Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has expressed regret at an attack on opposition supporters in Mankamang Kunda, his native village in the Gambia’s eastern provincial district of Jimara, calling it “unfortunate.”
At least several people were injured, one person severely, according to opposition activists of the former ruling APRC party. The party is on a nationwide tour to mobilize support for their candidates in the forthcoming local government polls.
“In the New Gambia, incidents of this nature in any part of the country, whether the birthplace of the President or any other place, is regrettable, as we are One People, One Nation,” said Press Secretary Amie Bojang-Sissoho.
“In this spirit of One Gambia, people are encouraged and expected to go about their economic, social and political activities in a responsible and civil manner, as a sure way to jointly build a better and brighter Gambia for all.”
Senior opposition officials said their convoy stoned before a row of villagers launched an assault on them. They denied provoking anyone and said their members exercised self-restraint to avoid escalating the situation.
Barrow defeated the APRC leader and former President Yahya Jammeh in the December 2016 election. He was backed by seven opposition parties to hand a shocking defeat to the long-serving ruler.
Skirmishes followed in the new opposition stronghold of Foni, where Jammeh still enjoys popular support. The southwestern region has been a no-go area for the coalition parties during Jammeh’s reign.
Barrow has since pulled a reconciliation effort and stabilized the situation in the Foni. He has pledged a new era in the country in which the rule of law will be upheld and freedoms guaranteed.