Gambia arrests 22 for rioting over ECOMIG

Soldiers from The ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG)

The Gambia’s Interior Minister Mai Ahmad Fatty confirmed the arrest of 22 protesters, who on Friday took to street demanding the withdrawal of ECOMIG soldiers from their community.

In a late night televised statement on Saturday the minister condemned the deadly riot that took place in Kanilai, the home village of former president Yahya Jammeh.

He accused the protestors in Kanilai and the border villages of Cassamance in Senegal of protesting riotously without acquiring a permit from the police.

Some of the protesters were in possession of arms demanding the joint security including the ECOMIG forces to leave the village.

“During the exchange two protesters and one ECOMIG officer were injured. Unfortunately, one of the injured protestors died this morning at the Edward Francis Small Teaching Hospital in Banjul,” Minister Fatty said.

“There were 22 people arrested from the incident while the village head of Kanilai and others went into hiding but efforts are on the way to find them,” he stated.

Fatty said President Adama Barrow has convened an emergency security meeting with the security chiefs to address the circumstances prevailing in the country particularly the Kanilai incident.

He said the presence of the ECOMIG soldiers in the country was caused by the former president when he refused to step down and hand over power peacefully after he was voted out of office on December 1 presidential elections.

According to the Gambian minister, the Constitution has guaranteed the right for peaceful protest or freedom of assembly or association but it must be exercised within the confines of the law.

“You either abide by the law or you will be consumed by the law,” he warned.


Zainab Sa’id