Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

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.

BREAKING NEWS: LAWYER DARBOE AND OTHER DETAINED PROTESTERS SLAPPED WITH FLIMSY CHARGES

April 20, 2016
Para-Military Personnel confronting Protesters

Para-Military Personnel confronting Protesters

The leader of United Democrattic Party (UDP) Mr.Lawyer Ousainou Darboe who was arrested on the 16th of April 2016 for leading a peaceful protest was arrainged today together with other detainees at the high court in Banjul.  Mr Darboe and other arrested peaceful protesters of around 3 dozens were slapped with flimsy charges , charges without merit whatsover. They where charged on six counts as follows:

1. Unlawful assembly

2. Riot

3. Incitement of violence

4. Riotously interfering with traffic

5.Holding a procession without a license

6. Disobeying an order to disperse from an unlawful procession

However the most talked about detained protesters that  include Solo Sandeng, Fatoumata Jawara, Nokoi Njie, Fatou Camara  and Modou Ngum where not among those arraigned before the high court affirming earlier reports that they are killed or serious wounded due to sever tortue.Lawyer Antouman Gaye represented the peacful protesters and no bail was offered to them but were rather remanded at the mile II central prisons.

The rogue regime in Gambia is under high international pressure to release illegally detained protesters and seriously critcized for poor handling of poor handling of the situation. Meanwhile Gambias in different parts of the world came out in their large numbers to protest against the heavy handedness of the government on unarmed protesters. From London, Paris  to New York Gambians have expressed their dissaffaction with the recent happenings of security personnel brutalazing defenseless innocent citizens of the country.

GAMBIA: PEACEFUL PROTEST TURNED UGLY

April 17, 2016
Para-Military Personnel Manhandling Protesters

Para-Military Personnel manhandling Protesters

Lawyer Darbo & top opposition figures sticking together and marching forward

Lawyer Darbo & top opposition figures sticking together and marching forward

They held a banner with the inscription “We Need Proper Electoral Reform In The Gambia” marching on the main highway in Gambia’s biggest town Serekunda but the procession of defenseless protesters was seriously cracked down by security personnel. The leader of the protest Solo Sandeng was whisked away together with close to a dozen other protesters.  What started as a peaceful protest demanding electoral reform turned ugly in no time on the 14th of April 2016. The peaceful protesters initially resisted arrest for they have not committed any crime; what they did is sanctioned by section 25 sub section 1(d) of the Gambian constitution but they were taken away when a truck load of paramilitary personnel arrived on the scene.  According to reports reaching our desk those arrested on Thursday were taken to mile II central prisons and then later transferred to NIA torture chambers where they were severely tortured. The leader of the Protest Mr. Ebrima Solo Sandeng is reported to have died and one of the female protesters arrested along side with him seriously injured according to a report issued by Amnesty International.

The leader of the opposition party United Democratic Party (UDP) Lawyer Ousainou Darboe  issued  a press statement condemning the arrest of peaceful protester and allege killing of one of the party’s youth leaders Mr. Sandeng. In his press statement Mr. Darboe abhorred the behavior of the NIA Director Yankuba Badjie whom he said got his men drunk and unleashed them to severely torture defenseless protesters couple with filming torture sessions to satisfy the sadist Yaya Jammeh.  After issuing the press statement Lawyer Darboe took to the street together with top opposition figures demanding the release of those still held in custody and an explanation of the death of Solo Sandeng.  Mr. Darboe’s peaceful procession also turned ugly as security forces confronted them spraying tear gas and taking in Lawyer Darboe and other top opposition figures.

The U.S State Department has issued  a statement urging the Gambia government to exercise restraint and not deny the protesters their right to peaceful assembly.   Meanwhile the Government of the Gambia through it’s mouth piece Information Minister Sheriff Bojang issued a press release urging the international community not to interfere with the domestic affairs of the Gambia.  Up to the the time of going to press Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and close to a dozen top opposition figures were still held incommunicado. The information minister when confronted on BBC on the illegal detention of opposition figures he claimed that those arrested have breached the public order act.  Some people in some quarters especially western holiday makers have expressed concern on the effect of the recent turmoil on tourism but others responded to such concerns that fundamental freedoms and respect for human dignity are more important than some chicken change from tourism.

JAMMEH’S LACK OF VISION EXPOSED IN HIS ASSEMBLY SPEECH

April 1, 2016
Am I bothered! Yahya Jammeh seems to be implying from his posture!

Am I bothered! Yahya Jammeh implies from his posture!

After failing to attend the previously scheduled opening of this year’s Legislative year, the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh finally appeared at the country’s National Assembly, on Thursday, 31 March 2016, to address the legislative body of the country. Unlike previous years, the President use the occasion to spew his venom at the absentee West, whilst exposing his lack of vision to improve and develop the country to his viewing countrymen.

The delusional Gambian leader had very little for his domestic audience in the speech, except his unsurprising threat to laid off all of the country’s current lawyers, Judges, etc, by changing the country’s legal system into Sharia; in adopting Sharia Law as the Supreme Law of the land. The visionless leader failed to give details of any benefit to the country to be achieved from such a change of the country’s legal system from the English Common Law legal system to an Islamic Sharia based legal system. He further failed to expound on why the need for such change in the country, at present; when the country lack the institutions and expertise to run such a legal system.

He further bragged about the opportunities available in his country, which foreigners are making the best of, whilst the youths of the country are leaving to seek for the same jobs in the racist Europe. He commended the women folk of his country for what he described as their hard-work and making the best use of the opportunities in the country.

The Gambian President previously used the occasion to brag about his many visions for the development of his country; most notably his Vision 2016 and Vision 2020. His Vision 2016 promised to attain the country to a self-food sufficient status by 2016, and bragging to bar all food importation into the country by January 2016.

However, almost four months into 2016, there is not a scintilla sign of halting in the food importation into the country. Neither is the country anywhere near attaining that Self-Food-Sufficiency status, at present, than any other year in its history. Leaving the Gambian President visionless for 2016. As a result, the President deliberately omitted any mention of Vision 2016 in his speech or provide any reason for the failures of his Vision 2016 in his speech.

Instead, as if he was addressing Western politicians, or better still Western audience, the mentally disturbed President spent greater part of his marathon speech to denigrate the West for their wrong labeling of terrorists. He complained that the West was wrong to label ISIS as an Islamic Terrorist group, whilst refusing to label KKK as a Christian Terrorist group. He further criticised the West for labelling their extremists and racists as far right, quizzing “what is right in racism?”

The erratic President further went on to castigate the west for its interference into African politics. Questioning, “Who are you” – referring to the west – to state a leader should not lead or be in power, when his people voted for him to be there. He preached that the West talk of regime change, but they cannot change a regime sustained by Allah!

To sum up, the Gambian President’s speech was another ploy to divert attention from domestics to international issues, which concerns his suffering people very little. His speech was simply design to attract headlines and attention, but lack any substance for the average Gambian families, struggling to make end meets. It’s another clear sign that there is nothing left in the cupboard of Yahya Jammeh to improve the living standards of Gambians or develop the Gambia.

All that is left in Jammeh’s cupboard is lies and more lies.

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