The government of The Gambia on Sunday stopped a planned protest by citizens against the country’s electricity and water crisis.
Despite approving the demonstration, the police command issued a last minute cancellation to prevent the protest from taking place.
On Saturday, the president, Adama Barrow sacked his interior minister, Mai Ahmad Fatty but did not give any reasons for the decision.
In a statement President Barrow said that Fatty has been “redeployed to the diplomatic services” and his position would be occupied temporarily by the Minister of Justice Abubacarr Tambadou.
One of his spokesperson told the BBC that President Barrow has the right to appoint and fire any of his appointees.
Local media reported that the refusal to allow for the anti-government protest to take place could be due to the sacking of the Interior Minister.
Africanews quoted the police as saying that its “action is necessitated due to security intelligence report which has posed security concerns … Anyone found wanting will be dealt with according to law.”
The leader of the #OccupyWestfield group which had wanted to hold the protest Alieu Bah has criticized the police decision.
He wrote on his Facebook account that the government and the police command have acted similar to former leader Yahya Jammeh by denying citizens their constitutional right to demonstrate.
President Barrow promised to roll out reforms that would enable citizens to express themselves freely and have their rights respected when he took over in January.