Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

GAMBIAN AUTHORITIES PICKS BONES WITH AL-JAZEERA

September 2, 2015
Reads :6060

Al-Jazeera-logoGambian authorities have felt uncomfortable with the team of Al-Jazeera journalists who were in Banjul to film and report on a wide range of issues related to human-interest.

They were told by the Gambian authorities to stop filming or risk being arrested after the government annulled their credentials. According to sources in Banjul the team were asked not make any film or report on any issue about the Gambia. The sources further noted the journalists were also informed that their permit was also revoked which was obtained prior to their entry into Banjul. “The Al-Jazeera team got the information that their permit has been revoked through their fixer” our source elaborated. It is not clear what must have fueled the Gambia government’s anger towards Al-Jazeera but some analyst postulated that the government feared that A-Jazeera may unveil the gross human rights violations taking place in the country.

Yesterday , 1st September Al-Jazeera broadcasted an interview with Gambia’s most radical rapper Ali Cham Aka Killer Ace. He was asked about his most talked about single track “Ku Boka C Geta G” where he stood up to the power that be , highlighting the rule of tyranny and the fear hovering over the skies of Banjul. Al-Jazeera has recently made interesting documentary on Senegal’s rich wrestling culture but their wish for a similar project in neighboring country, the Gambia is derailed by a pompous dictator.

In a democratic setting a free press should be able to ask legitimate questions and keep those in authority on their toes. In the Gambia such an atmosphere is very far from being realized. The tiny West African country is the most unfriendly media government in the sub- region. The country whose debt is 80% of GDP is dwelling in a financial turmoil. Since Yahya Jammeh took over power in a military coup in 1994 he has ruled the country with an iron fist making the West African nation not a heaven for journalists, opposition parties, and human rights defenders.

This year Gambia faced United Nations human rights group to review its human rights report but the country’s report was one of the poorest, according to rights defenders. In 2014 the country interrupted UN Rapporteurs on Torture and extra-Judiciary killing from their investigation in the country.

“JAMMEH DIDN’T CREATE DUGA; JAMMEH CANNOT DESTROY DUGA”, OUSAINOU MBENGA TELLS FREEDOM NEWSPAPER

September 2, 2015
Reads :3875
OUSAINOU MBENGA AND AMBASSADOR FAYE

OUSAINOU MBENGA AND AMBASSADOR FAYE

Based on a picture taken of me and Omar Faye, the ambassador of the Republic of the Gambia at the commemoration of Father Anthony Gabisi’s 30 years of service to the Catholic Church in the Gambia, the Freedom online newspaper posted an editorial titled: “DUGA, what’s the difference between Omar Faye and Yahya Jammeh”? Well, I will leave that to Freedom’s editorial board to answer. But I will pose my own question: what’s the difference between the Freedom Newspaper editorial and me?

Let me reaffirm my position once more. I am a revolutionary. I am not a “head hunter”.

I am in this fight for the long haul to ultimately transform our beloved Gambia in particular and Africa in general into a new society with revolutionary insights and foresight.

We have come a long way to allow a mere picture to take us off our path of resistance against tyranny and our “eyes off the prize”. I honestly don’t need to defend myself or DUGA but rather drive home the necessity of attaining political maturity in this period and into subsequent generations. In order to build a proud future Gambia, we need a highly sophisticated citizenry capable of exhibiting political maturity. The picture can only sway the politically naïve and those who choose to remain willfully ignorant.

I have always abhorred injustice and repression, wherever it raises its ugly head. My abhorrence spans the African world, from the Gambia to Washington DC and beyond. That invitation was an honour by the Gambian Christian Association, which I gladly attended. The picture is just a picture, nothing more.

Putting the Omar Faye issue aside; was it not my own flesh and blood that served as the first Minister of Agriculture in the Jammeh regime? Didn’t my niece serve in the Jammeh regime? Didn’t a comrade of mine join the Jammeh regime? In all these instances, did I give up the fight against the neo-colonial Jammeh regime? Absolutely not! I have maintained my unwavering stance against the Jammeh regime since their “lift onto the saddles of power”.

The fight against Jammeh’s tyranny to me has nothing to do with family, friends and neighbours (Waa Banjul). But also, Jammeh cannot in any way destroy my principled relationship with family, friends and neighbours.

It reminds me of when comrade Fidel Castro and Bill Clinton crossed paths in the corridors of the United Nations and shook hands. The incident achieved “breaking news” status and got highly debated in the US media for days on end. Many willfully ignorant republican and democratic leaders chastised Clinton for shaking hands with their “enemy” and a “dictator”. Fidel exhibited absolute political maturity and shook Clinton’s extended hand.

We are in this fight to win on our own terms; not Jammeh’s. Therefore, we will not leave any arena or terrain the APRC operates within goes uncontested, even within his support base. The Jammeh regime is standing on a “two legged stool”, we have broken two legs of the stool, which explains the balancing acts to keep steady from falling, such as the “massive prisoner pardon”, the subtle signs of “meaningless reconciliation” and “meaningless peace”. Even though the regime is dying but not yet dead, we will continue to fight for a politically conscious proud- future Gambia as oppose to a country of “blind patriots” at the service of one tyrant, Jammeh. We must win the vast majority of the people to eradicate the social backwardness that came with the AFPRC – APRC regime. Most of his support base knows the end is near; you have nothing to lose but Jammeh and your chains. Discard him into the dustbin of history and redeem yourselves.

I want to thank all the sons and daughters of our beloved Gambia who refused to be swayed from reality and keep their “eyes on the prize”, particularly my comrades Pa samba Jow and Ngange Demba Njie, likewise the Gambian Outsider, who weighed in on the matter. We must cultivate the terrain for political maturity and social responsibility. A proud – future Gambia is on the horizon, let’s build it from the bottom – up. Gambia cannot coexist with Jammeh.

WE WILL WIN! JAMMEH MUST GO! JAMMEH IS GOING!

Editor’s note: Thanks Mr Mbega for the rejoinder. Like you have denied being a head hunter, the Freedom Editorial too is after the facts and nothing, but the facts. We are not head hunters either. We are only after the facts!

If expressing one’s editorial opinion means being a head hunter to you, then so be it. That statement of yours is indeed troubling.

That said, we also don’t see the connections between your story and that of President Clinton. Ours was not to soil your reputation in any way. We respect you as an honest activist. That will never change brother Mbenga. It is healthy to agree and disagree. Thanks for your attention.

Courtesy of Freedom Newspaper

YAYA JAMMEH IN GROSS ABUSE OF PRESIDENCY TAKES EVERY GAMBIAN BIG FOOL

September 1, 2015
Reads :1940
SARJO BAYANG-A SOCIAL THINKER

SARJO BAYANG-A SOCIAL THINKER

JAMMEH, THE  UNRELENTING TYRANT

JAMMEH, THE UNRELENTING TYRANT

                                                                                                                                                        

Unveiling thick layers of deception and failed promises as presidents loots the nation

BY SARJO BAYANG

Over 20 years failed promises and still making compact majority of Gambians believe that heaven on earth comes the kingdom, it is now time to take stock. Gambia sinking as the president builds his personal fortune means something is missing. We now examine all cupboards where skeletons of truth may he found by curious scrutiny. It all starts by close look at factors that may be responsible for rise of a president from rags to riches in 20 years while the nation sinks deeper at sea bottom.

Political demagogue

Even those pretending as die hard supporters of Yaya Jammeh already know he is fooling them along everyone else. Talking about a complete novice who in his life has not managed the smallest establishment, the risk of letting him take possession over entire national economy, finance, and all public resources is fatal.

Yaya Jammeh is using Gambia as experimental platform to test his crooked notion that once a president all public funds and resources belongs to that person.

No wonder Yaya makes promises about transforming Gambia into superpower nation of first class economic standard knowing fully that is impossible. He makes such promises because there is no accountability about resources being grossly abused for his personal grab.

In more than 20 years Yaya Jammeh made lot of statements aimed at fooling Gambians the way the biggest of political demagogues will dare not. While he is busy getting rich quick by diverting public funds and national resources for his selfish use it is clear that Jammeh takes every Gambian real big fool for longest time. Take a look at some of the promises and void hopes that Jammeh raised while looting public resources to build his massive personal fortune around the globe including purchase of high value properties in America at places reserved locations for filthy rich home owners. Jammeh’s property fleet and material possession transcends geographical boundaries in diverse locations at home and abroad.

Suppressing Gambians politically and exploiting the nation by milking away entire public finances, Yaya Jammeh still expects unsuspecting followers to believe about bringing world class development for a nation relying on peanuts as main cash crop with chicken change from tourism part of the year.

Empty promises and deception

Jammeh’s loud pronouncement that Gambia will become envy of the world is red nose dive with closed eyes. Over national radio and television Jammeh raised empty floppy disk while telling Gambians about oil discovery that was meant to bring unseen developments. According to Jammeh oil reserves of Gambia is more than what the nation requires.

Demonstrating without blinking his eyes for one moment, Jammeh told Gambians that the floppy disk he held at hand contained details of oil discovery and how the proceeds will be used in bringing unheard developments. It is more than 10 years when Jammeh promised such developments as though about to happen less than 2 years.

Rather than apologise to Gambians for his many failed promises Jammeh who is busy more about increasing his personal fortune through open corruption still comes with more amazing tales about making Gambia heaven on earth as people experience hell in silence.

He promised the superpower development would have materialised 20 years after his military invasion by staging a coup in July 1994. According to him, he had a vision of transforming Gambia into world class economic superpower, technology giant, and tourist paradise sustained by an enterprising population. He called that Vision 2020.

Having failed to deliver his fantasised wild dream of Vision 2020 making Gambia world class superpower nation, Jammeh turned coat and came up with another promise. This time he is talking about not just feeding a nation that due to his mismanaging public resources battles with starvation. He promised that by next year (2016) Gambia will become food basket of the world that will feed other nations. With the clock ticking and time speeding to 2016, it is now clear that Jammeh’s Vision 2016 of feeding the nation and beyond is just another empty talk; pure hoax just to keep fooling everyone. All Gambian experts put at Jammeh’s disposal are not capable of raising the skeletons of economically dead nation making his wild dream come true, with due regards to every hard working Gambian out there.

Unstructured, Unsystematic, Arbitrary rule in Gambia

In the absence of structures and proper systems a nation does not develop on lip service. Since coming to power by that 22 July 1994 military invasion and dislodging an elected government with guns, Jammeh in the process dismantled all structures of systematic governance. He relies on crude power and arbitrary rule in mismanaging public resources; causing so much fear that nobody dares talking about that.

Even a small one person enterprise requires systematic management to thrive on. It is therefore not feasible that a nation can develop without structured administration in dispensing public services and managing the economy or financial systems.

Jammeh is largely confused about use of public funds or rather indulged misusing resources for selfish greed.

Given another 20 or more years all indicators are that Jammeh wants building his personal finance and material empire at expense of the Gambian nation.

What he takes for his personal use is never returned to the public. In that process, Gambian economy and finance dives deeper at sea bottom while Jammeh raises his financial profile as richest president on earth in custody of the poorest nation around that part of the world.

Taking public resources as personal belonging is where everything is going so bad for Gambia as Jammeh shows no signs he will relinquish political power while that remains his sources of economic and financial power. All these are possible because there are no structures or systems in place to scrutinise and sanction a sitting president equating the presidency to amassing private wealth.

Corruption of public officials and senior citizens

Diverting public funds and shared resources for his personal misuse is possible by engaging other crooked hands of public officials that are ready to do the dirty job of corruption.

Some senior citizens and those in public office are willing partners in milking public funds to keep Yaya Jammeh richer than the nation.

There is no magic or devil play in this whole affair. Everything is done by crooked hands of public servants who pay allegiance to Yaya Jammeh and not Gambian people or state. They are made to believe that by aiding a sitting president loot public resources will keep them on payroll as matter of job security.

By twist of irony, lot of people who participated in looting the nation to keep Yaya Jammeh rich ended in bad experience of being fired, arrested, jailed, and others may have died as a result of possible torture.

If that is not enough warning for those still lined up to carry on destroying the nation in satisfying a corrupt president and his sinking regime, time will tell.

Financial mismanagement and inevitable economic collapse

Considering the level of corruption especially by presidency since Yaya Jammeh invaded Gambia with guns to dislodge an elected sitting government all indicators are that Gambia is sinking deeper beyond rescue.

All financial wells are getting dry as cash cows die off unable to sustain excessive milking. Cooking figures to impress donors and development partners could not balance the books in long run.

At this crucial stage of Gambia’s economic collapse and financial meltdown, Jammeh will be seen doing most prudent by surrendering with little dignity rather falling apart in pieces beyond repair.

Every Gambian is taken for big fool by Yaya Jammeh

Viewed from all angles by realistic assessment the bottom line reading shows that every Gambian is taken as big fool by a president who was sworn in to secure everyone and all public resources but chooses diverting everything for his personal misuse.

Those who could have done something to correct the situation have taken to their heels by physically running away and leaving the situation to decay. That count of runaway Gambians include highly trained experts in various disciplines now serving abroad for personal economic security. Also included are entrepreneurs, engineers and other competent Gambians chased out of the country. The other runaways are increasing numbers forming part of Gambia’s share for migration crisis Europe cries about.

In short, for one person to take possession of collectively shared resources and getting richer than the state, that person is really taking everyone else big fool.

 

Recovery of Gambia is only possible when Yaya Jammeh is unseated

Talks are fuming up about recovery of Gambia in the event Yaya Jammeh is unseated. Opinion is divided about immediate redemption soon after undoing 20 years Jammeh in abuse of power. Hopes are dashed off by fears that pockets of dangerous elements cultivated by 20 years police state will unleash terror once their master is unseated.

There are people out there who are capable and willing to take the driving seat once their safety is assured in the event of unseating Jammeh.

The investment climate at this moment is dangerous and unsuitable. Some people are willing to encourage others in ploughing back huge reserve of Gambian expertise, material, finance and human capital to rebuild from 20 years of ruin. To the very capable that is no impossible mission over reasonable time span.

For now, every concerned Gambian including those forming the crowd around Jammeh wants to see a better nation. They hope and pray that dictatorship and abuse of political power for selfish economic motive will end forever. Time remains best healer.

Will the whole nation accept being fooled any longer after more than 20 years failed promises by a president getting richer as Gambia sinks deeper at sea bottom? What is your take ?

GUINEA BISSAU TOP OFFICIALS IN BANJUL FOR PEACE NEGOTIATION

August 29, 2015
Reads :3450
Dictator CALLING HIS CRONIES

Dictator CALLING HIS CRONIES

Top senior officials from Guinea Bissau government are currently in Banjul for peace negotiations talk that would ensure lasting solution in Guinea Bissau political turbulence, official informed Kibaaro News. The five-man delegation arrived in Banjul on Wednesday evening following an invitation from the Gambian leader. They are scheduled to meet the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to discuss the crisis in Guinea Bissau.

The Bissau crisis evolved after the falling apart of the President and his former prime minister, Domingos Simon Preira, who was sacked a few days ago. Political analysts said President Jammeh has excellent relations with President Mario Vaz, and can play an excellent role to reconcile the two parties.

Previously, President Jammeh used to mediate and reconcile authorities of Guinea Bissau whenever they had differences. Sources added that members of the Bissau opposition party, PAIGC, who had the row with their President, are expected to come to The Gambia next week to meet with President Jammeh.

GAMBIA ELECTORAL COMMISSION DEMARCATES FIVE NEW CONSTITUENCIES FOR 2016 POLL

August 29, 2015
Reads :2830
IEC Chairman Mustapha Carayol

IEC Chairman Mustapha Carayol

DICTATOR JAMMEH

DICTATOR JAMMEH

The Gambia Independent Electoral Commission has created five more constituencies in the Greater Banjul region of Kanifing Municipal Council making the total number of constituencies totalling fifty-three for the entire nation.

“The IEC undertook this assignment of re-demarcation with a lot of cautious commitment,” said the IEC chairman, Alhagie Mustapha L. Carayol, during an opening of a two-day workshop on the electoral reforms and the re-demarcation of electoral boundaries held yesterday at the NANA conference hall.

“The areas re-demarcated are: Kombo North, Kombo Central, Serre Kunda East, and Serre Kunda Central”, Mustapha Carayol the chairman of the commission disclosed to his audience at the conference.

Kombo North with a voter population of 110,132 is divided into three constituencies namely, Sanneh Menterreng Constituency, Old Yundum Constituency and Busumbala Constituency.

Kombo Central with a voter population of 53,956 is divided into two constituencies, namely Brikama North Constituency and Brikama South Constituency.

Serre Kunda East with a voter population of 54,904 is divided into two constituencies namely, Tallinding Kunjang Constituency and Latrikunda Sabiji constituency.

Serre Kunda Central with a voter population of 42,510 is now divided into two constituencies namely, Serre Kunda Constituency and Bundungka Kunda Constituency.

The heartless Jammeh regime and its crunched cronies are hell bend to rape the 2016 election at all cost. Firstly, his unwitting members of the National Assembly introduced the undemocratic political bill aimed to exclude all potential opposite and barring political changes through the ballot. This latest move by the IEC is the final nail on the 2016 election casket to avert an amazing disgrace for Dictator Jammeh. Gambians must not let this political barriers planted by the Jammeh regime deter you from booting him and his cronies out of office in the 2016 poll.

“IT IS NOW TIME FOR US TO WAKE UP AFTER A LONG SLEEP”, SAYS LAMIN SADDAM SANYANG

August 19, 2015
Reads :2420
LAMIN SADDAM SANYANG

LAMIN SADDAM SANYANG

On the 22nd of July 1994, our beloved country the Gambia faced what was the most remarkable in the political history of our nation. Our fundamental human right to decide and chose the leader of our nation was seized and condemned with impunity. We compromised our responsibility and national duties as fathers and mothers and sons and daughters of the nation respectively, we surrendered and sacrifice the lives of our precious children and our dear land to group of people we never know and never questioned. Was it out of compassion, resilience and did we give them more faith than they deserved? Or was it because of they took advantage on the word corruption and they disguised themselves in the face of social and political revolution? Or was it because they had guns they could fire?

The need for change in a political system, must be felt and asked for by those affected, changes must not be dictated on the people if a sustainable change is to be realized. It’s the will of the common majority that matters most not the high understanding of the few elites. Jammeh never respected human rights, this is a man who smokes ganja and pick gun and decide a choice for over a million people, without asking them but forcing them and this is how he could manage to dominate the state house and Jammeh nice the national assembly for 21 good years. He did do this alone, he work with people. We should blame the household for hosting a thief not only blaming the thief for stealing when we know he is hungry. Absence of good governance in Gambia. Courses IMPOSSITION OF LEADERSHIP connection between nation and state, lack of representation clash with control. Results domination, distraction and control.

Brothers and sisters, enough is enough, it is now the right time for us to wake up from our sleeping slumber and take our country back from this lunatic. He worked hard for 21 good years by enforcing his brutal, cruel and barbaric styles of ruling upon us. \But now his days are definitely numbered and he and his bunch of criminals will receive their payment for their deeds like employees gets their wages and salaries at the end of each pay-period. We shouldn’t create any space for compromise, negotiate or to reconcile with him. He has to go BY ANY MEANS NECCESSARY

 

FAMILY OF THE TWO MISSING US CITIZENS REBUKES A STATEMENT FROM THE GAMBIA GOVERNMENT ISSUED BY ITS SHADY DIPLOMAT- MR SAMSUDEEN SARR

August 16, 2015
Reads :2215
THE TWO MISSING US CITIZENS IN BANJUL

THE TWO MISSING US CITIZENS IN BANJUL

USA – August 11, 2015 – We the family members of the two missing Gambian US Citizens wish to issue this press release in response to recent statements made by a Gambian Diplomat Mr Samsudeen Sarr. He was responding to Susan Rice National Security adviser to the President of the United States of America.mIn a statement released by the White House Susan Rice, a former US Permanent Representative to the UN (and now advisor to President Obama) said, The United States is deeply concerned about credible reports of torture, suspicious disappearances – including two American citizens.

Mr Sarr in response to Ms Rice’s statement is quoted as follows “reports of the two missing Americans – Alhagie Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, is nothing but another dubious story fed to US authorities by the enemies of President Jammeh…”

We the families of Alhagie and Ebou, who have been living in agony, who feel the pain every day, are out to present further evidence to set the records straight. The kids who have celebrated 2 years without any knowledge of the whereabouts of their fathers will tell you this is not a story but daily reality as they continue to struggle through this nightmare. The sisters, brothers, cousins, friends and especially the moms and wives of Alhagie and Ebou, will tell you the pain, sadness, tears they have shed is not a dubious story but a reality they wished everyday was just a dream that they can wake up from.

The deputy chief of mission at the United Nation’s further went on to say “Nothing is more absurd than the arrest of foreign investors or prospective business partners going to The Gambia to perform positive work. Hundreds go there every year to invest without incidents…”

Alhagie and Ebou went to the Gambia to invest and contribute to The Gambia economy. The two had a lease agreement for the office space they rented while in The Gambia. Please find attached signed copies (by Ebou Jobe) of the Lease. Mr Sarr said, “There is no record of the two Americans at any of The West African nation’s entry points”.

Alhagie and Ebou left the US on May 14th and arrived in Dakar on May 15th (via SN Brussels UA # 237, Record Locator MV8Y39 – attached). Upon arrival in Dakar, they were told their bags did not make it and will be sent separately.nTheir bags were sent through the airline Banjul Bird and the bags arrived on May 19 (see attached bag tags). The bags were collected the same day from the Yundum Airport.

More

Based on credible eye witness accounts (which has already been reported to the U.S State Department and FBI), Alhagie & Ebou went to watch a concert on the night of June 22 2013. On their way home from the event, their car was stopped and they were arrested, this was the last time they had any contacts with the outside world. The families hold the Gambia Government fully responsible for the disappearance of the two as the NIA is a branch of the government and the two were last seen in their custody.

Mr Sarr went on to state that “Ms Rice appeared to fall for the same trick of talking about a situation that she is least familiar with.” He further went on to say “Susan Rice should realize that politics from thousands of miles away is not as near the same as politics in the United States”.

The family knows the US government is extremely familiar with this case. Ms Rice is very familiar with the politics of Africa as her initial work in peace keeping took her to Rwanda and later as a senior Director to African Missions. She was later the top African diplomat during the East African bombings.

We hope that if Mr Sarr was not familiar with the case before that he will now be. The family is not the least surprised that such statements are coming from The Gambian diplomat Mr Sarr, based on his credibility. Mr Sarr authored a book titled COUP D’ETAT in which he narrated in an explicit way how he was being tortured at Mile Two in the mid-nineties. He recently retracted accounts of his book, stating that he fabricated stories against the government of President Jammeh.

To Mr Sarr his life may be full of stories and therefore everything around him is fiction. For the Ceesay and Jobe Family, this is reality with human lives involved. This is not a chapter in the COUP D’ETAT Novel.

We are hopeful that The Government of the Gambia will release Alhagie and Ebou just like they have recently released many prisoners, so that their young kids will be able to spend their next birthdays with their fathers.

Contact:

O Ceesay

freealhagieandebou@gmail.com

CC List: US Embassy Banjul, Ministry of foreign affairs, State Department, Gambia Online Media Houses, Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Freedom House, Amnesty International, Humans Rights Watch, Senator Harry Reid, Senator Dean Heller.