For a while it appeared that peaceful demonstration would be a means to express grievances. The most awaited demonstration was the Three Years Jotna’s second attempt to have a say. The fact that this took place after the third anniversary of Barrow’s assumption of office made many observers to assume that the issue of demanding Barrow’s resignation would no longer be in the horizon. Hence most people expected the peaceful outcome of Sunday’s demonstration, especially after the low key demonstration of the Victim Center.
The expectation however was short-lived. What could have ended in peace and the nurturing of an environment of tolerance ended up with tear gas fired at protestors who retreated by burning tyres on the road. The communities on the trail of the retreating protestors did not escape the effect of the tear gas but did not become involved.
Hence the battle was restricted to the security forces and the protestors. This isolation of the protestors from the communities made it impossible for them to resist the onslaught of the security forces aiming to disperse them and prevent them re-organising. Eventually calm was restored and the country is left to count the injured and the arrested.
It is hoped that today the state will come to terms with the political situation that requires maturity to handle. How this conflict is addressed will determine what type of Gambia the state and the people intend to nurture after the consolidation of five year executive.
Foroyaa will continue to monitor the situation and call for tolerance of the media houses.