Gambian authorities not prosecuting UDP convoy attacker

Gambian authorities not prosecuting UDP convoy attacker

Gambian authorities in the city of Bwiam are declining to release any information about a man who attacked the convoy of the main opposition UDP party in the Foni city of Bwiam, 43 miles east of the administrative capital of Brikama.

The man, who is said to be in his late 30s attacked the convoy attempting to reach the party’s presidential candidate Adama Barrow with a pickaxe. Barrow has been nominated to lead a coalition of seven opposition parties on Sunday, at a convention outside of the capital, Banjul.

The police intervened arresting the unknown man but later released him without any charges.

A video of the incident surfaced online but the UDP could not provide any further details regarding the handling of the case.

The man is suspected to be a member of the ruling APRC party and as result is unlikely to be prosecuted, political activists say.

The Gambia’s military chief has warned against electoral violence in the West African country and said those found wanting will be dealt with regardless of their political affiliation.

The pre-electoral environment in The Gambia turned violent causing an international condemnation when the riot police used excessive force to suppress series of protests in and around the capital. More than 50 opposition supporters have since been arrested sent to prison, including the UDP leader Ousainou Darboe.

The UN said at least two opposition activists have died in prison, including one that was tortured in custody. Requests by the UN to conduct a fact-finding mission have not been responded to and Gambian authorities are fighting an investigation attempt by the African rights commission.

The country’s President Yahya Jammeh made a unanimous decision last week to withdraw from the International Criminal Court, sending signals of a brutal post-electoral crackdown in this small country.

Electoral observers say intimidation has been used as a tactic is previous presidential polls with ECOWAS ruling the country’s 2011 votes as not free and fair.

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