Thursday, April 16, 2015

Yaya Jammeh sends troops to block opposition party from touring the country

The United Democratic Party (UDP) leader, Ousainou Darboe and his supporters have been blocked by government troops to prevent them from proceeding on a 10-day tour of the country.

The para-military forces known as the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) under the direct command of Yaya Jammeh engaged the UDP entourage in Nuimi, North Bank Region of the country by blocking the only road leading to an from the area.

Troop reinforcements have arrived after 5 hours of stand-off. The leader of the UDP, in a FatuRadio interview, indicated that the authorities will have to arrest them because he has no intention of cancelling his planned tour of the country.
 As night falls, the stand-off is tense and there is increasing concern that it may lead to violence because the regime is notorious for conducting its most violent operations at night. It is reported that the troops are armed which has heightened the concern for violence.

Supporters of the UDP in the area are being prevented by the paramilitary from reaching their party leader and comrades to act as reinforcement.   Party leaders are determined to continue the tour, and thus far, it appears that the paratroopers were also steadfast in their stance.  When the stalemate will be resolved is anybody's guess.