Gambia: Kanifing Accuses Piu of Firing Teargas in Compounds

28 January 2020

Residents of the Kanifing Layout have pointed fingers at the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) of firing teargas canisters on Sunday as they chased members of the 3 Years Jotna, a pressure group who were protesting in demand for President Adama Barrow's resignation.

According to the people of Kanifing Layout, PIU officials chased protesters from Sting Corner to Kanifing where four compounds were hit by the teargas.

"I heard a noise and when I opened my veranda, I saw smokes all over my compound. I later called my husband, because I thought it was a fire outbreak in our house without knowing it was a teargas," Kaddy Jallow told The Point.

"When we realised it was teargas, we closed all our windows because we were coughing at some point, and we nearly suffocated because the smokes were all over our house."

She said that she at some point found it very hard to breathe properly; adding that their neighbours also saw the smokes and thought there was fire outbreak in their compound.

Abdoulie Jallow said: "I thought they chased some of the protesters and later thought some of them got to our compound which later made them fire teargas in my compound," he opined. He, however, condemned firing of teargas into his compound, saying: I" wasn't part of the protest."

He added that they didn't subscribe to "this 3 Years Jotna and their protest," complaining that the smoke nearly killed them as his wife is an asthmatic patient.

Ebrima Suwareh said: "I was in my room when my wife came shouting, saying that they saw smokes in the compound. I later came out at my compound gate started confronting them, because at some point I was really angry at them."

According to him, when he came to his gate, he saw some PIU officials chasing one person at another compound, where residents were shouting which made them leave.

Mr. Suwareh also revealed that he saw PIU officials shooting at some protesters, adding that they (residents) didn't have time for this protest.

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