Dankunku Villagers In CRR South Impound Vehicle Loaded With Mahogany Logs

The truck impounded with cut logs

By: Kebba Ansu Manneh

Dankunku villagers of the Central River Region have impounded a truck reportedly loaded with logs of Mahogany.

TAT was informed that the vehicle was impounded around 12:30 a.m. on Friday when villagers barricaded the main highway to prevent it from leaving Dankunku.

Nuha Saidykhan, an eyewitness, said they heard the sound of a vehicle on the outskirts of the village at night and that he went to see what was happening.

When he arrived, he found people loading a truck. “I asked who gave them the Mahogany and whether they had documents from Forestry. They didn’t give any genuine response. This made me suspicious and led me to inform some youths and the Jareng Police,” Saidykhan told TAT.

One Omar Kanyi was the alleged owner of the logs found being loaded onto the truck.

He reportedly agreed with the VDC to pay D35,000 and to give D3000 to D5000 to the boys blocking the road. However, “some villagers objected and insisted that the vehicle will not leave Dankunku because the logs were cut from our community forest.”

TAT interviewed Omar Kanyi. He said he was hunting in the bushes in Dankunku when he came across a felled Mahogany tree. He said he got it cut into logs to transport them for sale. He said he was loading the logs when Nuha Saidykhan confronted him in the forest.

Kanyi also confirmed that he agreed to pay the VDC D35,000 once the logs were sold. However, some villagers interfered and rejected the amount. He also attempted to bribe the youths who barricaded the highway, but he failed.

One Baboucarr Camara also spoke to TAT. Camara claimed that Dankunku’s VDC rejected Kanyi’s D35,000 offer after some villagers objected and said the VDC would gain more money by selling the Mahogany.

He said the matter is now with the Forestry Department, which has started court action. The Niamina Dankunku District Tribunal is expected to hear the case on Tuesday.

According to Saidykhan, the Mahogany was sourced from Ngunuma Sutu and Mam Biram Janneh Sutu, the community forest parks managed by the community. They were “very thick forest parks that have now been emptied by smugglers and lumber jackers to the detriment of the community of Dankunku village.”

Another person who prefers anonymity said what remains of the community forest must be protected. He added that more than five mahogany trees were recently felled at the community’s forest parks without any trace of the culprits.

Before we went to press, efforts to get the Regional Forestry Officer in Central River Region South to shed light on this development in his area were unsuccessful.


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