Police in The Gambia say they have charged a 47-year-old man with terrorism and incitement to violence over an inflammatory audio calling for post-electoral violence by opposition groups.
The man identified as Lamin Darboe has been in police custody since December 8th, a day after an audio linked to him went viral allegedly calling on supporters of the opposition United Democratic Party to unleash a Rwanda-type campaign of terror, bloodshed and genocide.
Supporters of the UDP are aggrieved over the shock outcome of the December 4th presidential vote which left their favoured candidate trailing the incumbent by a large margin.
Police PRO Lamin Njie said Darboe has been charged with incitement to violence and supporting terrorist acts and will appear in court at a date to be confirmed in due course.
The so-called apostle of genocide apparently urged UDP supporters to purchase and fill jerry cans with petrol bought from petrol stations and use it to reenact scenes of massacres in Rwanda where some 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus died in a 100-day pogrom in 1994.
What is purported to be Darboe’s voice said like Rwanda, The Gambia could be rebuilt after this baptism of fire.
UDP leader Ousainou Darboe (no relation to the suspect) acted swiftly, publicly disassociating his party from Lamin Darboe and his alleged incitement to violence which carried the potential to drag the country into chaos.
Darboe who was runner-up in The Gambia’s last presidential vote with 27 percent of the ballot, called on the Gambian police to arrest the suspect before he could set a dangerous precedence in a country emerging from a fractious and tense-filled election period.
The UDP are resorting to the Supreme Court to challenge the outcome of the vote for which incumbent president Adama Barrow was declared the winner by the independent electoral commission with 53 percent of the vote.
It was The Gambia’s first presidential election since 2016 when long-term ruler Yahya Jammeh was ousted by the popular vote in favour of Mr. Barrow.