Reinforcement of troops has been made to the home of Gambia’s ousted leader, Yahya Jammeh after clashes between his supporters and West African forces left at least one person dead.
Protesters on Friday demanded the exit of West African forces deployed to the Foni region, most of whom are stationed in Kanilai, securing Jammeh’s abandoned compound.
Angry Jammeh supporters and villagers say they are ready to die to see ECOMIG troops out and to regain control of Jammeh’s mega mansion, seized by Gambian authorities.
Gambian authorities have sent a fact-finding team to probe Friday’s incident. The government has not made any statements and security officials say they are awaiting the report.
Foni has been the epicenter of political unrest since Jammeh’s ouster, where he has strong support. Dozens of people were arrested in the region for post-electoral violence but later released and charges dropped.
Six people were wounded during the latest protest, according to opposition activists, a build up from skirmishes between villagers and security forces and a shootout between soldiers loyal to Jammeh and ECOMIG troops.
Gambia is mainland Africa’s smallest country and until January was ruled with an iron fist by Jammeh. West African troops were deployed by the regional economic bloc, ECOWAS to enforce the outcome of the elections in which Jammeh suffered defeat in the hands of Adama Barrow.
Jammeh had refused to step aside after first accepting defeat and sparked a political turmoil that nearly tipped the country into civil war.
Regional leaders backed Barrow’s presidency and helped him regain control of power. Barrow’s victory in the December 2016 presidential election brought hope for improved respect for human rights and the rule of law.