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Demonstrations prompts guidance for European tourists to Gambia

Jan 27, 2020, 1:30 PM

Planned demonstrations and rumors of protests including political rallies during the course of the New Year has compelled certain European governments to urge its nationals to be ‘‘cautious’’ while visiting The Gambia.

Already the United Kingdom government is advising its citizens travelling to the country to ‘‘avoid large gatherings in public areas, monitor local media for up-to date information as well as to follow advice of local authorities due to reports of planned demonstrations during January 2020’’.

Information seen by The Point also confirms that certain information is also delivered via various travel agencies.

Even though most of the European countries including the UK maintain that visits to The Gambia are ‘‘trouble free’’, it indicates that ‘‘independent travelers are at increased risk due to lack of local support in an emergency’’.

Consequently, the UK government stressed that there has been ‘‘an increase in the number and frequency of protests in The Gambia, primarily in the Kombo districts’’.

It also noted that due to ‘‘reports of planned political demonstrations which may take place during January 2020…You should avoid large gatherings in public areas… monitor local media for up-to-date information and follow the advice of local authorities’’.

Tourists and other visitors who are travelling independently are told to ‘‘make sure next of kin in the UK have details of your itinerary and keep in regular touch’’.

The issue of checkpoints are also addressed and travelers are reminded that ‘‘there are a number of checkpoints operating in and around the capital Banjul…expect your vehicle to be searched if you’re stopped by security forces’’.

Travelers are also urged to be ‘‘vigilant’’ and take care when using the ferry between Banjul and Barra; as well as swimming in the sea ‘‘because tides, waves and under currents can all be very strong’’.

 Author: Alhagie Mbye, The Point’s Europe Correspondent

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