Gambia’s main opposition party says another of its activists has died in detention since a security crackdown by the Yahya Jammeh government started in May this year.
Solo Krummah, is the second United Democratic Party (UDP) member to die whiles in custody. According to the party, he died shortly after surgery for an undisclosed ailment at the Edward Francis’s Small Teaching Hospital in the capital, Banjul.
The party’s post on Twitter read as follows: ‘‘Another UDP member dead in Yaya Jammeh government custody. Solo Krummah died shortly after surgery at government hospital.’‘
This is a democracy and yet they speak of term limitations. Whichever western head of state or other leader wants to speak about term limits… let them come to Gambia to talk to me.
Gambia-Another UDP member dead in Yaya Jammeh govt custody.Solo Krummah died shortly after surgery at govt hospital pic.twitter.com/CKfGANAki0— UDPGambia (@UdpGambia) August 21, 2016
Solo was arrested with over a dozen others in early May during protests by opposition parties calling for electoral reforms ahead of presidential polls in December. Of those arrested, a leading national officer of the party, Ebrima Solo Sandeng, died of ‘shock and respiratory failure,’ according to medical records.
The government and hospital authorities have not yet commented on the circumstances surrounding the latest death.
Gambia goes to the polls in December to elect a president, incumbent Yahya Jammeh who has expressed the intention to contest is widely expected to win the polls. The 50-year-old former military ruler has been in power since 1994 and has said he will rule for a billion years in response to proponents of term limits.
He sharply criticised suggestions that his tenure should be limited and pledged to continue being at the service of Gambians.
“This is a democracy and yet they speak of term limitations. Whichever western head of state or other leader wants to speak about term limitations… let them come to Gambia to talk to me,” Jammeh is quoted to have replied western leaders and rights groups.
The presidential election will take place on December 1 and will be followed by general elections on April 6, 2017.