The new presidential hopeful for the opposition United Democratic Party, Adama Barrow has promised The Gambian people jobs, end to political persecutions, and economic, judicial and political reforms if voted into office in the country’s critical December general elections.
Barrow, a real estate mogul and accountant blamed President Yahya Jammeh’s government for the long suffering of Gambians in the West African nation that has gone nearly insolvent.
“I will work to build your roads, build community relations, end political persecutions, fix trade difficulties and strengthen Gambia’s international relations,” he said. “I call on you all to vote for United Democratic Party, a party for the Gambia and Gambians built on freedom and Justice.”
The UDP is The Gambia’s main opposition party. The party is on a caravan tour similar to the one that caused confrontation between opposition supporters and security forces last April in Fass, a town some 10 miles from the country’s northern border with Senegal.
The Gambia has one of the highest migration proportion. Due to high unemployment and repression of the government, many of the country’s youths are risking getting caught in the middle of the conflict in Libya, forced labor, kidnapped for ransom or spending months in inhumane prison conditions as they journey across the Sahara and crossing the Mediterranean into Europe.
Barrow called for non-violent resolution to the country’s problem but reiterated that President Jammeh’s government has targeted members of his party, who were consistently persecuted. At least 50 members of the UDP are currently being detained by Gambian authorities including the party’s leader and secretary General, Human Rights Attorney Ousainou Darboe.
The UN confirmed the death-in-custody of two of its members and has called on authorities in the West African state to provide medical care to the detainees, after credible reports of torture were made.