Demonstrations, Protests and Democracy


Since the advent of the new Gambia, demonstrations and protests were coming from one group after the other by citizens as a way of exercising their constitutional rights.
The most important thing about all these demonstrations and protests is that such protests are not met with harsh oppositions were coming from the government. There was only one very unfortunate incident of protest which was met with an unequal power and that was the Faarba Bang Tang protest.
But even with that government, acted with professionalism by put up a commission to look into and find out what has happened and how it happened and who did what. Though it is not enough just to put up a commission but government has to act immediately after such commissions submit their reports for consideration.
In a very short period since some certain unfortunate incidents happen, there were commissions set up and two of those have already submitted their reports of findings. Now what remains to be seen done is that the public is waiting to see what government will do with the reports and their findings.
The Faraba report was submitted and it is taking a little longer for actions from government or the president.
The Social Security and Housing Finance Cooperation too have their reports also submitted to the president not long ago; again the public is patiently waiting for reactions of the President on the recommendations and the findings.
It is high time that the population is informed as to what is done with these reports as these commissions were put in place by a high public demand of the population. Therefore, it is the legitimate rights of the population to be told what next. These commissions are to address grievances; and in the case of Faraba people lost their lives, and properties and other sustained serious bodily injuries all of those need to be addressed when the truth immerge. And they are quietly waiting for the government and the president to come out and act on the reports.
Only last week another very important commission was put in place, and that is the Truth, Reconciliation and Repatriation Commission (TRRC), the Gambian people are so happy that such is in place and all are anxiously waiting to see what will come out at the end of the TRRC and what government will do with such reports.
So, the way the new Gambia is handling demonstrations, protests and democracy may not be excellent but so far better now than years ago.
We have seen the murderous April 2011, which protest that left 12 death and many injured, and nothing has come out of it. And the 2015 protest where Solo Sandeng was murdered in cold blood and whose death was followed by several other deaths all due to the hash treatments at the hands of the Jammeh regime. These people suffered just because they were exercising their constitutional rights, and nothing has come out of it. The only good thing is that, such has brought the dictator down.
So, it behoves on the government and the people of the Gambia to make sure that the truth is established and reconciliation and reparation follows.


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