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Another radio station ordered to shut down by Gambian forces

Another radio station ordered to shut down by Gambian forces


Gambian authorities have shut down another popular private radio station, Paradise FM, in the capital Banjul on Sunday night after shutting down three others last week.

Local media report that six security agents in plain clothes believed to be officials of the National Intelligence Agency besieged the station an hour before midnight and ordered them to stop broadcasts and shut down immediately.

Reasons were not given for the action and after further questioning, the men directed the staff of the radio to inquire from the communication ministry, Jollof News reported.

Paradise FM broadcast a political programme hours earlier which hosted the opposition coalition spokesperson Halifa Sallah and the organising secretary of President Yahya Jammeh’s party, Yankuba Colley.

The media has come under attack since the political crisis in The Gambia where Yahya Jammeh initially conceded defeat to opposition leader Adama Barrow in the December 1 election, but later called for a fresh poll.

Gambian security agents closed three private radio stations last week without giving any reasons. The stations: Teranga FM, Hilltop Radio and Afri Radio are popular for their newspaper reviews and coverage of opposition news items.

The Army has pledged allegiance to Jammeh despite efforts by regional bloc ECOWAS to ensure a peaceful transition of power.

ECOWAS says it is monitoring events as The Gambia’s Supreme Court hears the case on January 10 filed by Jammeh’s party to cancel the election result and hold fresh elections.

Last year, the president of the ECOWAS Commission Marcel de Souza warned that a military intervention could be used if mediation efforts which spearheaded by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari and Ghana’s former President John Dramani Mahama, fail to persuade Jammeh to give up power.

Jammeh on the other hand described ECOWAS’ position as declaring war and also an insult to the Gambian constitution which has clear guidelines on how to solve its internal crisis.

Senegal has said that military intervention should be the last resort in the crisis hoping Jammeh will see reason and handover executive power peacefully.

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