Gambia: Police seeks to build bridges with opposition parties

The police and senior opposition politicians will be meeting on Thursday, for a talk that is hoped to bury their mistrust and breed new relations.

Police Chief, Landing Kinteh is expected to call for understanding and cooperation of political parties as the country tries to address its fragile security matters.

He will also inform them of the reforms the police have so far taken to add to the develop the country through democratic lines.

The police invited the opposition groups following a week of a barrage of accusations against the law enforcement agency for denying a permit to the opposition GDC party.

Pro-democracy defenders and opposition militants decried the denial and said the country was quietly slipping back into autocratic rule.

Gambian authorities have said they have not denied the permit and insisted the country is a far cry from returning to a dictatorship.

Gambia’s new police chief, Landing Kinteh took office this summer and said it is a new era for the police services, which has been dragged into allegations of human and civil rights violations in the past regime.

Gambians are wary of using the police to suppress opposition voices. The past regime has used the police to crush the opposition by denying them permits for rallies.

President Adama Barrow promised to foster democracy in a country where free speech, press freedom, and human rights have been suppressed, saying political pluralism will be key to reversing a downward trend of development and a weakening economy.

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