EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Negotiation between Police and anti-government protesters on the management of Sunday’s protest ended unsuccessful as teargas was used to disperse the crowd that was calling on President Adama Barrow to leave office immediately.
Thousands who responded to the invitation of ‘Operation 3 Years Jotna Movement’ made their way over the police barricade on the spot where the protest, according to the official permit should have begun but the armed unit chose to no longer ‘compromise.’
Office of the Inspector General of Police issued a notice during the moment urging “individuals at the protest venue to disperse peacefully.”
“Following the violation of conditions of the permit issued to the ‘Operation 3 Years Jotna Movement’ and protesters turning violent, the Office of the Inspector General of Police hereby informs the public that the permit is cancelled,” it stated.
According to the police, other individuals who may wish to join the protest are advised to stay home until the situation is put under control.
Protesters had earlier robbed shoulders with personnel of the Police Intervention Unit over choice of direction for the mass procession.
While protesters eyed on the way to Banjul where they anticipated to meet up with President Barrow, the police were dispatched to guide the match according to the dictates of provided permit.
Government Spokesperson said on Friday that the permit to hold a peaceful procession was valid from 12:00 noon to 2:00pm, starting from the Y – Junction on entering Bakau from Sting Corner to the independence stadium.
On December 16, the pressure group held a massive demonstration in which it petitioned President Barrow to step down this January in honour of the Coalition agreement made in 2016.
A member of the protest organising committee told Eye Africa that although they are out purely on peaceful demonstration, the dictates of the police permit is not binding on them. “There is no new message” with that of the December protest, he said, noting that the president is aware of their demands.
Barrow has in several occasions vowed to complete a five-year constitutional mandate, and that presidential elections will only take place in 2021.
Police in riot gears went into so ‘serious business’ in use of teargas pushing protesters back to towns many of whom could be seen running for their lives. Pockets of protesters are forming a ‘comeback’ in standing up their rights.
Smoke began to cover the environment as teargas and emission from tyres burns by angry protesters radiate above head level within Jeshwang coming down to Westfield.
A couple of street protests from last month have been relatively peaceful and straight to the point but what appears to be a ‘second leg’ for 3 Years Jotna is now taking a different form.
Story written by Ebrima Bah.