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Government calls for calm following death of shopkeeper Ousman Darboe

Ousman Darboe
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Angry mob at Serrekunda Police Station

The Gambia Government is calling for calm amidst widespread protest by hundreds of youths in Serrekunda demanding justice for Ousman Darboe, a Sierra Leonean national who reportedly died in the hands of the Police Anti-crime Unit.

Darboe, an asthma patient, has died after reporting on bail at the Bijilo office of the Anti-crime Unit.

Darboe’s friends said he was beaten by the police causing his death. This claim is not independently verified.

Below is a statement from Government spokesperson:

In the wake of the death of one Ousman Darboe, a 33 year old shopkeeper at the Serekunda market under circumstances still under police investigations, The Gambia Government expresses its heartfelt condolences to the bereaved family, relatives and friends.

Accordingly, government wants to make it abundantly clear that The Gambia is fully committed to the values of democracy, rule of law and respect for human rights. Consitent with these norms, The Gambia Government will immediately set up an Independent Enquiry into the circumstances leading to the late Ousman Darboe’s death and if any person or persons were to be found liable, they will face the full force of the law.

Meanwhile, The Gambia Government appeals for calm and advises citizens especially the youth, to stay home and resist the temptation to be violent. The public is urged to refrain from provoking the security forces and all acts of vandalism as evident in the incineration of Police Commissioner Mboob’s residence earlier today at Ebo Town.

The Interior Ministry wants to remind Gambians, that while it is their democratic right to assemble and demonstrate, it is illegal to indulge in arson, looting and all forms of violence against any citizen.

Equally, the Interior Ministry firmly warns against mob justice and admonishes the youth to avoid taking the law into their own hands no matter how painful the circumstances.

The public is thus reminded that police presence in key locations within our communities was primarily to protect and preserve the law and police officers should therefore, be seen as legitimate custodians of the peace and not troublemakers.

Signed:
Ebrima G. Sankareh
The Gambia Government Spokesperson

 

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