Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

BREAKING NEWS!!! SENEGALESE TRANSPORT UNION LEADER DISMISSES REPORTS THAT BORDER IS OPEN

May 24, 2016
Long queue of Lorries at the Senegal-Gambia border

Long queue of Lorries at the Senegal-Gambia border

The leader of the Senegalese transport union Gora Khouma has vehemently dismissed reports circulated in the Senegalese media that Senegal-Gambia border has reopened today.  A defiant Gora made such refutations on RFM radio today. He said it has come to his attention that last night some media houses in Senegal carried stories of reopening of the border but as far as the transport union is concerned the border still remains closed.   News that a possible lasting deal is struck between Senegal and Gambia in the border standoff was feeding in and circulating  on social media which this paper also reported but as things stand at the moment the transport union of Senegal seem to have the final say on the prolonged border crises.

Mr. Gora Khouma and his union are not showing any signs of relenting in this long ride triggered by a unilateral decision  of tariff increment by the regime in Banjul.  The leader has expressed strong opposition to the way the Gambian leader  has been comporting himself with regards to transport route via Gambia. The way situation is unfolding at this hour , shows that the Union leader is not wavering from his initial stance that  for the border to open again it is either President Jammeh resigns from the presidency or he Mr. Khouma resigns as head of the transport union. There has not been any confirmed report this morning that the long border impasse is over.  Therefore as at now it is a wait and see situation. We would continue to keep our readers abreast as things unfold in the border crises.

 

SENEGAL – GAMBIA BORDER STANDOFF HALTS

May 24, 2016
Presidents of Senegal & Gambia

Presidents of Senegal & Gambia

The long boarder standoff between Senegal and Gambia is expected to halt today May 24th according to reports feeding in from Senegalese media houses. The border impasse which lasted for over three months started when the Gambia government unilaterally decided to raise tariffs for Lorries passing through the country to an exorbitant amount of 400,000cfa francs. The transport union of Senegal responded with drastic actions which involve avoiding the trans-Gambia route and barring Gambia vehicles from coming into Senegal.  The situation seriously affected the free movement of people, goods and services between the two countries.

Prior to the latest report of reopening of the border the Guinean President step in and mediated for the two sides to negotiate and find a lasting solution which resulted in Gambia sending envoys to Dakar about 2weeks ago to discuss with their Senegalese counterparts. A day before said meeting in Dakar the Gambia leader went on national television chastising Senegal for the border closure.  The meeting ended with Senegal putting up a number of conditions if the border is to reopen.  Some of the conditions include commencement of the bridge project and a return to the original tariff.  At the end of the meeting there was no indication that a decision has been reached by both sides instead a date was set for a next round of meeting in July.

Some observers hinted that there might have been behind the scene negotiation which culminated in Banjul backtracking on the tariff increase and may have given assurances to Senegal on the commencement of the bridge project which led to the reported reopening of the border today.  Observers also say Senegal is dealing with someone who hardly honors agreements and runs The Gambia like his personal property, taking unilateral decisions every now and then.   For now it is a wait and see situation.

MOMENTUM OF CIVIL DISOBEDIENCE BUILDING UP IN BANJUL ; LAWYER DARBOE AND CO DENIED BAIL

May 5, 2016
Defiant crowd outside court house

Defiant crowd outside court house

Women with brooms poised to clean the rogue regime's mess

Women with brooms poised to clean the rogue regime’s mess

The leader of the opposition party United Democratic Party (UDP) Lawyer  Ousainou Darboe  who was arrested on  April 16th along with other peaceful protesters were denied bail today at the high Court in Banjul.  Many view the decision to deny the formal bail application tendered by defense team of illegally detained protesters as a traverse to justice which highlight President Jammeh’s hair splitting stratagem of weakening the morale of concerned Gambians who ply to Banjul to protest in front  of the Court house during every seating.  Such a strategy is likely to backfire on the rogue regime because the People do not show any sign of relent as their numbers continue to bulge at every Court hearing.

The momentum of civil disobedience is gaining ground as People continue to mobilize and demonstrate  in front of court house chanting anti- regime slogans and demanding the release of Solo Sandeng death or alive.  Yesterday during the hearing of the first batch of peaceful protesters arrested on April 14th, the state produce eight new people held in custody among them  3 female protesters who were feared death. Fatoumatta Jawara, Nokoi  Njie and Fatou Camara were arraigned before the high Court yesterday. Those who saw these 3 ladies yesterday at the Court house lamented traces of torture and inhuman treatment by their captors.  There are revelations underscoring that these decent ladies were subjected to all forms of torture and rape while in incommunicado. This is the reason why the state refused to tender them in Court initially and waited until their torture wounds heal a bit before producing them in Court.

The fear factor is gradually desecrated in the Gambia for people express themselves freely around the Court house and are ready for whatever consequences. The women today came with brooms which signifies that the Gambia is in a big mess and they are ready to clean the country of that mess. With Those brooms they shall clean the country of dictatorship , oppression, torture and killing of innocent Citizens. Lawyer Ousainou Darboe, his UDP executive and other peaceful protesters plying the road between mile II Central prison and Banjul high court are in high spirit and resolved to face any consequences for the interest of the Gambian People. Next round of Court hearing is scheduled to take place next week Monday April 9th.

THE GAMBIA WAVE OF PROTESTS HITS NORWAY

April 30, 2016
Gambians & Friends of The Gambia at the solidarity gathering in Oslo

Gambians & Friends of The Gambia at the solidarity gathering in Oslo

The wave of protest to show solidarity with victims of the recent crackdown on peaceful demonstrators in Gambia has reached the shores of Scandinavia where the waves finally hit the city of Oslo yesterday evening Friday 29th April at 4:30pm. After attending the normal Friday prayers and listening to a strong sermon  from an eloquent Imam who touched on holding fast to the truth in this world come what may, concerned Gambians and friends of the Gambia marched out to the Younstorget open Plaza Downtown Oslo  to protest against recent happenings in the Gambia.

Despite the short notice given , attendance was unprecedented.  Previous protests on Gambia in Oslo hardly attracts a dozen participants but this time around the turnout was impressive. This shows the fear factor both in the Gambia and abroad is being gradually hack to pieces. Before the event started the crowd sang  revolutionary slogans depicting the appalling human rights situation in the Gambia. “Na dem” “na dem”  meaning «let him go» «let him go» freedom for Gambia, down to dictatorship the crowd chanted.

After warming up with revolutionary chants the event proper started with the singing of the national anthem of the Gambia.  After the roaring national anthem a host of speakers took to the podium and each and everyone of them lamented on the pressing need to release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience in the Gambia. There was a representative from the Norwegian Council for Africa who spoke at the event. He echoed concerns of the UN repertoire on torture on the human rights situation in the  Gambia. He buttressed that the regime in Gambia should release all the detained peaceful protesters and drop all charges leveled against members of the opposition party UDP.

Prior to the gathering on Friday a delegation of the Oslo-Gambian affairs had a Meeting With the Norwegian Foreign affairs Department in which the Gambian delegation was given an opportunity to address the Foreign Department on the human rights situation and issues of concern in the Gambia. The Meeting took Place on Thursday 28th April . The delegation brought the following Points to the attention of the Foreign Department;

  1. Enhance efforts through the EU and other bodies to impose and strengthen a travel ban on Jammeh and his henchmen
  2. More pressure to facilitate access for the UN Special Rapporteur to investigate human rights violations in The Gambia.
  3. To closely follow Jammeh’s close collaboration with Turkey. Turkey is being gradually embraced by the EU and we tried to highlight the contradiction of a possible EU member state enhancing a dictatorial regime.
  4. Political asylum for Gambian dissidents in Senegal who had fled the country and urgently in need of protection.

The foreign department expressed gratitude for the visit and stressed the Norwegian government’s commitment to human rights, which they ensure is high on the agenda in international fora. They also mentioned that the Norwegian ambassador in Ghana is accredited to Gambia and that the ambassador while presenting his credentials to Jammeh, discussed both democracy and human rights. The embassy sends updates, but that they will appreciate more updates on the developments in The Gambia. The delegation promised to be sending more information.

The Foreign Department has promised to send an official response to address the issued raised by the Oslo-Gambian affairs delegation.

The nose is tightening for the rogue regime in Gambia. The Oslo-Gambian affairs has planned to take part in the 1st May procession in Oslo to further expose the deplorable human rights situation in the Gambia. The procession will begin at 11:30 am on Sunday 1st May at Youngstorget downtown Oslo.

SITUATIONAL ANALYSIS: DARBOE & CO BETWEEN MILE II AND COURT; REGIME’S STRATEGY FOR SURVIVAL

April 27, 2016
Defiant Protesters around the High Court in Banjul

Defiant Protesters around the High Court in Banjul

Paramilitary Personnel on guard around high court in Banjul

Paramilitary Personnel on guard around high court in Banjul

By Gambiankolu

Today marks the third time when the Gambian prominent opposition leader Lawyer H Darboe and the co were brought to court hearing since their arrest and detention following the peaceful march geared towards the release of the detained UDP youth wing leader Solo Sandeng and his colleagues. The court, which has denied the opposition their bail application, is believed to be devising calculated strategies, engineered by Yaya Jammeh, to manipulate and delay the procedures in an attempt extinguish the moral of the detainees and their families. As the demand by Mr Darboe for release of Solo Sandeng dead or alive is fall on deaf hear, Lawyer Darboe are being frequented the court for the third time in two weeks.

What is Yahya Jammeh opting to achieve! Yaya is prolonging the process in order to permit the enthusiasm and zeal of determination and defiance to be killed in the people with time . This is because the continuing trend of defiance and persistence of fearlessness for Yahya Jammeh are unprecedented in The Gambia; thus, Yahya Jammeh is paranoid with presence of large number of people in the court. This uneasiness with the situation is manifested in blocking routes to Banjul and to the higher court and the deployment of para militaries in the site. The fact that Yahya is out of sight publicly also demonstrates the amount of fear and uncomfortableness he is retaining at the moment vis-a-vis the unfolding situation in Banjul.

Despite the fact the defiance and determination are higher among the people, this could be vanished if we put into consideration the financial cost and the hardship of traveling to Banjul to attend the court procedures; this is even acute if we consider the fact that so far there are no melodious and positive outcomes which can be touched by these people with their presence. Therefor, amid the deterioration the legitimacy of Yahya among The Gambians both at home and abroad; as Yahya Jammeh is sensing the fragile nature of his grip on power; as regional and international pressures are being built on Yahya Jammeh; as international media are closely watching the development in The Gambia; as foreign diplomats in the Gambia are engaged in the process of releasing the detainees; and as the security as cautious to attack the people amid mobile-photo-taken revolution, it is the higher time for Gambians to seize these opportunities to organize another peaceful march the message of which should revolve around releasing the detainees.

This is even acute when we put into consideration the uplift moral and inspiration of the people especially women who show now fear to confront the regime through what I term ” calama revolution”. To this end, the UDP party partisans and emphasizers, in collaboration with other enthusiastic party leaders should mobilize people to take to the street. In this context, the roles of the online radio should be emphasized on getting the date and avenue of the March across. Unless this is done, Yahya Jammeh we recover from his fear, and he will be brutal than ever before.

PROTESTS CONTINUE IN SENEGAL, FRANCE AND GERMANY

April 23, 2016
Protesters demand the release of UDP leaders and illegally detained

France protesters demand the release of UDP leader and others illegally detained

Gambians and Friends of the Gambia clamoring for Justice under heavy rain in Germany

Gambians and friends of the Gambia clamoring for Justice under heavy rain in Germany

Gambians and non alike came out in their large numbers yesterday 22nd April and this afternoon 23rd April to protest against the brutalization of Citizens by the rogue regime in Banjul.  Ever since the Heavy handed response to peaceful protesters in Gambia on 14th and 16th April there has been an international outcry. Gambians in the different parts of  the world came out to Express their dissatisfaction and show solidarity to victims of protest.

In Paris the protest took Place in the form of a peaceful assembly punctuated with speeches and anti – government slogans. Sheikh Sidia Bayo who With his men earlier on invaded the Gambian Embassy in Paris was among the crowd displaying the slogan “wato sita” meaning time is up for the rogue regime in Gambia to pack and give way for Democracy and rule of Law. Speaker after speaker lamented on the injustice taking Place in the lining in the belly of Senegal.

In Germany over 200 Gambians turned up at the demonstration.  What happened in the Gambia on the 14th and 16th April is a very rare occurrence for the culture of fear have engulfed Gambians for a very long time. People hardly speak openly on the injustices taking Place in the Gambia for fear of reprisal  but the latest protests is an indication that the shackles of fear and intimidation are gradually being hacked to pieces. Despite the heavy rain  in Germany  Gambians and friends of the Gambia came out in their large numbers standing shoulder to shoulder to show solidarity with oppressed people of their homeland.

Yesterday 22nd of April there was a massive demonstration in the center of Dakar that gain wide media coverage across Senegal. Senegalese politicians, youth activists and civil society groups came out to show solidarity with citizens from the neighboring country. Killa Ace the Gambian revolutionary Artist whose single “Boka C geta G” went viral was at the demonstrations spreading the revolutionary lyrics.

Protest in Dakar denouncing tyranny in Gambia

Protesters in Dakar denouncing the tyranny in Gambia

Discussions are on the way in Scandinavia ; Sweden and Norway to stage  similar protests so as to draw more international attention on the situation in Gambia. Despite protests and international condemnation the Jammeh brutal regime has refused to release the leader of the UDP and dozens of protesters arrested on the 14th and 16th April. The Regime has paid deaf ears on the demands for the release of bodies of those tortured to death while in detention. Meanwhile the detained opposition leader is posed to appear in court again on Monday on the 25th of April to battle against flimsy charges leveled on him and other peaceful protesters.

WHO IS KOMBO CENTRAL’S NEXT CHIEF?

April 22, 2016
Power struggle at the Brikama chieftancy

Power struggle at the Brikama chieftaincy

By Pa Modou Bojang

The seat of the chieftaincy for Kombo Central district in the West Coast Region has been vacant since the demise of the late Chief, Alh. Dembo Keleng Bojang of Brikama Mansaringsu. This has not only left the people of Brikama in suspense as no one knows who will be the next chief of the constituency, but also in doubt if the position will be occupied by a female chief for the first time in the history of the town.

Sources closed to the chieftaincy have it that, Mrs Kaddy Faal Bojang has been in charge of the position since the death of the late chief and some political analysts suggest that she might remain in the position as far as APRC government is concerned. If Kaddy Faal is given the appointment, this will be the first time for a woman to man that position in Kombo Central.

Kibaaro News was reliably informed that the divisional governor, Ms Aminata Siffai Hydara, in collaboration with the infamous minister of information, also a native of Brikama Suma Kunda, Sheriff Bojang, have been advising president Jammeh not to allow chieftaincy by- elections in Brikama. It is feared that the position might fall in the hands of the opposition as manifested in the last parliamentary elections in the district.

It could be recalled that Kombo Central was the only constituency in The Gambia which went against the candidate of the ruling APRC party by voting for an independent candidate.

It is also revealed that Aminata Siffai Hydara advised the president to use his executive power to officially appoint her childhood and best friend, Kaddy Faal Bojang to the position. She emphasised “only that can boost our votes in Brikama for the presidential elections”. Since then, Mrs Faal Bojang has been in charge of the chieftaincy, which did not go well with some natives of Brikama who would also like to contest for the position.

Meanwhile, there is a serious disunion with the APRC (Brikama branch) as many ‘Brikamakas’ are looking for an election to fill the position. For those critics, President Jammeh has no executive power to appoint whom he wants.

Kebba Boajng of Brikama told our reporter that it would be hypocritical for the president to appoint the acting chief, Kaddy Faal, to the position.

It will be noted that the late chief Dembo Keleng Bojang was defeated by the former Bakary Santang Bojang in the 1992 chieftaincy elections. To the surprise of many, Bakary Satang was fired four years ago by the Jammeh administration without giving any reasons and was replaced by the man he defeated in the elections.

Meanwhile, our sources have also revealed that there are numerous candidates on standby and all of them are either from Brikama Suma Kunda or Mansaringsu. Historically, these are the two areas in Brikama to contest for the position, but since the coming of President Yahya Jammeh to power, all these norms have been undermined.

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