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City of Banjul
Monday, November 30, 2020

Is there a proliferation of guns in The Gambia?

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A man was on Tuesday arrested with a gun at the Denton Bridge. It was reported that the man was a navy officer but the Army Spokesperson did not give details, only saying that investigations are ongoing.

If this were an isolated incident, it would not have raised eyebrows, but it is not. Last week, a gunman was arrested at the Djembe Beach Hotel where sittings of the Commission of Inquiry into the financial activities of the former president and his close associates are ongoing. Whether or not this had anything to do with the Commission is irrelevant here. What is concerning is that men who had once been – or still are – in the security services of the country are seen around holding weapons.

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The Gambia is now supposed to be a democratic state where citizens have – or should have – the ability to move about freely without having to look over their shoulders for fear of being attacked by gunmen. It is the responsibility of the government to ensure that that is the case.

This brings to the forefront once again the issue of security in the country. There have been a series of reports of armed robberies and even murders in the country in the past few months. If, now, former or current personnel of the security are being arrested with guns, it will be a cause for alarm.

Government should therefore act quickly to solve this security lapse and restore confidence in our security apparatuses. The primary duty of a government is the protection of its citizens.

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