Archive for the ‘Domestic News’ Category

COMMONWEALTH ASSESSMENT TEAM MEETS PRESIDENT BARROW

September 8, 2017

REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
PRIVATE Office of The President
State House
Banjul
THE GAMBIA _____________________________________________________________________________

PR/C/220/(ABS)

Media Advisory

Commonwealth assessment team meets President Barrow

Fajara, 8 September 2017 – President Adama Barrow today received a team of officials from the Commonwealth Secretariat in London. The officials had been in The Gambia for a week-long assessment mission, which could soon lead to the country’s full return to the Commonwealth.

President Barrow expressed his pleasure at receiving the Commonwealth assessment team, and thanked them for their mission. He said it was easy for The Gambia to re-apply for membership of The Commonwealth because of the deep-seated feeling by Gambians that they had never really left the Commonwealth family. He described the unilateral decision to withdraw the country from the organisation in 2013 as unfortunate and uncalled for, stressing that The Gambia never wanted to leave. He said: “Nobody wants to be isolated. We want to be part of all international bodies. This was one man’s decision, and not something that was put to all Gambians. If it had been a referendum, the decision would never have been taken.”

The President stressed that The Gambia wished to be fast-tracked to full membership of the Commonwealth once again. He said it was inconceivable for Gambians to remain outside the Commonwealth when other nations wanted to join. The people of The Gambia, he emphasized, had taken a decision in December 2016 about the direction of their future as a new democracy and a new Gambia.

“We are careful and are calculating our steps so that we do not make mistakes,” President Barrow explained. “We believe in the principle of democracy and are positive about our future. Gambians are looking forward to our return to the Commonwealth. So the message is full membership as soon as possible. We are confident that your fact-finding mission will have provided you with all the information that you need, and we hope that the report will be positive, because The Gambia is back.”

Head of Human Rights at the Commonwealth Secretariat, Karen McKenzie thanked President Barrow for the team’s warm welcome in The Gambia, and for the government’s logistical support for a week of very productive meetings with stakeholders.

Ms McKenzie said The Gambia’s membership in the Commonwealth over the years had been beneficial, and provided technical assistance to the country. She explained that the Commonwealth Secretariat would now make an assessment of how well The Gambia met membership prerequisites, and this would form part of the Commonwealth Secretary General’s consultation with member states.

The formal process, thereafter, will entail the Government of The Gambia being invited to submit a formal request to rejoin the Commonwealth. That formal expression of interest would then be considered by the members.

Other members of the Commonwealth Secretariat team with Ms McKenzie were: Dr Roger Koranteng, Head of Public Sector Governance; Ms Marie-Pierre Olivier, Legal Policy Advisor, Rule of Law; and Ms Lindiwe Maleleka, Political Officer, Africa in the Secretariat’s Political Division. The team was accompanied by Ms Saffie Sankareh, Permanent Secretary from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambians Abroad.

End

Contact:

Amie Bojang-Sissoho
Director of Press & Public Relations
Office of the President, State House, Banjul
Email:absissoho@op.gov.gm
dpprop2017@gmail.com

PRESIDENT BARROW LAUNCHES NATIONAL SECURITY COUNCIL

August 21, 2017

REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
PRIVATE Office of The President
State House
Banjul
THE GAMBIA _____________________________________________________________________________

21 August, 2017

PR/C/214/(ABS)

President Barrow launches the National Security Council

Fajara, 21 August 2017-President Adama Barrow today launched a 7 member National Security Council (NSC) at a ceremony held at his office.

President Barrow urged the Council members to work together and complement their efforts. He emphasized the unity of purposed amongst the members in serving one government for a strong, safe and secure nation. The Gambian leader said with coordination and corporation, the different units of the armed and security forces could overcome potential from being real threats, nationally and globally to guarantee the security of all Gambians. President Barrow urged the various security units to take up their responsibilities to protect the country. “Let us through our Gambia Police Force and related services enforce our laws and deter the criminals. Let us through our State Intelligence Service based on informed analysis, provide advice to policy makers to enable them make informed policy options, take decisions and enhance strategic interventions.”

President Barrow underscored the importance of having structures in place and said he had confidence in the team to provide him with proper advise to make informed decisions on security matters. He further linked the importance of peace and security to socio-economic development.

CDS in his remarks thanked President Barrow for the confidence bestowed on them and congratulated his colleagues. He said the National Security Council would provide oversight advise and guide the President to execute their functions at a time when faced with security challenges. He said the council would fill the vacuum in the 3 levels of the security structure in maintaining peace and security and lay the foundation for Socio-economic development. He pledged that they would provide candid security advise and analysis. He enjoined his colleagues to work as a team to promote peace and development.

The members of the NSC are minister of Interior, Mai Ahmed Fatty, Inspector General of Police, Landing Kinteh, Chief of Defense Staff, Lieutenant General Masaneh Kinteh, Director of State Intelligent Service, Ousman Sowe Navy Commander, Momodou Madani Senghore Brigadier General, Mamat Cham and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defense, Assan Tangara.

The ceremony was witnessed by the Speaker of the National Assemblly, Honorable Maraim Jack – Denton, Secretary General Dawda Fadera, Foreign Affairs Minister, Honourable Ousainou Darbo and other senior officials.

End

PRESIDENT BARROW SWEARS IN NEW JUDICIAL SERVICE COMMISSIONERS

August 20, 2017

PRESIDENT BARROW

REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
PRIVATE Office of The President
State House
Banjul
THE GAMBIA _____________________________________________________________________________

17th August , 2017

PR/C/213/(ABS)

President Barrow swears in two new Judicial Service commissioners

Fajara 17 August 2017- President Adama Barrow has sworn in two new members of The Gambia’s Judicial Service Commission. Former National Assembly member Lamin Ceesay of Jarumeh Koto and veteran agronomist Bolong L.K. Jatta of Busumbala both took the oath at a swearing-in ceremony in the Office of the President today.

Constituting the membership of the commission and getting it fully operational is part of the institutional reforms underway to improve efficiency in the Gambian Judiciary.

Messrs Jatta and Ceesay told journalists after the ceremony that they would work diligently along with other members to contribute to sound reform of the Gambian Judiciary. They expressed their appreciation for the trust bestowed on them, and optimism that the appointment of qualified Gambian judges would restore confidence in the country’s judicial system.

Chief Justice Hassan Abubacarr Jallow said the new members of the Judicial Service Commission brought a wealth of community experience to the work of the body, and strengthened it immensely. He expressed confidence in their ability to discharge their responsibilities with professionalism and integrity.

The Judiciary Service Commission is responsible for recommending appointments of judges and magistrates. It also advises the President and the government on measures to improve efficiency.

The appointments were based on section 145(1)(e) and section 145(1)(f) of The Gambia’s 1997 Constitution.

The Secretary General and head of the Gambian Civil Service, Mr Dawda Fadera, and senior officials from the Judiciary and the Office of the President witnessed the ceremony.

End

Contact:

Amie Bojang-Sissoho
Director of Press & Public Relations
Office of the President, State House, Banjul
Email:absissoho@op.gov.gm
dpprop2017@gmail.com
Tel: +220 9957592
Twitter: @BarrowPresident
Twitter:@AmieBSissoho
Facebook: Barrow PORG
Website: statehouse.gov.gm

GOOD MORNING PRESSIDENT BARROW

July 10, 2017

IGP KINTEH

PRESIDENT BARROW

Firstly, Mr President, allow me to commend IGP Kinteh for his brilliant interview on GTRS on Friday. Undoubtedly, he did rise and shine in all his answers. Watching him drizzles flashes of a hopeful future for the Police under his supervision if he remains bold, steadfast and true to his ideals.

Hypothetically, it is a prerequisite on law-enforcers to be seen abiding by the law. As a consequent, Police officers must at all times exercise great care in ensuring the legality of their actions. Albeit this may sometimes register slips and falls owing to undue pressure from politicians, the public and corruption to conveniently quick fix selective situations, society is best served and protected when the police dutifully patrol within corridors of the law. That will, definitely, renovate its dilapidated image, pep up public confidence and resuscitate trust in our police service.

Despite all the worrisome clouds hovering over our Police Force, appropriate and bold conditions can disperse them to pave way for a brighter future marinated with stunning professionalism. Mr President, for the sake of clarity, let me affirm that I am not here claiming to possess all the medicaments for the police malaise but have a reasonable grasp of its seeming intractable multi-faceted virus. Some of my readers will recollect when Momodou Sabally was appointed Secretary General, I wrote him an open letter admonishing as a colleague I regard very highly and suggested possible means he could utilise to preserve his integrity. My concerns did outlive the termites of time. IGP Kinteh is my squad and we shared many experiences. Consequences, I want his legacy to be a success story.

At this juncture, Mr President, one is charmed to query why is the Police Force so enmeshed in shameful maladministration peppered with blatant corruption? In an effort to avail factual response, I will confine my argument mainly on Organisational Structure, Command and Control this morning. Until 1994, the GPF Organisational Structure was tailored to hone and harness command and control. There were only the IGP, DIG, AIG Operations, AIG Admin and CMC assisted by 5 CSPs, 10 SPs and 21 ASPs as senior officers which included Immigration as it was administered by the Police. Major Police Stations such as Banjul were manned by either a Chief Inspector or an Inspector assisted by Sergeants as Relief Commanders. Corporals formed the core of Supervising NCOs. Then arrived the “Electronic Broom” of the monster which swept many senior officers into oblivion. 1994 also witnessed the scrapping of the AIGs positions. And in 2001, came the Commissioner ranks.
The second coming of some of the swept officers brought with it the unwitting littering of the commissioner ranks. Today, The Gambia Police Force has more commissioners than the UK, Nigeria, Ghana and Sierra Leone. IGP Kinteh needs to carefully look into the organisational structure and water down the littered ranks. As a starter, the likes of Ousman Gibba, Edu Sambou, Famara Jallow, Modou Sowe and Modou Gaye all had once served as DIGs before receiving their marching orders and only to be later reinstated with demotion. The truth be told, all these men have seen their best-before dates and have nothing more to offer the police. As a result, they should be retired with benefit to scale down the excessive and unnecessary Commissioner ranks.

Command and Control is less effective due to the liquidation of the ranks, unthoughtful deployments, sexual favours, corruption and political interference. A succinct illustration is the scenario of Commissioners Demba Sowe and Buba Sarr. By service, Sowe seniors Sarr. Sowe got deployed to head Interpol while Sarr was appointed CMC. Operationally, CMC oversees Interpol, Prosecution, Serious Crime and Fraud Squad. Thus, making Sowe answerable to his junior which gravely compromised command and control. Similarly, if an IGP sleeps with Sergeant and/or Private Enchanting in Banjul station, how does the State Officer expect her to fall in when he orders? If the Station Officer isn’t careful with her, he will find himself in Fatoto within the blink of an eye. This too erodes command and control.

The creation of irrational positions is another toothache of the police. For instance, when Tijan Badjie got reinstated after been fired and locked up, the position of Deputy CMC was created for him perhaps to compensate his prosecuting of Ex-IGP Ben Jammeh. It has been brought to my notice that the position of Pateh Bah which I highlighted on my Friday series was actually Regional Crime Co-ordinator for Kanifing and not CMC-Kanifing. Very smart in deed. Who are we fooling here? What happened to OC CID in each of the Police Divisions? To me the RCC is an identical twin of the OC CID unless their operational roles are not overlapping. Albeit the RCC is answerable to the CMC, his role replicates that of the Divisional OC CID.

Sulayman Jeng
Birmingham, UK

JARRA BURENG IN DISTRESS – SEEKS YOUR KIND GENEROSITY!  

July 5, 2017

 

A heavy downpour of rain accompanied by heavy winds have caused unprecedented destruction of homes, food stocks and other properties in our hometown of Bureng in the Lower River Region of The Gambia.

In the immediate aftermath of this widespread destruction, the leadership and members of the Bureng Association USA, Inc mobilized and approved an interim emergency support of about $4500 (D200, 000). This amount will be disbursed in two tranches of D100, 000 each. The first amount will be disbursed immediately (not later than Monday), and the remaining balance will be disbursed soon, after further assessment of needs.

This is an interim measure and we are committed to doing more by the Grace of God. We have also launched a fundraising drive on GoFundMe at https://www.gofundme.com/helpbureng to mobilize more resources to assist in this dire situation.

Finally, on behalf of our entire leadership team, we want to thank our members for their support to the Association.  By the same token, we wish to call upon all persons from Bureng who have yet to support this Association to immediately come and join.

From support during Ramadan, to helping the Arabic School and the Masjid Project, the Bureng Association USA, Inc in its short life (less than 2 years) has demonstrated high level commitment to helping the community of Bureng, especially now that natural disaster struck. We are stronger, when we are together.

your Sincerely,

Alieu SL Darboe
Secretary General
Bureng Association USA, Inc.

GAMBIA’S STATE HOUSE EXPLAINS PRESIDENT’S TO CONGO

April 17, 2017

President Barrow with his host Sasso Nguesso of Congo

A Media Release from the Office of the President, State House, Banjul, The Gambia PR/C/153/(ABS), 16th April, 2017, explained President Adama Barrow’s recent visit to Congo, as a friendly visit.

The release states:

“President Barrow made Friendly visit to Brazaville, Republic of Congo.

His Excellency President Adama Barrow, accompanied by some senior government officials, made a two day friendly visit to the Republic of Congo to cement the friendly and brotherly relations between the Republic of The Gambia and the Republic of Congo. The visit was at the invitation of his Congolese counterpart.

Upon arrival at the airport, he was received by his host, His Excellency, President Denis Sassou Nguesso. Gambians living in Brazaville and Kinshasa were also at the airport to welcome President Barrow.

During an interview with journalists upon arrival, the Gambian leader said the purpose of the visit was to strengthen the relations with his African counterpart. On the state of affairs in The Gambia, President Barrow told them it was on the basis of democratic principles that he vied for the elections and it was on the same principles that the National Assembly elections was also conducted. He further stated that the election was about change in The Gambia and it was well organized. Responding on the reasons for his earlier visit to France, he informed them that it was at the invitation of the French President, Francois Hollande.

During the visit, the two Heads of State expressed joy in the excellent friendly and brotherly relations which exist between them and called for it to be re-enforced between people of the two countries.

President Denis Sassou Nguesso renewed his congratulations to the Gambian people for the successful legislative election and commended its organization. He further commended the efforts to promote peace, democracy and social cohesion in The Gambia.

President Barrow on his part took the opportunity to thank President Denis Sassou Nguesso and his government for their role in consolidating democracy, peace and economic development of the Republic of Congo. H. E Mr. Adama Barrow commended the role and actions taken by President Denis Sassou Nguesso, as Chairman of the AU committee on the resolution of the crisis in Libya and wished him a successful mandate. He also thanked his host for sending a strong delegation to his inauguration earlier in February.

The two Heads of State expressed concern on the persistent crises in African countries such as South Sudan, Democratic Republic of Congo, Burundi and Central Africa Republic. They pledged to work together to promote dialogue to guarantee peace and stability. The Heads of State affirmed their commitment to realize the 2063 Agenda which calls for the transformation of the Continent and the construction of “the Africa we want”. They took note of the importance of regional integration for the realization of the development objectives of the continent.
On global affairs, they renewed their commitment to fight terrorism, which threatens peace and security and retards development efforts. To that effect, they expressed solidarity with all countries affected by the barbaric and violent acts of terrorist groups, and equally determined to support the International community in its efforts against this evil phenomenon.

The two Heads of State equally reaffirmed their position as Africans on the proposed reform of the Security Council of the United Nations and on other matters of interest to Africa.

Representatives of the Gambian community comprising elders and youths in Brazaville and neighbouring Kinshasha, also took the opportunity to pay a courtesy call on the Gambian leader. They were led by the Gambian Honorary Consular in Congo, Haji Tunkara. They expressed joy for the election of President Barrow as well as the recently concluded National Assembly elections in The Gambia.

During the visit President Sassou Nguesso also hosted a dinner in honour of the visiting Gambian Head of State, witnessed by senior Congolese government officials and diplomats.

At the end of the visit, H.E. Mr. Adama Barrow thanked the President, government and the People of Congo for the brotherly reception and honor accorded to him and his delegation.

Amie Bojang-Sissoho
Director of Press and Public Relations

For: Secretary General
CC: ​Media Houses
Web Manager – State House Website”

GAMBIANS IN MINNESOTA CELEBRATE THEIR COUNTRY’S 52ND INDEPENDENCE IN GRAND STYLE

March 24, 2017

President Mohammed Fatty and first Lady Chaku Ebrima Touray waiving to the crowd

By Lamin Sabally- Minneapolis

Gambians in Minnesota have turned out in their large numbers last Saturday March 4th to mark the country’s 52ND Independence Anniversary celebrations. Organized by the Leadership of the Gambian Association in Minnesota, the event was also attended by Presidents and executive members of sister West African Organizations in Minnesota and among them were, the Presidents of Ghana Association, Edmund Ocansey, Nigerian Association, Grace Mobosi, Mali Association, Musa Diawarra, Senegalese Association, Haddy Haidara accompanied by their executive members and families and representatives of the Minnesota Mandigo Liberian Association and friends of the Gambia. Also in attendance were members and the President of West African Collaborative in Minnesota- WAC- Lawyer Kwao Amegashie, which is s made up of the leadership of West African national organizations in Minnesota. Its mission is to bring West African communities and organizations in Minnesota together to collaborate, build capacity, and address shared needs and visions. 

The colorful and fun-packed event presented selected children from the community who posed as President, Vice President, cabinet ministers and security services to exactly mimic how official independence anniversaries are celebrated in the Gambia.

In welcoming the guests, Master of Ceremony, Lamin Gibba, who is also the Secretary General of the Gambia Association in Minnesota encouraged all Gambians to be fully engaged in the political discussions of the Gambia and be prepared to put our leaders to account at all times. New Gambia cannot afford another type of dictatorship; he emphasized, and called for participatory democracy in the new political dispensation.

Speaking to the jubilating crowd immediately after inspecting the guards of honor mounted by children soldiers, Muhammed Fatty who posed as junior president of the Gambia reechoed President Adama Barrow’s independence message that his government will embark on programs that will lead to sustainable development, good governance and fix the issue of youth unemployment. He said crime against Gambians committed in the last twenty-two years will be investigated and people found guilty of crimes will be dealt according to the law. Gambia has changed for good. Junior President Fatty noted that the people are fully conscious that they can put government in office as well as remove it. No government will ever be able to entrench itself against the will of the Gambian people. This is the lesson we must draw from the change that has been brought by the people.

Lamin Sabally, the President of the Gambian Association in Minnesota called for unity among all Gambians irrespective of their political affiliations and urged the community to continue to support the Association in order for it to fully realize its goals of promoting unity and cohesion. Sabally acknowledged the high-level presence of the presidents of the sister west African organizations in Minnesota and described it as show of their solidarity with the Gambia as demonstrated by the AU & ECOWAS leaders through their direct effective involvement with the peaceful resolution of the political impasse.

The guest speaker on the event Papa Faal, an author and renowned Civil Rights activist influentially appealed to Gambians to make their political leaders accountable at all times to prevent them from possessing absolute political powers that he said is a recipe of corruption and dictatorship. Faal, who was part of the botched December 30th attack on State House in an attempt forcibly dislodge former President Jammeh, implored Gambian electorate to elect leaders with three fundamental leadership core values in mind, Integrity, service before self and accountability. In a moving speech characterized by intermittent rapturous applause from his attentive audience, Faal, who is a US Navy veteran, said the Gambia’s peaceful political resolution, which included regional bodies like AU, and ECOWAS at the forefront of negotiations, with support from the UN and powerful western democracies is an indication that Africans are capable of solving their own problems without having to rely exclusively on western intervention. He suggested that the Gambia module should be replicated in all parts of Africa as an exemplary module to solve any political problem on the continent.

Assortment of Senegambia musical entertainment was supplied by Minnesota top DJ, Bless Jagne.