I did not participate; the fact that the officers that are blamed are under my command, I think the honourable think is to tender my resignation,” Kinteh said.

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When asked whether his resignation will not confirm that he is complicit in the murder of the two Faraba residents, Kinteh responded in the negative. He says his resignation should not be misconstrued to suggest in anyway that he is guilty of any crime.

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“Far from it; it is not confirming; it cannot confirm and it will not confirm. In the first place, we never gave any order for anybody to shoot anybody; although in a riot situation if there is need to be the use of firearms, it has to be communicated through the chain of command, until the highest authority to give a directive, but that was never done. And the paramilitary discussions we had with the officers is that they took their initiatives on their own without consulting anybody,” he said.

“And again, I was supposed to be out of the country, on that day, in fact, I got to know about the incident just the way you know about it; in the sense that I was on my way out of the country; when I saw some missed calls on my phone; when I called back they said you know: we just want to inform you that the Minister called to tell us that there is an incident in Faraba. We sent a deployment there; that is how I got to know; and I said well I am coming to the office; they said you are no more going; I said no, let me just come to the office and see how the situation unfolds before I leave; then it happened we started recording causalities; then I said no; that means I am not going anymore,” he added.

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The resigned police chief believes that the National Assembly Select Committee on the Environment might have triggered the Faraba incident, which left two Gambian environmentalists dead. He told the Freedom Newspaper that the NAMS Select Committee on the environment allegedly triggered incident.

“ This issue has to do with the National Assembly Select Committee on the environment. We understand that they went to the community; they told them that they already told Julakay to desist mining in the area and this information was not filtered to the police; I don’t think it was filtered to Julakay and I am not aware of any message that was send to the police. The community also went to the guard post, where the police are and told them that mining will not take place here because the National Assembly Select Committee told us that they have given instructions that no mining should take place. So, if this has been communicated to Geology, which has the issuing authority of the license; I know they will also inform us; and if that is the case; we will work on the case; but that was not done. So, the time they came to mention this to the officers on guard and the time they attacked was almost the same time,” Kinteh said.

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For more on the story, tune in to the Freedom Radio Gambia’s Civic Education show. Our interview with the former IGP Landing Kinteh would be aired.

Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai

From: Freedom Newspaper

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