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16 Jan 2020 | 07:19 PM UTC

Gambia: Opposition group plans rally on January 19 despite ban /update 1

The Three Years Jotna opposition group is calling for mass demonstrations on January 19 despite a police ban on their protest; avoid all gatherings

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Event

The Three Years Jotna political opposition group is calling for protests on Sunday, January 19, despite the police rejecting their application to hold a peaceful demonstration. According to the inspector general of the police, the group was denied a permit to protest due to security concerns. However, Three Years Jotna leaders announced on Wednesday, January 15, that they still intend to hold their demonstration even if they do not receive a permit. The group is calling for President Adama Barrow to honor his agreement to step down from office after serving for three years.

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 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 present in Gambia 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.