Looming Kiang West Land Dispute Decided but Unresolved
Friday, January 28, 2011
Governor’s office recently delivered a verdict in the land dispute that threatens violence between the disputing villages of Nioro Jattaba and Sankandi in Kiang West. However the longstanding dispute between the neighbouring villages is yet to be resolved, The Daily News gathers.
The row has been brought to the attention of the Governor of Lower River Region in the wake of tension that erupted after the district elders had decided in favour of Sankandi village.
After failing initial promise to preside over the matter, Governor Lamin Waa Juwara finally summoned both parties in a bid to settle the matter. But Juwara said the matter was not decided in his presence as he went to attend the funeral of the late chief of Nyamina Dankunku.
Meanwhile it was held at the end of the meeting that the lands in question belong to Sankandi. And in what could be described as a compromise, the decision allowed the people of Sankandi to continue their settlement plan – to measure up to nine compounds – while the people of Nioro will continue on their farming activities, but on the remaining lands.
The Daily News has learnt that despite agreeing to the terms, the people of Nioro are not willing to let go off any portion of their lands.
“I will not allow any attempt to demarcate my farmlands for settlement purposes unless and until I am given another land which is equal in size and value,” said Mr Jabel Bah of Nioro, who is a party to the dispute.
When contacted, Governor Juwara however said his recommendation was that although the lands are situated in Sankandi, the ownership cannot be changed. This means the people of Nioro are bona fide owners, but the lands in question, have to be registered under Sankandi. He said he not aware of the final decision reached by his subordinates after he left.
Author: Ebrima Bah