Gambia authorities place political ban after clashes

Gambia authorities place political ban after clashes

The Gambia police imposed a ban on all political activities in the country in the wake of violence between supporters of the ruling coalition and Yahya Jammeh, the former strongman president.

“The decision to suspend all political activity permits has been taken following violent incidents in Mankamang Kunda in the Upper River Region and Busumbala in the West Coast Region,” said a police statement.

The announcement came after Gambian paramilitary forces deployed to the town of Busumbala, 31 kilometers (19 miles) from the capital Banjul, to suppress the clashes.

ECOMIG, the forces of the West African economic bloc ECOWAS, which has been responsible for security in the country since Jammeh’s ouster nearly a year ago, also came to the town, as did the head of the Gambian army and the national security adviser, Momodou Badgie.

The clashes started Wednesday when supporters of Jammeh’s party entered Kombo, Gambia’s biggest region, after a nationwide tour.

Party supporters claimed their convoy was stoned, leading them to retaliate. An angry mob protesting the convoy also started burning tires.

Badgie told Anadolu Agency that the events will be investigated and action will be taken against those found to have broken the law.

President Adama Barrow, who took office with international help after Jammeh refused to concede his election defeat, has yet to comment on the situation, but his press director said that Barrow and the Cabinet will discuss the issue.

Similar attacks on Jammeh’s party also happened earlier this week, when they were passing through Mankamang Kunda, Barrow’s hometown. The attack was condemned by Barrow.

(Reporting and Writing by Mustapha Darboe; Additional Reporting from AA News Agency)

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