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One dead after Gambian protesters clash with ECOWAS troops

FILE PHOTO: Ecowas troops

Banjul, Gambia | AFP |  A Gambian protester died of gunshot wounds Saturday, the day after being shot as supporters of former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh clashed with West African forces.

Gambian information minister, Demba Ali Jawo, told AFP that a group of people had protested on Friday in Jammeh’s home village of Kanilai, 100 kilometres (60 miles) east of the capital Banjul, over the presence West African ECOMIG forces in the area.

“They were blocking roads and burning tyres in the streets,” said Jawo.

“They clashed with ECOMIG Forces who opened fire at them. One of the protesters that sustained injuries died today.”

Local resident Lamin Tamba named the dead man as Haruna Jatta and said he was one of six protesters shot on Friday by ECOMIG forces stationed in Kanilai.

The protesters had gathered from surrounding districts to call for the West African troops to leave the area because “they consider ECOMIG to be an occupying force”, said Tamba.

Observers said that the antipathy to the West African forces stemmed from the presence of troops from neighbouring Senegal among them.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG) was launched in January 19, shortly after President Adama Barrow took the oath of office in the Senegalese capital Dakar.

Barrow had taken refuge in Senegal fearing for his safety after his predecessor Jammeh reversed his acceptance of the election result and sought for six weeks to cling to power.

Jammeh eventually agreed to leave for exile in Equatorial Guinea after 22 years in power.

 

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