Archive for the ‘Editorial’ Category

GAMBIA : NIA SHOULD CEASE ARRESTING INNOCENT CITIZENS – FREE DABA MUHAMMED KUYATEH NOW!

January 1, 2017

Daba Muhammed Kuyateh in the hands of NIA arrested for exercising his constitutional right

Reports are feeding in that the Gambia’s spy agency NIA is going after innocent people harassing , intimidating and  in some cases arresting them for merely expressing their constitutional rights. People wearing T Shirts of Gambia has decided have not done anything wrong but only affirming  a decision they have made on December 1st 2016 for change of government. The ordinary people of the Gambia have every right to uphold the election result which is nothing but the will of the heroic people of our country. We gathered information earlier this week that arrest warrants where issued for the leaders of the Gambia has decided campaign but knowing the public outcry such a dumb decision would generate the coward NIA is now going after young innocent youth in the street corners wearing the Gambia has decided t shirts. The latest to fall victim to this cowardly sinister project is Daba Muhammed Kuyateh. Young Kuyateh was arrested yesterday in Bakoteh for just merely wearing  a t shirt that affirms the will of the Gambian people.

Kibaaro contacted family members of the younster and they have confirmed his arrest by the notorious NIA. They have tried to establish contact with their loved one but to no avail and as we write this story Muhammed is still in the hands of the NIA.  We are vehemently reminding who ever must have orchestrated the arrest of this youngster that the Gambian community is aware of the arrest  and if anything happend to him they would be held responsible. The NIA should desist from such cowardly acts of trying to silence  an awaken populace. The people of the Gambia have decided and the shackles of fear are already broken into pieces so there is no way they can cow an energized youth population. Be aware that all crimes and atrocities are being documented and surely justice will be divered sooner or later.

GAMBIA’S JOLA SOLDIERS WILL ENSURE TRANSFER OF POWER TO MANDINKA PRESIDENT-ELECT

December 31, 2016

President Jammeh (left) will be forced to transfer power to President Elect Adama Barrow

Gambians calling for Jammeh to go down crowded a soldier on guard

In a telephone interview with Kibaaro News, a senior Military Officer of the Gambia National Army with the rank of Major, has disclosed that they are working on a plan which will see a Jola led military mutiny to force and ensure President Yahya Jammeh’s transfer of power to a Mandinka President – Elect, His Excellency Adama Barrow, come 19 January 2017. The Senior Officer, who requested anonymity, explained to Kibaaro that they want their actions to send a clear message to President Yahya Jammeh and bigots like him to understand that the Gambia is a one big family, which can never divided.

He said, as a Jola, he has cousins and nephews from all other tribes of the Gambia; and there are too many Jola soldiers like him in the Gambia National Army, who will do all they can to prevent Jammeh and his bunch of criminal jugulars from setting the Gambia on fire and turning it into the West African Rwanda.

The Officer asserted that he and over 50 junior and senior officers of the Gambian National Army, ranging from the ranks of Lieutenants to Colonels, have already pledged allegiance and are actively working on the plan to ensure the forceful transfer of power from President Jammeh to President Elect Adama Barrow on 19 January 2017. He disclosed that the majority of these officers are: Jolas, Mandinkas, Fulas, Sereres, Manjagoes, and Wolofs; but they all agreed for the Jolas to lead the operation, as a symbol of tribal unity in the Gambia.

The Officer explained his request for anonymity for now, as simply to avert the attention of the authorities from thwarting their plans. He has however provided his details including: his full name, rank and the military camp, stationed at, for our publication after Mid-Night of 18th January 2016; if Jammeh has not relinquished power by then. He will further be happy to conduct a live radio interview with Bamba Mass on Kibaaro Radio from 19 January 2016.

He assured the security and protection of President – Elect Adama Barrow come Mid-Night of 18 January 2016. He explained that they are currently following the constitution of the Gambia, which is why they continue to respect the presidency of President Yahya Jammeh, until 18 January 2016. He explained after Mid-Night of 18 January 2016, they will activate their operational plans and will cease to recognize the presidency of President Yahya Jammeh and will conduct an operation to arrest him and hand him over to President Elect Adama Barrow.

He further wishes to assure the Gambian public that, there will be no war between Gambia National Army and ECOMOG forces. He disclosed that they are in touch with some of the ECOMOG forces, who are likely to be deployed into the Gambia from Senegal and Nigeria, about their cooperation and assistance, should their deployment become necessary.

He assured: “we are not going to fight for Jammeh, for what, against our own votes, because we never voted for Jammeh”. He confessed that they have grown despondent with the direction of the country under Yahya Jammeh. He disclosed that even the most senior officers in the army are suffering. “Gambians think that the military are enjoying under Jammeh, but they don’t know our situation. No matter how much he pays us, our salaries cannot afford the prices of local commodities for ourselves and our extended family members, it is just as crazy for us as everyone else in this country my brother!”.

He added despite all these hardships, “everyone in the Gambia view us as being Jammeh and even worse, if you are a Jola; my brother!” 

Gambian soldier stood on guard as citizens celebrate the defeat of Jammeh!

He said the victory of Adama Barrow brought hope for them too in the Barracks, but could not express their joy, as of yet. He said soldiers would stage their own celebrations after the york of Yahya Jammeh is lifted from their necks on 19 January 2017. He expressed: “even if the coalition dissolved the army, as many of you in the Diaspora are calling for, we will still celebrate, for the new Gambia will create other jobs for all of us in the Gambia. We will also be happy in our homes without the constant fear and suspicion we work under daily in the Gambia National Army”.  

He concluded by calling on all Gambian National Army soldiers to pledge their loyalties to President Elect of the Gambia, Adama Barrow, from Mid-Night of 18 January 2017 and disobey all orders from any quarters, including the Army Head Quarters, if it is anything to do with defending or supporting Yahya Jammeh.

“I HAVE NO MANDATE TO ISSUE A STATEMENT EACH TIME HUMAN RIGHTS ABUSES ARE REPORTED IN ANY GIVEN COUNTRY” – SAYS ICC PROSECUTOR

June 23, 2016
Those urging me to issue a statement on Gambia are not more patriotic than me - ICC Prosecutor

Those urging me to issue a statement on Gambia are not more patriotic than me – ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bom Bensouda

In an interview aired on kibaaro radio and other sister Gambian online radios the ICC prosecutor Madam Fatou Bom Bensouda defended her position on why ICC has not issued a statement on Gambia. In the interview that was conducted by Tijan Masanneh ceesay the ICC prosecutor cited the Rome statute and deliberated on the mandate of ICC to clarify why she has not issued a statement on Gambia since the political upheaval started in April on events leading to the scheduled December 2016 presidential elections.  According to her the ICC is not a human rights body but a judicial body and she has no mandate to issue a statement each time human rights abuses are reported in any given country.

The ICC prosecutor who hails from Banjul, the Gambia has recently come under fire for remaining silent and not issuing statement on the political crises in the country like she did on Burundi, Nigeria, Sudan and Kenya.  Gambian activists have been mad with the prosecutor over her silence on Gambia accusing her of being a former enabler of the current dictatorship in the country. Madam Bensouda once served as minister of Justice under the leadership of the current Gambian government and was sacked from her ministerial position and later on secured the position of ICC prosecutor. Madam Prosecutor’s response to those Gambian activists urging her to issue a statement on Gambia is that they are not more patriotic than her and argues that when all conditions are met for her to issue a statement on Gambia she will issue a statement.  “That I’m a national of Gambia doesn’t permit me to fulfill my role in any differently than I would do in another situation” reiterated Madam Prosecutor.

According Madam Bom Bensouda the bases of the statements she issues as prosecutor is article 25 1,2 of the Rome statute as well as the specific references to the preventive mandate of the court in the preamble of the Rome statue which states as follows: – Determined to put an end to impunity for the perpetrators of these crimes and thus to contribute to the prevention of such crimes. She pointed out that her  office is aware of the recent events in the Gambia and in particular they are aware of the death in custody of an opposition activist. “In fact as soon as I heard the media report I assigned my team to assess the situation. I did that because in every state party to the ICC when any of these events are happening on their territories we monitor closely and we try to assess what is going on” buttressed the prosecutor.

She further elaborated that  her professional obligation demand that she apply the Rome statute, the legal framework of the Rome statute and to apply it consistently, to apply it independently and to apply it impartially and that is how she conducts herself without exception.  She said that she do issue statements  but only in specific circumstances namely;  when her office sees that there is tangible risk of war crimes, crimes against humanity or other crimes that are committed on a large-scale they issue these statements.    “The situation in Gambia has not reached that point yet. If it was to be the case for instance further arrests were to result in further deaths in custody I would have robustly voiced  my concerned as I did in other situations when this was required “  Madam Prosecutor further emphasized.

Despite the death in custody of an opposition activist and the dangerous threat of ethnic cleansing issued by the president of the republic of the Gambia the ICC prosecutor  still believes the time is not yet right for her to issue a statement or warning to those at the helm of power in Gambia. The whole world is watching and history is recording.

GAMBIA GOVERNMENT UNEXPECTEDLY WITHDRAWS POLICE PROTECTION AT U.S EMBASSY BANJUL

June 9, 2016
Ambassador C. Patricia Alsup

Ambassador C. Patricia Alsup

According to the Embassy of the United States of America in Gambia the government of the Gambia has unexpectedly withdrawn police protection which resulted in the embassy closing all non-essential services from Thursday June 9 until further notice.   The Embassy has not elaborated on what must have triggered such a drastic action from the regime of Yahya Jammeh.  The Embassy however indicated in the press release that it will continue to closely monitor the situation and will keep the general public informed as events unfold.

The Gambia has recently witnessed an unprecedented wave of protests against the rogue regime of Yahya Jammeh a former wrestler who has ruled the country with an iron fist for over two decades.  His rule has been characterized by serious crackdown on dissent punctuated with killings of opponents, disappearances without trace and brutal torture tactics.  The leader of the main opposition party ; United Democratic Party(UDP) Lawyer Ousainou Darboe  together with other party militants and concerned Gambians are still held behind bars for protesting against the killing of  opposition youth leader Solo Sandeng.  The detainees have been plying to court house from Mile 11 central prisons for close to two months without bail.  Concerned Gambians show solidarity in numbers around court house in Banjul at every court proceeding. Because of the tense atmosphere around every court proceeding  which sometimes results in confrontation with security personnel the country has been gauged as unstable and some western countries have cautioned their citizens to stay away from public gatherings in Gambia.

The action of the regime of Yahya Jammeh to withdraw police protection to the U.S embassy has not come as a surprise for many saw it coming in his rhetoric against the west.  Some observers say Jammeh may have issued such directives to express his anger over the light sentences given to the 30th December 2014 statehouse attackers.  Jammeh expected heavy sentences on the attackers but to his utter dismay one of the attackers Papa faal walked out free while the rest received fines and prison sentences ranging from one year to six months.

Another reason for the tyrant’s madness to the U.S could be the surveillance drones that unveiled his nefarious timber smuggling from the Cassamance forest in collaboration with Chinese companies in which he allegedly made 240 million dollars. Observers say he believes it is  the U.S through Africom  that must have tipped off the Senegalese authorities on the magnitude of the illegal timber trade with the help of images supplied by surveillance drones.

Concerned citizens of the Gambia have been clamoring for a travel ban on Jammeh and his cronies, such a decision, they believe would be a heavy blow on Jammeh and his close associates especially his wife who flies to the U.S every now and then.  There seems to be a tug of war between the U.S  and the Gambia , how that war would end is not clear but it would greatly depend on what long term measures the U.S government would adopt on such an unexpected withdrawal of police protection to  the U.S  Embassy Banjul.

ICC PROSECUTOR LIED ABOUT HER SILENCE OVER GAMBIA CRIMES

June 2, 2016

Inset: Sheriff Bojang Jnr of WDR interviewing ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda

By Yanks Darboe

The prosecutor of the International Criminal Court, Mrs Fatou Bensouda, erred in her justification for remaining silent over human rights violations taking place in the country of her origin, The Gambia, under the dictatorship of brutal Dictator Yahya Jammeh.

Speaking with the West African Radio Journalist, Sheriff Bojang Jnr. the ICC’s Prosecutor tried to justify her failure to even issue a statement on the Gambia’s ongoing political violences, as due to the role of her court, which she emphasised is not a human rights court, but rather a court established for specific crimes, which she explained as: crimes against humanity; genocide and war crimes. However, the Madam Prosecutor failed to educate her audience about the courts, which ought to be classified as Human Rights Courts and what makes them different to her court, the ICC.

The Madam Prosecutor’s explanations are quite simply inaccurate, flawed and contrived, to simply justify her hypocrisy and indifference to the crimes of her former boss Dictator Yahya Jammeh, against her own people of the Gambia, including her former colleague at the Gambian Bar and opposition leader, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe. Otherwise, if the Madam Prosecutor truly believes and meant what she explained in the interview, then she does not understand the role of her court and was wrong to postulate that her critics confused her court, as being a human rights court.

You can access Madam Prosecutor’s interview from the link below:

To assist those unfamiliar with the notion of Human rights; human rights are quite simply what could be best described as the God given rights to every human being; such as the right to life, right to justice, rights to freedom from torture, false imprisonment, rights to family life, private life, religion, political opinion, etc. Issues relating to this matters in states, where such rights are valued, respected and protected are usually dealt with by the traditional courts of those states. In Europe, the highest appellate court for such cases is the ECHR and in US Supreme Court, as well as in many other countries. These are the courts, the ICC Madam Prosecutor, in this interview, wants us to believe are human rights courts, but not hers, the ICC. This is quite simply a buffoonery!

The traditional courts in most countries deal with such human rights violations, if those states prosecute or enforce their human rights laws appropriately under their laws, such as: rape, murder, false imprisonment, etc. But this is at most against individuals behaving irresponsibly or unfortunately.

However, where this violence or crimes of torture, unlawful killings, rape, false imprisonment becomes systematic and perpetrated by the state itself or the state blatantly failed to act appropriately in redressing such violations, then the appropriate court to bring an action against those perpetrators, including the head of state of that country, is at the ICC. Therefore how can such a court be described as not a human rights court?

Furthermore, the crimes against humanity under the Rome Statute, is quite simply crimes against human rights of individuals. This Madam Prosecutor is disingenuous in portraying such crimes, as some sort of specific crimes. Quite frankly there is nothing specific about them, they are simply crimes against human rights of citizens, which a particular state, signatory to the Rome Statue, is either an accomplish to the crime or failed to prosecute the perpetrators.

Secondly, the Madam Prosecutor further aimed to fool Gambians and the world that the crimes against humanity are only limited to unlawful killings. This could be inferred from her gravity argument. As she explained that she issued statement about Burundi, because the scale of deaths reached 400. In other words, she will issue statement on Gambia when the death toll passed 400.

This is not simply wrong but insane. In fact there was no such scale of deaths or gravity in Nigeria, when she issued her statement about that country or in Guinea. But she would want you to believe that there was a potential of such gravity in those countries.

However, that is not even the point the Madam Prosecutor is getting wrong here! The error on her part is interpreting Article 6 of the Rome Statue as limiting crimes against humanity to only unlawful killings. No, it does not only apply to killings alone! It includes torture, rape and arbitrary detentions. If those crimes are properly investigated, torture and arbitrary detentions alone warrants her office to file charges of crimes against humanity against Dictator Yahya Jammeh; not to talk of making a statement!!

Therefore, if the Prosecutor is indeed sincere with her words in this interview, then she should resign from her job due to incompetency or she should be sacked, for she is not doing her job properly!

But I doubt if that is the case here; I think this Madam Prosecutor is quite simply lying to justify her indifference to her boss’ crimes against her own people!!!

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.