Members of the Gambia’s largest party, which has the biggest stake in the unity government say police are refusing to act on attacks against them in Tallinding, a township outside the capital, Banjul.
A deputy police commissioner, Lamin King Colley is accused hitting UDP members, who got into a brawl with APRC supporters at the Tallinding Police Station following the wounding of one of its members [Alhagie Conteh], who was attacked by an APRC supporter.
“The deputy commissioner of police Lamin King Colley also arrived shortly at the scene and before anything he pounced on the UDP supporters, physically striking them with a baton,” Councillor Musa Badjie said.
“This is unprofessional and uncalled for in the New Gambia; this shows that the police do not have any structure because if a senior officer [like King Colley] should come and pounce on supporters like that I think he has a personal vendetta.”
Colley is said to be a good friend of the APRC leader Fakabary Tombong Jatta and accused of doing “unruly things here during Jammeh’s misrule.”
The committee of the UDP in Tallinding is considering taking legal action against the police after they transferred the case to Bundung, released the accused Sarata Badjie and detained the complainant, Alhagie Conteh.
Tallinding has seen endemic violence since the defeat of former strongman Yahya Jammeh in last year’s presidential polls.
Skirmishes between UDP and APRC supporters in the run-up to the parliamentary elections became frequent and escalated following UDP’s Fatoumata Jawara’s win in the parliamentary polls.
“Supporters of the APRC have physically assaulted our supporters in unprovoked attacks on numerous occasions causing bodily harm and five of these cases have been reported to both police stations but the actions of this violent supporters remain unabated, forcing us to wince and aghast at their cruelty,” the UDP Tallinding committee said.
UDP’s leadership in Tallinding expressed dismay and says it is appalled by the repugnant behavior of the APRC supporters of the town and the abhorrent manner in which the police in Tallinding and Bundung handled the matter.
UDP youths in Tallinding are warning that unprovoked attacks on its supporters by the APRC will lead to a serious retaliation if not addressed.
The police have not commented on the allegations made the UDP Tallinding Committee and no lawsuit has been filed against the Station Officers of Tallinding and Bundung police stations.
Supporters of the unity government and Jammeh clash often in the Foni region, where a protest erupted last week against the presence of West African troops leaving one person dead and several people injured.