Scores arrested in Brikama as demonstrators clash with Paramilitary

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Unconfirmed number of young people were arrested by the anti-riot team of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) in Brikama after a group that call themselves Concern Youth planned a demonstration against the local Brikama Area Council (BAC), Wednesday morning.

Several people sustained injuries and unconsciousness as tear gases were fired in the air, causing panic in the metropolitan town. Sources say more than 13 people, including four executive members of the lead demonstrators –Concern Youth- were arrested and currently at the Brikama police station.

An executive member of the group, who launched a hashtag #OccupyBAC confirmed to The Point that four of their executive members, including leader John Ndure and coordinator Ismaila Fadera were arrested by the police.

The Wednesday incident, which sparked a wave of panic in Brikama and the surroundings, saw a massive confrontation between the PIU personnel and the group of angry youth. The group planned to protest against the Brikama Area Council for what they called their failure to provide basic facilities like good road networks, standard markets and proper waste management and collection. They also accused the council of not properly ploughing the rates and taxes into development, manhandling of market vendors and poor drainage system.

Heavily armed PIU anti-riot team clashed with the demonstrators early Wednesday morning from the Jah Oil petrol station in Nyambai preventing them from reaching the BAC premises in New Town. The fiasco sparked a wave of panic as women and children were frantically running in fear for their lives.

Leader of the demonstrating group John Ndure, Assistant Secretary Amadou Ceesay; a political science student at the University of The Gambia, Buba Jammeh and one person fondly called Jula Mansa have been confirmed arrested and detained at the Brikama police.

Brikama Area Council chief executive officer Mam Sait Jallow said he had no idea and he was not aware of the demonstration, saying he was in his officer doing his daily work. “I have no iota of what is going on and what the demonstration is about.”   

Author: Amadou Jallow