The Gambian government announced on Monday, January 27, that police forces have arrested 137 people in recent protests calling for President Adama Barrow's resignation. Notably, on Sunday, January 26, security forces fired tear gas to disperse thousands of anti-Barrow demonstrators (part of the "Three Years Jotna," or "Three Years is Enough," movement) in Banjul; at least 18 police officers and seven civilians were wounded in the clashes.
Similar demonstrations are possible in Banjul over the near term. A heightened security presence and disruptions to transportation and business are to be expected near protest sites. Further clashes between demonstrators and police cannot be ruled out.
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 within the Gambian constitution. Tensions remain high between pro- and anti-Jammeh supporters.
Individuals in Banjul are advised to exercise caution and maintain a low profile, avoid all protests and demonstrations, and obey instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.