Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category

AFRICA’S HUGE HUMAN EXPORT THAT SHOULD WORRY EVERYONE – ACID SEEKS TO DRAW ATTENTION TO DEADLY MIGRATION

July 23, 2015
Reads :2535
African Migrants at Sea

African Migrants at Sea

If you had a glimpse of the headline of the washington post on Gambia’s big export you may be tempted to think that it’s some raw materials or valuable minerals that would make the Gambia super rich but no sooner you read the first line of the story you would be overtaken with sorrow. The story highlighted exodus of Gambian youth through the deadly mediterranean sea. What was illumined in that story is not only a Gambian issue but an African issue. Africa’s most valuable human capital is perishing in the hot deserts of North Africa and in the high seas of the mediterranean.

Africa’s youngsters are desperate to reach the shores of Europe where they envisage a good life that is punctuated with fundamental freedoms and other opportunities they are deprived of back home . However the cost of this desperate migration is high as many of those who adventure end up being swallowed by desert sand or the ocean belly and the europe that those who made it to shore envisioned is not what it was thought to be. Such devastating situation can only be fixed through sincere engagement with all stake holders.

It is in the light of this humanitarian crisis the African Centre for Information and Development (ACID) in Norway is organizing an international conference to create awareness on the crisis so as to brainstorm on possible solutions. The conference which is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation(NORAD) will take place next Tuesday, the 28th of July 2015 from 15 – 2100hrs at Photels Grensen 19, Oslo Norway.The theme for the conference is deadly migration through the mediterranean by African migrants: what are the challenges for Africa and Europe It is an open conference and the entire public is highly invited to attend. For more information on the conference contact; email: acidcenter@acidcenter.no or call: 4794572695/ 4791616055.

ECOWAS COURT SEEKS SPEEDY ROAD FROM MEMBER STATES

July 16, 2015
Reads :3140
THE UNREMORSEFUL TYRANT

THE GAMBIA’S UNREMORSEFUL TYRANT

The ECOWAS Court of Justice, a  Regional bloc high court has sort a speedy road for justice from its member state governments to ensure peace and stability in the region.

The call was made by the President of the Ecowas Community Court of Justice, Justice Maria Do Ceu Silva Montero who has listed the challenges facing the court among the 15 member states in the sub-region.

She made these comments at Owerri on Monday at  the opening session of a five-day seventh judicial retreat which is currently underway  in Nigeria with the theme: ‘The procedure and practice before the court-which improvements after a decade of the existence of the court?’ She listed the challenges to include the new socio-cultural context of West Africa; training and recruitment of human resources; challenges resulting from the means to secure access to justice among others.

 She also pledged the commitment of the court’s college of judges with the support of the employees of the community and other members of her team in handling the challenges. She urged governments of the affected 15 countries in the West African bloc to support the institution in handling the adjudication of cases of human rights violation. She lamented limited resources militating against the court, adding that the court has moved its sitting to some member countries as required.

Although the president did not mentioned countries, but human rights groups and International communities have singled out Gambia as the worst in  human rights abuses, lack of democracy and good governance.

In recent years ECCOWAS Court had summoned Gambia government to the regional court  on the case of Chief Ebrima Manneh and Musa Saidyjhan, but the government failed to answer to the court.

PRESIDENT DESCRIBES POLITICS AS DIRTY LIES AND DISHONESTY STILL WANTS TO BE POLITICIAN

July 14, 2015
Reads :2160
COMANDING DICTATOR

COMMANDING DICTATOR

MASTER JOE

MASTER JOE

Warning to Gambians about deception and destruction of Yaya Jammeh

By Sarjo Bayang

In his deceitful attempts to blind Gambians from the truth Yaya Jammeh called politics as everything dirty, lies and most dishonest occupation. At that time soon after dislodging a lawfully elected government by force of arms in a coup that robbed Gambians of dignity and safety he sought to justify his grossly unlawful action. His intention was to dirty the image of decent political leaders while only bent on bringing untold suffering for 20 years to come. We now look at how Yaya Jammeh used dirty politics in his rise from rags to riches.

His intention to get rich quick by force

Deep inside the corrupted mind of Yaya Jammeh other avenues of making a decent living remained tightly close.  For a man who could not secure even a mud brick hut or basic daily meals he blamed the wrong people for his personal predicaments. Rather than working hard to earn decent income Yaya chose dislodging a lawfully established government with sole aim of looting public money and other vital shared resources for personal gains.

His twisted perception about occupying highest seat of the nation’s political role as leader is to take control of public resources for selfish economic interest.

Such personal selfish interest Yaya could not hide in the shortest span of time after rocking the nation along his cohorts by what they deceitfully called bloodless coup on 22 July 1994.

It was bloodless coup going by head counts that killing the president and state ministers did not happen overnight. The target of course was not to kill anyone immediate but violently scare everyone in order that rightful custodians desert their offices to give way for control by looters pretending as revolutionaries.

Equating Presidency and Wealth

To imagine that someone uses political office as platform for amassing personal wealth is most twisted mentality.  Coming from someone like Yaya Jammeh who openly condemned deposed President Sir Dawda Jawara and his government of high level corruption is even more misleading.

By taking it that being president gives power of exclusive possession over all national resources including public money Yaya Jammeh pretends to forget he once described politics dirty and politicians dishonest as he grossly abuses the position without remorse.

Over the course of 20 years the poorest army junior Yaya Jammeh managed to loot entire public resources of Gambia to build his personal wealth, still wanting more.

It is all happening in broad day light as money borrowed and collected in the name of Gambian taxpayers transforms into personal wealth of Yaya Jammeh. He pretends to forget but right thinking Gambians are taking stock.

Not only does Yaya continue squandering public money and vital shared resources, he is also big time land grabber. More than 60% of entire land area of Gambia belongs to Yaya Jammeh leaving rest of the population squatting on less than 40% total land in use for agriculture and dwelling purposes.

Gambian economy and finance will never recover unless Yaya Jammeh is unseated from political office. His insatiable desire to get rich at all cost will continue to destroy the nation.

Yaya Jammeh took up arms to dislodge an elected government just for making himself rich and not about serving the nation.

After 20 years massive scale of corruption in high office even people working closely with Yaya Jammeh know that he is destroying a nation their next generation requires for decent living.

President richer than state

It does not require the expertise of an accounting technician to produce a balance for Gambians to ascertain that Yaya Jammeh is richer than the government and people whose resources he forcefully keeps custody; diverting public funds for amassing his personal wealth.

In the words of Yaya Jammeh as poor low waged soldier, politics is dirty and reserved for most dishonest members of good society. Yaya is seen as stooping to lick all the dirty stuff he vomited in making that ugly remark about politics.

After stealing so much public money to get rich Yaya Jammeh openly said to Gambians that he is so rich that his entire generations will stay in wealth. He also added that when he dies, he will migrate to the next world with his wealth. Those were days when money was flowing from all directions including Libya.

Confident that nothing will keep him anymore as poor person Yaya Jammeh told Gambians that his source of personal wealth is from “Allah’s World Bank” meaning God disburses money to him from heaven above.

Will Yaya Jammeh be honest to stop stealing and surrender all public funds?

Already more than 20 years and the clock still ticking many people are now asking if Jammeh the preacher of good will muster courage and confess that he acquires his wealth by theft and also to surrender all stolen public resources.

Biggest regret and most fatal error that Gambians committed is by allowing Yaya Jammeh to take custody of public resources as president without subjecting his person to rigorous background check.

When you talk to sensible people, they blame every right thinking Gambian for letting someone occupying key public position as that of president without that person putting anything on the table to bargain for a role requiring critical skills and character decency.

After seeing everything and people suffering without any hope of things getting better will Gambians still call it tolerance and state mute under heavy weight of a corrupt president who strives to keep everyone poor to claim championship as one man standing richest?

Another 22 July coup that catapulted poor low wage soldier from rags to riches is about to be celebrated in style and wastage. All that money is coming from Gambian tax payers in addition to what Yaya Jammeh continues stealing.

To consolidate his grip on power and paving broader avenues in diverting public funds, Yaya Jammeh is using the political position as president by introducing unjust, unfair, and corrupt laws. That includes giving him power to kill anyone who simply asks how he is managing to stay richer than the state.

Use of public position to gain personal economic advantage is what Transparency International TI (www.transparency.org) refers to as corruption. Gambians, what makes Yaya Jammeh, going by that definition; saint or sinner?

Certainly devils and angels from above will not drop down to free Gambians.

 

THE GAMBIA’S RECORD ON WOMEN’ RIGHTS FACES SCRUTINY BY UN

July 14, 2015
Reads :1865
UN Special Rapporteurs in The Gambia

UN Special Rapporteurs in The Gambia

GAMBIAN GIRLS

GAMBIAN GIRLS

The Gambia’s record on women’s rights was on Thursday examined by the UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) at a meeting which was  webcast live. The Gambia is one of 189 States signatories to the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women. As a consequent it is required to submit regular reports to a Committee of 23 independent experts on how it is implementing the Convention. 

The Committee will engage the Gambian Government delegation in a dialogue on questions relating to the promotion and protection of women’s rights in the country. The 23 member Committee is also scheduled to hear from NGO representatives stationed in Banjul as well as some civil society representatives. The session will take place in Conference Room XVI at Palais des Nations in Geneva from 10:00 – 17:00 (08:00 – 15:00 in The Gambia).

Among the possible issues to be discussed include Women’s access to justice; measures to tackle female genital mutilation and other forms of violence against women; measures to promote women’s participation in political and public life; decriminalization of abortion; support for women living with HIV/AIDS; situation of rural women; incompatibility of customary and personal laws with the Convention particularly in regards to marriage, divorce and inheritance; measures to combat child and forced marriage.

“The report is expected to be out soon and will disclose to the media both at home and in the diaspora”, a senior UN official told Kibaaro News. Gambia has a disgraceful track record of UN reports due to the West African nation government tyranny under the leadership of President Yahya Jammeh.

THE UNWITTING VICTIMS OF A WELL-LUBRICATED DICTATOR

July 12, 2015
Reads :1048
SULAYMAN JENG

SULAYMAN JENG

COMANDING DICTATOR

COMANDING DICTATOR

It is profoundly depressing to see the once upon a time ineffable “Smiling Coast of Africa” flounders in bitter tyranny. I have imbibed from her throbbing torture into my innermost being something which tells me that a people who chose to devaluate the price of freedom for self-gratification will be shackled as beasts of burden. Furthermore, their lives will punctuate that of a person who thinks, “He is in heaven but lives in hell”. Conversely, it may be fitting to ask why the sombre cloud hovers over her and every Gambian but a few goes quietly with the flow? Is it that we are all mindful not to think aloud what everyone else is feeling? To those who ask these rhetorical questions, I commend a careful consideration of the acts of the National Assembly Members.

President Jammeh, some will argue, is not a result of accidental handiwork but is decided by our very own uncharitable Gambian bugs notably greed and fear-perhaps even more baleful than himself. To sculpt a clearer image of this Gambian detestable modus, I will reference Ebrima G Sankareh-Editor and proprietor of The Gambia Echo: “Lamentable as it is worrisome” the Gambian bugs “punctuate a serious Gambian malaise; a predicament much more catastrophic and potentially much more ominous than Yahya Jammeh’s nightmarish regime. For despite all of his alleged banditry and mischiefs, the Kanilai Village Chief remains resolute and ever focused on his game”. However, as Gambians “when it comes to our own house, we have difficulty putting things in order or do I say, we play the proverbial ostrich that buries its head in the sand refusing to accept reality”.

My heart weeps and my body shivers when I heard the news of the election Amendment Act 2015 endorsed by members of the national assembly which in a nutshell disfranchises every Gambian but Dictator Jammeh and his APRC. To add insult to injury, all the MPs except three who honourably voted against the bill, remained unremorseful to their electors for misrepresenting them and mortgaging their lives to Monster Jammeh. A vivid example is Banjul North MP Alhagie Sillah. When he was cornered by Mama Linguere, he unashamedly hastened to declare it was not him alone, du mann Ken na, who endorsed the bill. Instead of responding to her question as why he mortgaged her life by endorsing the election Amendment Bill 2015, he resorted to profanity. As a youth representative, much is expected of him especially when a concerned youth phoned him and demanded why she was misrepresented by him. It goes without saying that majority of them are unwitting sell-outs of a well-lubricated maniac. Notably, from their phone conversation with Mama Linguere Sarr of Faturadio depicts their gullibility, lack of conscience and disregard for freedom. As a result, they will only represent the monster’s and their own selfish interest. Fabakary T Jatta, chief wimp and enabler for Jammeh, is a shameless oaf who will hasten to dance naked for his lord dictator while his children gaze at his essential.

Despite some of the negligible highs of the election Amendment Act 2015, the ripple effect of its election deposit fees has rendered it an exclusive and repulsive bill. For instance, those Gambians who do not subscribe to any of the existing political parties ideology and not financial uphill can no longer vie as independent candidates. Similarly, aspiring councillors for local councils and municipalities have also been disfranchised by the draconian bill. Albeit the diaspora Gambians have been fighting to be franchised to no avail, the bill went further to completely exclude us from any political participatory in our birth country. Dictator Jammeh is using his mop heads NAMS to realise his dream of becoming a king. Believe it or not he is a step closer to his goal while we all standby and let him.

Another unwitting victim of Dictator Jammeh is Sheriff Bojang-the bard and Minister of Information. Sheriff Bojang’s attempt to defend his regime’s human rights records is likened to trying to spit on the sky; which only ends in soiling one’s face. The human right record of the Jammeh regime is not only despicable but also rotten to the marrow. Bojang of all people knows that what obtains in the Gambia under the watch of Monster Jammeh can only happen in the Gambia and life goes on. Even Bissau which Fabakary T Jatta referenced to justify the new disgraceful election deposit fees will not tolerate the bitter impunity prevailing in Banjul. I cannot fathom what it is that they are repressing or hoping to achieve in enabling a maniac crusade to prostitute our democratic institutions and constitution. Nevertheless, be rest assured this agonising episode of our dark history shall come to pass. Moreover, when the horrific storm finally finds its resting place, they will be recalled to account for their contribution in compromising our freedom.

The onus now rest on every Gambian shoulder to stand up against Dictator Jammeh and all those enemies of freedom and democracy lending him a hand. If we continue to turn the other cheek for this heartless brute and his criminal regime, one day we will all wake up to find out that we are his personal property. In a simple act of defying a dictator whose sadistic reign has left many Gambians dead, maimed, incarcerated, banished and exiled, I am compelled to opt for the pulsating power of the pen to bare at the doorsteps of all torch bearers of justice, freedom, equality and democracy the unimaginable evil of Monster Jammeh. Here, I will be hospitable to avail my sceptics a Wolof dictum to safe their breath: “Ku gud da fann mbe nyu laye werr see narch ragal la toe deh”.

It is only in the Gambia that a court of law will acquit and discharge a person and the person is rearrested and detained incommunicado on the orders of the President. What makes it even more disheartening is this victim is forced to apologise to his oppressor for a crime he has not committed. Life is so unbearable in the Gambia that even our women are now competing with their brothers in the back-wayy to Europe yet Sheriff Bojang has the audacity to say the Gambia under Jammeh is democratic. Unemployment is soaring by the blink of an eye, the Dalasi is depreciating by the minute, and living standard for the average Gambia is unsettling. Is that the kind of Gambia we want for our children?

If the military are not prepared and professionally manly to salvage our country from dictatorship and now he his equally hijacked the last remnants of our democracy, we the civilians should take up the streets to reassert our freedom.

Sulayman Jeng

Birmingham, UK

THE CONFUSION OVER PRESIDENT JAMMEH’S PRISONER PARDON

July 10, 2015
Reads :1825
Author: D.A Jawo

Author: D.A Jawo

By D.A. Jawo

The ongoing confusion over the release and subsequent re-arrest of prisoners after they were said to have been pardoned by President Yahya Jammeh, once again shows the level of incompetence and amateurism that bedevils this regime. Virtually on a daily basis, those in authority put all Gambians to shame with both their queer behaviours and utterances.

It is indeed hard for any reasonable person to imagine that a whole government structure can make such a stupid mistake of releasing several prisoners only to re-arrest them a few days later as being the ‘wrong’ people. This clearly indicates the unacceptable level of incompetence within the corridors of power and authority in this country. Even assuming that 90 percent of the prison in-mates had the same names, but the mere fact that all of them should have had distinct numbers to identify them should therefore have been enough to ensure that such a silly mistake does not occur, and which is certainly unexpected from a functioning system.

In any other civilized society, such a mistake would have caused a big shake up within the prison system, but in the Gambia, where all decisions seem to emanate from President Jammeh, and hardly anyone else dares to take action without getting his nod, then such embarrassing situations will continue to happen and no one would ever be held accountable for it. The very fact that even the exact number of prisoners granted pardon was not quite obvious, with some saying 84 while others saying 85, as well as the subsequent confusion as to whether a person like former DIGP Modou Gaye, for instance, was among those released, tells quite a lot about what hell Gambians are going through under this regime. In fact there were even reports that at least one of those included on the list had already died in prison, and yet, those who compiled the list did not seem to know. This is apparently an indication that the system is virtually dysfunctional and that things are being done in a very amateurish way which leaves quite a lot of room for such confusion to occur. No doubt, this is responsible for the fact that there are several people rotting in prison or detention without trial, apparently because their cases are either not properly documented or those who ordered for their detention have forgotten about them.

It is often alleged that when President Jammeh orders for the arrest of someone, as he often does, hardly anyone would have the courage to remind him about such person being under detention and as such, he/she is virtually forgotten there and that is what had been responsible for the large number of detainees spending more than the stipulated legal limit of their detention without even being charged. Therefore, for those operating the system, the law is irrelevant but everything is being done just to satisfy President Jammeh’s whims and caprices, even if it means violating the fundamental rights of the people. This is yet another apparent indication that our institutions are no longer functioning and that virtually all decisions are being done at the behest of one person; President Jammeh, and those in positions of authority always avoid taking decisions affecting their areas of competence in order not to run afoul of President Jammeh.

Government is such a complex undertaking that it is virtually impossible for it to be efficiently run by an individual as seems to be happening in the Gambia, hence the frequent lapses and amateurish actions which have become the hallmark of this regime. Until President Jammeh begins to delegate responsibilities and allow his ministers and institution heads the autonomy to run their areas of competence without undue interference, there is no way he can achieve his dream of “transforming the Gambia into an economic super power”

ACID TO HOLD INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE ON DEADLY MIGRATION THROUGH THE MEDITERRANEAN SEA

July 3, 2015
Reads :989
Migrants at Sea

Migrants at Sea

As the world witness the worst refugee crisis in modern times finding a solution or ameliorating this crisis rests squarely on the shoulders of the entire human race. Hundreds of thousands of youngsters from the African continent and other war-torn areas of the world are storming the european shores and thousands die in the high seas before reaching the shores of europe. Each and everyone one of us has a perception of what is responsible for this crisis and the possible solutions to it.

Some say the answer to this crisis lies in fixing the issue of governance in third world countries as Lakhdar Brahimi puts it “The crisis is not in the sea. The crises are in the countries where there are so many problems that people are willing to face almost certain death to leave their country. Conflicts, like in Syria; the absence of governance, like it is in Libya; and Myanmar, you have communities that are the victims of total injustice.” Others like Saul Njie say  “we need a plethora of things, including a serious overhaul of our structural, economic, monetary, financial, political, and most importantly – our societal edifice”.

It is on this backdrop the African Centre for Information and Development (ACID) in Norway is organizing an international conference to create awareness on the crisis so as to brainstorm on possible solutions. The conference which is funded by the Norwegian Agency for Development Corporation(NORAD) will take place on the 28th of July 2015 from 15 – 2100hrs  at Photels Grensen 19, Oslo Norway.The theme for the conference is deadly migration through the mediterranean by African migrants: what are the challenges for Africa and Europe  It is an open conference and the entire public is highly invited to attend. For more information on the conference contact; email: acidcenter@acidcenter.no  or call: 4794572695/ 4791616055.