The Gambian police have arrested fifteen people, following an attack on the Guinean Embassy. An angry Guinean crowd stormed the Embassy, and ransacked properties before setting it on fire on Friday, Freedom Newspaper can report. It followed growing opposition to President Alpha Conde’s move to extend his mandate to another term, amid efforts to amend the constitution. Sunday’s scheduled referendum vote has been postponed.
An angry mob attacked the Guinean Embassy on Friday. The Ambassador and his staff were in the building, when the rioters stormed the property. Heavy stones and other deadly objects were thrown into the property.
The incident happened hours before the postponement of the scheduled Guinean constitutional referendum. Some section of the Guinean community in The Gambia said they are opposed to President Alpha Conde’s move to extend his mandate. They resorted to attacking the embassy.
Assistant Superintendent of police Lamin Njie is the Spokesperson for The Gambia police Force. Njie explains to this medium how the rioters entered the Embassy.
“Two female individual came to the gate and enquired from the guards that they needed their ID Cards; they asked for ID Cards that they wanted to pick from the Embassy, and so, when the guards open the gate, then a whole group of people come into the compound and they started vandalizing properties inside the embassy compound. So, they called for reinforcement and our officers came over there to reinforce them and eventually the put the situation under control,” ASP Njie remarked.
Embassy staffers fled the property in fear for their lives. Vehicles and other valuables were not spared during the attack.
“From what we understand, they have destroyed some files, or some document papers and it was these files that were burnt; they also set fire on some the files and documents in the premises of the Embassy. And, they have vandalized the windows and windscreens of some vehicles that are inside the embassy compound,” the police spokesman added.
Some security analysts are of the view that the attack on the Guinean Embassy, was a breach of security and negligence on the part of The Gambian state. But the police spokesman disagrees.
“The embassy security is a priority of The Gambia police force and we will ensure that all embassy Ambassadors in The Gambia or embassies in The Gambia; we got 24 hours security within all these embassies. And so, to say that we have not taken cognizant of security of embassies would not be that anyone should go by because if you look at our security, we beefed it up in all the embassies and ensured that they are all 24 hours secured accordingly,” Njie posited.
The police spokesman has appealed for calm. He says The Gambia will not tolerate lawlessness.
“The Gambia will not allow especially The Gambia police force, will not allow anybody to take the law in your own hands for any reason; be it citizen of The Gambia, or non-citizen of The Gambia, and especially when it has to do with jeopardizing the peace and tranquility of the country. So, we urge the Guinean community to observe restraint and follow procedure, the due processes of laws and regulation, especially those ones living in The Gambia; to observe the laws of The Gambia,” he said.
Already, fifteen people have been taken into custody. They are currently helping the police in their investigations.
The Guinean Ambassador was contacted for comment, but he said he was busy attending to some police investigators at his office.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai
Email: [email protected]