At least six people were injured on Friday, two of them seriously, during clashes between ECOMIG troops and supporters of Gambia’s ex-president, Yahya Jammeh in Kanilai, says the MP for the district, Musa Amul Nyassi.
Those wounded were taken to the Bwiam medical center and at least three of them, in critical conditions were transported to the teaching hospital in the capital, Banjul.
“Live ammunitions were used in Kanilai, not rubber bullets, and two of the victims are in critical conditions,” Nyassi said.
Protesters stormed Jammeh’s home in Kanilai, 74 miles southeast of Banjul demanding the departure of West Africa troops stationed in Jammeh’s seized compound.
Roads were blocked and tires set ablaze at the entrance of the village. The protesters, mostly locals from the region where Jammeh still has strong support, were visibly angry and using profanity.
Foni had seen unrest since Jammeh’s ouster. It is the epicenter of tension between government and opposition supporters after last month’s parliamentary elections.
Three Gambian soldiers were shot in April after they reportedly attacked West African troops. Gambian authorities downplayed the incident as an accidental discharge.
MP Nyassi accused West African troops of intentionally wounding the three local soldiers, who were guarding Jammeh’s abandoned palace.
Gambian security forces have been facing difficulties in the Foni region. Locals have prevented police investigators from entering Jammeh’s home to “search for some weapons” and identify the burial ground of two U.S. citizens.
Gambia’s new president, Adama Barrow is traveling to meet with regional leaders in Liberia’s capital, Monrovia. His government has not made any statement regarding Friday’s protest.
West African troops were deployed to The Gambia to enforce the outcome of the election in which Jammeh suffered a shocking defeat in the hands of Barrow.
Jammeh refused to cede power and the troops were poised to oust him before he fled to Equatorial Guinea. A court has ordered a freeze on Jammeh’s domestic assets and is reaching out to have his international properties withheld.
(Reporting by Omar Wally; Writing by Sam Phatey)