Gambia:Police arrest more than 50 supporters of Jammeh

Gambian police have detained more than 50 supporters of ex-president Yahya Jammeh for harassing followers of new leader Adama Barrow, police officials say.

Police spokesman Foday Conta said on Monday that at least 51 people had been arrested on Sunday in the western town of Kafenda, a Jammeh stronghold.

The spokesman stated that 26 of those arrested were juveniles who were released on bail.

The remaining 25 were being detained pending an investigation, he added.

The arrests come after Jammeh’s supporters reportedly insulted and threw stones at people returning from Barrow’s inauguration celebration at the national stadium on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Seedy Njie, a spokesman for Jammeh’s party, the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), has accused Barrow’s supporters of provoking violence.

“They were provoked by the supporters of the coalition (Barrow’s party) who … were calling Jammeh all sorts of names and saying he was a killer. Then a quarrel ensued,” media outlets quoted Njie as saying.

The developments come as tensions are lingering in the Gambia following Jammeh’s flight into exile. Jammeh narrowly lost the December 1 presidential election to Barrow.

On January 21, some two days after the expiration of his mandate, Jammeh finally announced a decision “to relinquish the mantle of leadership.”

With Jammeh’s exit from the Gambia, the way was paved for Barrow to return home from the Senegalese capital, Dakar, where he was inaugurated on January 19.

Jammeh, who had been in power since a coup in 1994, flew into exile in Equatorial Guinea following a UN decision with a set of assurances from the international community to guarantee his departure.

Human rights groups blame Jammeh for torturing and killing opponents during his time in power. Barrow has pledged to reverse many of Jammeh’s policies.

By Africafrique and agencies

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