A senior member of the National Convention Party has accused a former presidential advisor and Member of Parliament, Halifa Sallah [PDOIS – Serrekunda] of subverting the circumstances surrounding the Kanilai incident.
Fabakary Danso, the NCP Youth Mobilizer says Mr. Sallah’s rebuttal of the official account of the demonstrations and comparing it to a peaceful protest like that of UDP’s Ebrima Solo was “misleading.”
“I want to tell Halifa that he is misleading the Gambian people. UDP’s demonstration on the 14 April 2016 led by the late Solo Sandeng was for peace; no guns, cutlasses, sticks or other weapons,” Danso told The Standard.
“They lifted banners bearing slogans demanding for electoral reform with peace and they were arrested by the PIU officers beaten, throwing them in their vehicles and as a result, Solo Sandeng lost his life.”
At least one person has died in the protest in Kanilai and authorities accused demonstrators of using a locally made firearm to provoke security forces.
Protester denied being armed and Mr. Sallah supported claims that there is no evidence showing that the protester that was shot was armed.
“On the 16 UDP leader Ousainou Darboe and his executives also went out with peace without any arm demanding for Solo Sandeng, dead or alive. They were also arrested and subjected to torture and subsequently they were convicted and sentenced to 3years imprisonment,” Danso said.
“The Kanilai protesters went out with cutlasses, sticks and other materials insulting people, burning tires on the highway and even threatening some ECOMIG forces; and Halifa compared this one with UDP demonstration, he misled Gambians.”
At least 20 people have been arrested following the protest, including two Gambian soldiers loyal to the ousted leader. They have all been released on bail.