The Gambia has banned a movement opposed to President Adama Barrow’s decision to renege on a promise to call elections this year.
President Barrow came to power in 2017 as the head of an alliance of parties opposed to the autocratic former leader Yahya Jammeh. The coalition agreed he would lead a provisional government for three years and then call elections.
But some of his coalition’s members last year agreed to support a five-year term, as allowed by the constitution – a move rejected by two parties.
Thousands of Gambians, under the banner of the movement called Three Years Jotna (which means “enough” in the local Wolof language), have been holding protests against the president’s continued stay in power as tension continues to build in the West African country.
The government on Sunday banned the movement, which it described as “subversive, violent and illegal”.
A statement by government spokesman spokesperson Ebrima G Sankareh said the group was “determined to illegally unseat the constitutionally elected government”.
It said the group was never legally registered and warned the media against “promoting its agenda”.
The government has also suspended two radio stations – Home Digital FM and King FM – “for peddling incendiary messages” and “urging Gambians to join Jotna”.
The stations have not yet commented.
Police have so far arrested some 137 people who participated in the demonstrations, the statement added.