Mayhem feared as Gambia opposition leader is killed
From MOMODOU DIBBA in Banjul, Gambia
BANJUL, (CAJ News) – GAMBIA is on the brink of a catastrophe after the alleged killing of an opposition leader in prison and President President Yahya Jammeh threatening to quash any protests against his regime.
The upheavals in the smallest country in mainland Africa follow the death in detention influential opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) member Solo Sandeng, and two fellow members of the party.
Two women were said to be in a coma.
Held in custody since their arrest after a peaceful march in Banjul last Thursday, the opposition members were reportedly tortured.
The protesters were demanding constitutional reforms ahead of general elections scheduled for December.
Speaking on his return from Turkey, Jammeh threatened opponents to his regime would not be “spared.”
He accused influential countries in the West of planning to effect regime change.
“The West is using a few people to provoke violence. Protesters will not be spared,” he said.
United Nations Secretary General, Ban Ki-moon expressed “dismay.”
He calls on the authorities to release all those arrested, including UDP leader Ousainou Darboe, and uphold the rights of the Gambian people to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly.
Jammeh (50), a former wrestler, has ruled Gambia with an iron fist since assuming power in 1994 following a coup on Dawda Jawara.
He has been accused of violating press freedoms, human rights abuses and crimes against humanity.
In December 2015, President Jammeh declared The Gambia to be an Islamic republic, in what he said was designed to distance the country from its colonial past.
The former British colony gained independence from Britain in 1965.
– CAJ News
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