Gambia launches crackdown on protest movement - International | NTV

Gambia launches crackdown on protest movement

Monday January 27, 2020



The Gambian government on Sunday launched a crackdown on a weeks-old movement demanding the departure of President Adama Barrow, following violent demonstrations in which medical officials say three protesters were killed.

Tension has been building in The Gambia, a tiny West African country surrounded by Senegal, over Barrow's decision to stay in office for five years after initially pledging to step down after three.

Police in the capital Banjul on Sunday fired tear gas at hundreds of protesters, who responded by throwing stones and setting tyres on fire, an AFP correspondent at the scene said.

Police arrested 137 people at the demonstration, it added.

The government later announced a ban on the "Three Years Jotna (is up) Movement", the group that has spearheaded weeks of protests calling for Barrow to step down.

In a statement, spokesman Ebrima Sankareh said the group was a "subversive, violent and illegal movement" that was "determined to illegally overthrow the constitutionally elected president".

The group's president Abdou Njie was also arrested on Sunday, according to an AFP journalist, although the government would not confirm it was holding Njie.

Three people were killed in Sunday's clashes according to Kebba Manneh, director of the Serrekunda hospital where victims were taken.

Red Cross sources said 28 people were taken Sunday to Serrekunda hospital, close to where protesters had gathered in the districts of Old Jeshwang and Stink Corner on the outskirts of Banjul.

The government denied that any protesters were killed on Sunday.