Members of Gambia's Army forces are seen in front of  Supreme Court in Banjul, Gambia December 5, 2016. Picture taken December 5, 2016. REUTERS/ Thierry Gouegnon

Gambia: Dozens arrested in post-electoral violence

Gambian authorities have arrested tens of people for sparking violence after the first major elections since the ouster of longtime dictator, Yahya Jammeh.

Scores of people have been arrested, especially in southern Gambia, where a defeated independent candidate assaulted a girl in a crowd that gathered at his compound gate to provoke him.

Momodou Jarju, who was defeated by the UDP’s Alhagie Darboe was among those arrested and charged with assault. He has been released on bail.

“As the group arrived at the compound of Mr. Momodou Jarju chanting, drumming, singing and dancing, it was alleged that some UDP supporters uttered abusive and provocative languages towards Mr. BU Jarju who was busy addressing his sympathizers to remain calm and accept his defeat in good faith,” the police statement said.

APRC supporters in the Fonis, which is a stronghold for ousted leader, Yahya Jammeh saw several people arrested. The APRC supporters threw stones at homes of those who are believed to be supporters of the UDP party, which won an absolute majority in Thursday’s elections.

At least 3 people were seriously injured and 26 people were arrested, according to the police. They were charged with assault causing actual bodily harm, prohibition of conduct conducive to the breach of the peace.

The police reported that a handful of people had clashes with their personnel in Central Gambia and had arrested at least two supporters of the former ruling PPP party, who mounted an illegal checkpoint, claiming to deter non-citizen voters.

Gambia is mainland Africa’s smallest nation and best unknown for being a tourist paradise for British holidaymakers. The country voted out longtime military-backed president, Yahya Jammeh, who was forced to flee to Equatorial Guinea after regional troops were deployed to depose him.

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