Police get unit to tackle demonstrations

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By Tabora Bojang

The Gambia Police Force have established a Special Intervention Unit (SIU) responsible for the management of protests and demonstrations ahead of the much-anticipated December presidential election.

The unit is established under an existing partnership between the GPF and the German Police Support Team in The Gambia and the Baden-Wurttemberg Police.

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The idea comes after several weeks of training on crowd control, de-escalation and first aid among others for over 30 police officers.

The training contributed to the establishment of the new unit, which shall guarantee the freedom of demonstration, as long as it is done in accordance with the law.

The unit is designed to function alongside police enforcement by preventing demonstrations from escalating and the protection of peaceful protesters from crowd violence.

“This is very timely with regard to the upcoming elections. The police officers will be equipped with high security standard protection equipment,” the German support team in The Gambia said on its Facebook page.

The SIU, according to the Germans, will be trained and equipped with first aid backpacks to provide medical services to protesters.