Gambia charges, remands 7 for rioting over land dispute

Gambia charges, remands 7 for rioting over land dispute

Gambia’s police have charged at least seven people, who took part is protests that turned violent on Tuesday in Farato, a small town outside the city of Brikama.

The seven were charged for willful damage of properties, assaulting police officers, incitement of violence, and riotously destroying machinery.

They appeared before a judge at a magistrates’ court in Brikama, who remanded them and adjourned the case to Monday, police spokesperson, Foday Conta said.

Several people were injured during Tuesday’s riots, including police officers; vehicles were burnt, and a local real estate company, Manor Properties had their agents attacked, and at least two of their vehicles and a Caterpillar wheel dozer set on fire.

An eviction order sparked the protests as affected families protest the demolition of homes that the government says are built on illegally purchased lands.

Dozens of homes were brought down and residents say the Sheriff’s Office that was carrying out a high court order did not give them the chance to “at least take out our properties.”

Gambia has seen several protests in the last two weeks. Protesters resisted the selling of a land in Kololi, in the Kanifing region by one of the country’s ambassadors at large, Saul Frazer of Global Properties.

The Farato incident is regarded a warning for could be similar incidents around the West African nation if a land’s commission is not established to settle disputes.

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