Thousands of anti-government protesters demonstrated in Banjul on Sunday, January 26, demanding the resignation of President Adama Barrow. Clashes between protesters and police were reported, with police firing tear gas to disperse demonstrators and protesters throwing rocks and burning tires. Dozens of protesters were wounded in the clashes and an unspecified number of others were detained by police. The protests and clashes took place as the capital was under lockdown on Sunday, with no vehicles allowed to enter the city.
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.