By Bekai Njie
After the New York Times’ article last week that reported rape allegation advanced by Fatou Jallow known as Toufah against ex-Gambian president, Yahya Jammeh, Gambians Thursday took to street to show solidarity with her and other victims that claimed sex assault against them. The march past was premised on: ‘#IAmToufah.’
Ms. Jallow’s sex assault allegation against Jammeh has attracted widespread condemnation within the country. It followed spate of rape allegations against Melville Robertson Robert, an employee of the Foreign Affairs Ministry in recent times.
The Ministry of Justice early this week issued a press release, saying it’s taking the matter seriously and urged the police to investigate it. The ministry also urged all those affected with sex assault to come forward with their cases.
According to Fatu Network, the protesters chanted slogans and carried signs one of which read ‘No Means No’ as they marched from Africell to Westfield on Thursday.
“We just want to show our support, show our utter disgust, show that we condemn rape, [and] show that we will stand against it,” national assembly member for Banjul South Fatoumatta Njie who took part in the protest told The Fatu Network.
Fatou Jallow alias Toufah shocked the country two weeks ago when she claimed in a New York Times interview that former president Jammeh raped her. Days after her claims, the issue of sexual violence made further headlines when three women accused senior Gambia government official Melville Robertson Roberts of sexually assaulting them.
Dr. Ismaila Ceesay who also took part in the protest told The Fatu Network the march is to raise awareness on the issue of sexual violence.
“We have to accept that there is a problem in our society, then we can be able to raise awareness and come up with the proper solutions,” he added.