Photo by Romain Chanson/AFP via Getty Images.
Three Protesters Killed During Anti-Government Demonstrations in The Gambia
These are the first deaths to be reported since the protests against President Adama Barrow began.
Ongoing anti-government protests in The Gambia have turned deadly. Aljazeera reports that this past Sunday, three protesters were killed while protesting for President Adama Barrow to resign. These are the first reported deaths since the protests began a few months ago.
Several other protesters were injured after the police fired tear gas and rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse the massive crowds.
In 2016, President Barrow became the leader of a coalition which was formed after the then government's security forces detained and killed members of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP). Barrow went on to defeat former President Yahya Jammeh in the December national election that same year and was sworn into office the following year.
A Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) released by the coalition stated that should Barrow win the election, he would only serve three years as a transitional president and then go on to organize elections in which he himself would not run.
In recent times, President Barrow has backtracked on that commitment and confirmed that he will serve his full five-year tenure saying, "No one can force me to leave the presidency before 2021." Having also left the coalition that saw him winning the 2016 election, it appears he is no longer bound by its MOA. Additionally, the country's constitution supports any democratically-elected president serving the full five-year term.
As a result, disgruntled citizens of The Gambia started the "Three Years Jotna" movement which translates to "three years is enough" and demands that Barrow resign.
Several protesters at the demonstration on Sunday told AFP that, "We will protest until Barrow resigns. He is a traitor who betrayed the population's trust, we are going to teach him a lesson."
There are now renewed calls by supporters of Jammeh for him to return to the country. However, the current government have made it clear that Jammeh will be arrested upon his arrival in the country following numerous charges levelled against him by The Gambia Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission.
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