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22 Jan 2020 | 08:51 PM UTC

Gambia: Civil society group announces march in Banjul January 25 /update 2

Civil society group is planning a demonstration in Banjul on January 25; heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions expected

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Event

The Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations civil society group has called for a march in Banjul on Saturday, January 25, to denounce support for the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) political party. The APRC has recently held several protests demanding the return of former President Yahya Jammeh. Participants plan to meet at 08:00 (local time) at the Buffer Zone, before marching to Westfield Monument.

Heightened security measures, counter-protests, and transportation disruptions are likely in the vicinity of any demonstration site, should they take place. Security personnel may use force in an attempt to disperse protesters who gather without a proper permit. Similar protests are possible over the coming days and weeks.

Context

Former President Yahya Jammeh went into political exile on January 21, 2017, after losing the December 2016 presidential elections, stepping down from power after 22 years in office. In March 2017, Gambian political parties signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that included that current President Adama Barrow would serve a transitional three-year term. However, Barrow has indicated that he intends to remain in office for five years, the standard term length withing the Gambian constitution. Tensions remain high between pro- and anti-Jammeh supporters.

Advice

Individuals in Gambia, and in Banjul in particular, are advised to exercise caution and maintain a low profile at all times, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, and obey any instructions issued by the local authorities.