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APRC “No To Alliance” Leader Claims Victimization During Disrupted Fundraising Event

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Yahya Tamba

By Buba Gagigo 

Yahya Tamba, leader of the APRC “No To Alliance” group, alleges that over 20 supporters were “victimized” during a clash with paramilitary officers at their fundraising event in the buffer zone.

The incident occurred on Sunday when paramilitary officers dispersed the group using tear gas, claiming they violated permit conditions.

Tamba, speaking at a press conference in Lamin on Monday, expressed regret and apologized to those affected, stating: “I regret, and I want to apologize to the victims. Because more than 20 people have been victimized at this point. And more than nine people have been affected by the tear gas,” 

Tamba further disputed the claim of violating permit regulations. He explained that their organizing committee was called for a meeting at the Bundung police station between 7:00 PM and 8:00 PM, only to be informed that their permit had been revoked while the event was already underway.

Tamba emphasized the peaceful nature of the gathering, stating it was “an ambiance program” and not a political or religious event. He argued that fundraising does not require a permit under Gambian law and questioned the sudden revocation.

“It was an ambiance program which does not require any violence. It was done in a peaceful way, a peaceful manner, and it was conducted in the way it should be. The program was not a political program that will require us to look for a permit, it was not a religious program, it was a social program and in the constitution of The Gambia, there is nowhere from my understanding that will require a permit for fundraising. All of a sudden we were made to understand that our permit was revoked and action must be taken against us during the program,” he said.

He also raised concerns about the deployment of paramilitary units, claiming they originated from the Kanifing PIU unit and not the Bundung police station. Tamba expressed confusion regarding the source of the orders and the accusation of using a party logo they did not belong to.

“Where they got these orders, we don’t know, and we need to know because we had our legal document, and we were it in a peaceful way only for us to understand that the accusation about this social gathering was using the logo of a party that we do not belong to which I don’t know, and I don’t understand because it is only IEC who can verify that,” Tamba said.

The APRC “No To Alliance” group contested the last parliamentary election as independents, winning five seats. One of their sitting members, Kebba Tumanding Sanneh from the Foni Jarrol Constituency, is reportedly among those affected by the tear gas.

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