Archive for the ‘Human Rights’ Category


November 24, 2014
Reads :43


“The Gambian Embassy in Taipei left an indelible bad image as it hurriedly and unceremoniously nullified diplomatic relation its host nation”, a Taipei source informed Kibaaro News.  Long serving staff of the mission were neither paid their salaries nor compensated for their services to the Gambia government. The Jammeh regime still owes them several months’ salaries and benefits. To the chagrin of the former embassy staff, Jammeh makes them feel it is their fault that their salaries are not paid and the marriage of convenience between Banjul and Taipei dissolved unceremoniously.

“For example, the private secretary to the Ambassador, Ms Shirley Lin had worked for more than ten years in the Embassy. She even worked under Essa Bokar Sey. The Utility driver Lamin Camara, a Gambian had work since 1996. They spent most of their lives working for the mission and they were not given a single butut when the mission closed. Even though they work up to the last minute before the embassy closed”, lamented the source furiously.

“There was an officer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Taipei who  transacted the mission’s vehicle papers for shipment also pleaded that the mission should try and give them something to hang onto before they get employment. Nevertheless, with all these efforts and intervention, the Jammeh regime blatantly refused to pay them their salaries. As you know all the missions are housed in one main building in Tai Mou Taipei. Other Gambian missions are also very angry about what Jammeh did to the colleagues in Taipei. They said the Gambian government should not have done that after these people devoted all their time working for the Mission”, added the source.

“What other missions do is they will calculate each year one spends with the mission and they give you a month’s full salary as bonus. As a result, the Private Secretary should have been paid ten months wages as she has spent ten years working for the mission judiciously.  The same applies to Lamin Camara. Lamin Camara has a family in the Gambia which he supports with his earnings from the mission. He is currently out of work and is finding it difficult to up keep himself and his family”, further disclosed the source.

“The mistreatment of people is being extended beyond the Gambia boarders by this repressive regime. As we speak it has led to the mistrust between Gambians in Taiwan. I think the Jammeh regime needs to improve its operation/dealing with the international world and abstain from tarnishing the image of the Country”, advised the source.

“In my next deliberation, I will avail you detailed accounts and in-depth budgets of the Missions as well as monies owe on school fees and health insurance for local staff and Gambian students in Taipei”, promised the source.


November 22, 2014
Reads :589
Sulayman Jeng

Sulayman Jeng



“This ‘struggle’ needs a rethink and a new direction, but the egos are too big for our own good and the interests are too multifaceted”, charged Bax as he reacts to comments on Ebrima G Sankareh’s article captioned “Amadou Samba Saga a Gambian predicament” on In his opinion, anyone who opposes President Jammeh becomes a hero regardless the person’s history and anyone who chooses to manifest the slightest association with Jammeh despites the person’s history becomes a prey for the Gambian nonconformists. A very interesting deduction. Let us be reminded as humans, sometimes our opinions about others, ideas, issues and incidents are often shaped by our personal beliefs, upbringing, education and experiences. As a result, we take sides here and there. Similarly, we tend to be more sympathetic to people and things we are more familiar than otherwise as aptly captured in a Mandinka maxim: Mbalafa mbe loo ngo lebala.

Nonetheless, to objectively dispense justice, one is always admonished to step outside the box and look at it holistically without any opinionated premise. I intend to, in my attempt to cut the branches before bringing down the tree, to step outside the box. However, if I am found wanton at the end, just excuse my human err and remember is human to err.

Is it President Jammeh who is on the wrong side of history or the Gambian nonconformists in the diaspora? On the one hand, many who perceived Jammeh as a charismatic leader will hasten to affirm, he is not. They, often justify President Jammeh’s good leadership with the building of roads, schools, hospitals, the university, airport and his extravagance/generosity. The Gambian dissidents in the diaspora are the enemies of Gambia because they tarnish the image of the country to the outside world.  On the other hand, “the struggle” without a second thought concludes President Jammeh is a non-starter and epitomises evil. What are their reasons for wanting Jammeh go at all cost? His human rights records, muzzling the freedom of speech, poor economic policies, heavy handedness, corruption and political thuggery.

In development, before it becomes meaningful and sustainable, first it must be what the grassroots want. For instance, if you go to Kanilai and want to bring development to their doorsteps, you must first identify their urgent need, example, a day care centre, horticultural garden, market or health centre. However, if you believed that you are the expert and knows what they want without even consulting them, you will end up giving them a white elephant. Who financed the roads, hospitals and etc supervised by Jammeh and his government? The Gambian tax payers. Albeit others will argue the projects of all these developments were already initiated by the Jawara regime, but the credit goes to Jammeh and his government for implementing them. Have Gambians become better off in their living standard, access to employment and freedom under President Jammeh? Is building hospitals and roads a seal of approval for the Jammeh regime to unlawfully arrest and detain Gambians at will without been charged for more than 72 hour stipulated law? Are many Gambians still not languishing in detention without trial under Jammeh’s leadership?

Prior to 22nd July 1994, Yahya Jammeh was never a headline in the Gambia. Today he occupies the highest office in the country. Consequently, he is more a public figure than a private person. Thus, his every action attracts attention, analysis and reaction. “Ku mbu gutt hatch yee bowla, bull butt burki”. Is there any Gambian who wants his or her father, brother, mother or sister to disappear in the middle of the night without trace? Does any of us wants to be locked up and tortured for not committing a crime? I guess not but these are the things happening in the Gambia under the orders and watch of President Jammeh. Does standing up and speaking out against such injustices makes one a bad citizen and enemy of progress? Come on brothers and sisters, no one hates Yahya Jammeh as a person but his deeds are nauseating, inhuman and appalling. How many times has President Jammeh openly threatens members of his cabinet with imprisonment if they dare fail to execute his orders? Perhaps you may find that amusing but certainly I do not see the funny side of it.

There are many Gambians working for the government under Jammeh and no one hassles them. They do not constantly fear that they will be lynched like Amadou Samba experienced. If any Gambian openly supports and justifies the atrocities taking place in a daily basis in the Gambia must sure be alert that he or she will go down with Jammeh and those who attempt to run will be hunted down and brought to answer for their deeds. Has Boto of Boto Construction or Tapha Njie of Taf Construction been ever harassed or ruffled like Amadou Samba? Let us not fool ourselves fellow Gambians. If President Jammeh was really synonymous to progress our youths will not risk their lives across the turbulent Atlantic Ocean in search of greener pastures in Europe. Joining the struggle will not wash away blood in anyone’s hands once they are soaked. When the day of reckoning arises, each will be accountable for your own contribution in enabling the dictatorship however small it may be. Even if the commissions will not punish the person but Gambians would want to know how, why, what, when and where you have enabled Jammeh. If Allah had not allowed us to repent after sinning, we would all rot in hell. Repentance accords a person a fresh start. Those who show remorse will certainly be forgiven as the South Africans have manifested in their reconciliation effort. But Jammeh feels he has not wronged any of us but we wronged him instead. Very funny. Was I biased?

Sulayman Jeng

Birmingham, UK


November 21, 2014
Reads :270


Gambia's Gangster President, Yahya Jammeh, who loves to visit the UN but block the visiting his backyard!!

Gambia’s Gangster President, Yahya Jammeh


The remaining questions: How do we chop down the tree? When do we chop down the big tree – before the start of new project or at the end or somewhere in-between?  The answers to these questions are not simply what we wish but what we could, what’s feasible and what serves our goal(s).

I never supported the July 22, 1994 coup and there are very few things I like, if any, about Jawara administration. I know not much but my politics and sociocultural values remained the same and unwavering – because they’re principled and virtuous. I must say in 1994 I was in Gambia – hence being in America for long surely broadened my knowledge/perspectives but didn’t create them. In the early going I too supported a political party – attended party rallies around the country, bought green tea (attaya) for youths, bought t-shirts, put in my little time and money, some known to party bosses and others not. I also argued favorably for some union of parties in those days. This is in part to demonstrate that my thoughts about politics in Gambia are neither abstract concepts nor theorizing Americanization of The Gambia but a product of a package of lifetime experiences. That experience includes a decade of working and living in villages at all regions of The Gambia. In addition I hailed from remote Kombo South Village of Jambur, a very politically charged settlement during PPP era and as well a son of Badibunka couple, who settled there in late 1900s in search for good farmlands. I knocked off my partisan affiliation not because I don’t like the party, its leaders, its members or what it stand for but because I realized our problems are not where we’re waging the battle.  The traditional tool of a political party is to seek office through the ballot and effect desired policy changes. The Gambia doesn’t need policy changes instead the creation of functioning institutions of democracy. Political Parties has a central role in making that happen, but not on the vote for me agenda instead as change agents and building capacities on the very fundamentals of democracy.

The changes needed to fix Gambia cannot and will not be done a government. It would take capacitated citizens of The Gambia to demand with their time, property and maybe the ultimate price. Such capacities do not current exist among most of the population. It has to be built and that will take generations. Adding salt to injury our problems are products of compounded events of our own actions over the past 50 years. They’re now complicated in that they became norms, religions and social standards that penetrates every fabric of our daily living transactions. It will take cumbersome but deliberate political processes along side social-engineering (reorientation) to halt the degeneration not just into oligarchy but also our social mindset. The concepts of a republic and democratic governance will be a learning processes for all of us – is a lifestyle and not a government.  For sustenance we should be able to live it on a daily basis and is not always pretty before our governments can be truly expected to conform! This would require a visionary leadership of a citizen(s) that organize and mobilize masses of capacitated citizens.

The response – “Yahya would/won’t…”.  If this is our outlook to the problem (what Yahya would/won’t or want/not want), then we might as well keep quiet, close our eyes, follow his directives and go help weed his farms – which he will like. Yet still stop all efforts trying to organize in the diaspora or helping out the opposition parties because he wouldn’t like that either. This thought process is troubling and defeatist.

Others respond – Burama is a theorist or lived in America and want to carbon copy American democracy onto Gambia. I refuted those 2 assertions in the second paragraph – that am a typical Gambian product and live it every day. My views are very well informed by basic Gambian values. The fundamentals of democracy are not any more about America than they’re found in the teachings of our cherished religions of Islam and Christianity.  Those 2 religions informed most of our values and virtues. I must add though learning from the experiences of others is neither a weakness nor a cheating – it’s strength and basic human progression especially if you acknowledge them.

Some argued – Burama is flat out wrong and his proposals won’t work. They could be right my proposal won’t work. But this is not about Burama’s.  It’s about finding a solution(s) and Burama happened to propose what he thinks would work.  It’s about what we can agree to work on. It’s about you bringing an alternative proposal. It’s our civic duty, if not responsibility to be part of the crowd searching for solutions.  For about 20 years is the same old tried proposal of some opposition coalition to contest elections against the Yahya they already said “would/won’t….”

Folks our fight is not about Yahya! This fight is not about what Yahya want or not and/or would/won’t!  Equally this fight is not about a political party, group of friends, tribes, men/women of property, etc. On one hand when we make our struggle Yahya we shackled ourselves into a zero sum solution other than hope for a divine intervention and/or another military take over.  On the other hand if we make it about parties, friends, tribes, diaspora, etc. we attract people with similar traits – that number will always be in minority compared to the national population.

Our fight is about is the PROMISE of the nation at the dawn of independent nationhood – A Democratic Republic of The Gambia. This is our legitimate claim and no permission required to make those 2-words in our name count. The Republic is our collective ownership. Democracy is our equitable participation in the management of our common property. We neither need Yahya’s permission to make that claim nor do we care what he likes, want or otherwise.  This claim also can’t/shouldn’t wait party or group to assume power – that will not produce an institutional democracy. The claim has to be dictated by capacitated people with a committed leadership. Such leadership could come from political party (ies)/group(s) but drastic stiff from current mode of operations and over all strategies.

Recently it appears some came around the fact that current efforts to organize opposition for elections against Yahya are cul de sac. Though they still see Yahya as the obstructionist but failed to connect that his strength comes from our inaction/weakness. As stated above this view fall into the zero sum solution hence they’re cozying up to the idea of military take over rather than our own Democracy Agenda.  One would have thought our own experiences of overthrow of bad PPP produced worst A(F)PRC. The same is the case all over our sub-region. Why do we now think another military takeover is our way out?

I was taught how to fell a tree with a power saw. One of the techniques is to wedge the tree. This allows you determine the fall direction, less cutting time and avoid blade pinching.

Equally to solve the Yahya problem we shouldn’t made it a wrestling contest – he’s likely to win that. Nor should we out source such an important civic responsibility/duty to an individual/ group of people with guns. Probably out sourcing here is a misnomer after all – very likely we wouldn’t choose those would-be coupists. It will likely come as a surprising imposition on our sovereignty. Neither should we hope for divine intervention – the same God is with all of us including Yahya.

Yahya is the big tree in the plot that has to go for new development plans. It has to go but we have to decide how he goes otherwise it will cause damages to other trees and infrastructures. He had 20 years and counting to grow. He amassed power including befriending some in the free world who should be our support had we properly counter. Yahya recently ordered his arms men to stop our people from prayers at their places and times of choosing. Denying Muslims to pray according to their religious believes/norms/sanctions amounts to ‘Fatwa’ – punishable with death.  If anything should trigger machetes dismembering those guarding the praying grounds should be this but didn’t. No wonder besieging the DC Embassy or demonstrations along the route of Yahya’s motorcade without a coherent democracy agenda is simply pretentious. To appear to be doing something is one thing and another our actions adding value to the ultimate price. These actions could be meaningful if in coordination with a democratic demand. Without such agenda such actions are simply to anger Yahya. That might be a exciting feelings in our circles but has no value addition to the cause.

This is politics! Lets utilize the tested political tools to achieve our goal(s). There are many case studies in history we can reference. In order to do this we have to articulate a cause to sell. That can’t neither be simply Yahya is bad nor a drive to propel X or Y to the presidency. It has to be the promise of Gambia’s founding – A Democratic Republic Of The Gambia! With such a defined cause we would in addition need someone (an organization[s]) to sell it for us to create a larger circle of friends/supporters (political leverage). The larger our circle the smaller Yahya’s. With this new strength we can begin to demand democracy. Any changes secured/gained will equal proportional decline of Yahya and dictatorship in general. In the eventual Gambia the institutions of democracy will be the custodian of state based on law and not individuals.

On the other hand current efforts such as a single opposition candidate or coup or civil disobedience and/or some monolithic diaspora organization will not achieve the goal(s).  Elections will not remove Yahya because he’s the referee. A coup and/or civil disobedience may or may not happen but if it does, could remove Yahya. Removing Yahya is considered first step towards democratization but what if that successor turn brutal or you hope s/he will not do that. Well Yahya proclaimed “soldiers with a difference” and decade later he is one of Africa’s brutal dictators who discarded friends that helped him at coup and amassed personal wealth at the expense of Gambia. A diaspora group(s) would have important roles but can’t practically be the National Face. The organizational development of this struggle is almost important as the goal of the struggle. It’s the vehicle and has to be appropriate to carry the load. The ongoing rhetorical calls to unity or finding common ground are premature; it ought to be called to come together to assembly a working team to develop a concept cause on the promises of our founding. Our challenge is to ultimately develop ‘A National Democracy Vision’ that can be sold to Gambia and the international community.

The main disadvantages of a political process are – is not straight line (we need understand fluid politics at all levels), it will consume time, will be expensive and we might have give in to something to achieve the ultimate price.

Fellow Gambians lets wage a deserved battle! Lets sought for the right tools to wage an effective battle! Lets keep our eye on the ultimate price! Lets not give in certain core fundamentals no matter how hard the going maybe.

I’m neither against anyone nor am I against any effort – but we have to challenge our own self every day on everything otherwise cynicism prevails at attempts of constructive engagement. Be self inform that not every act has a value for the ultimate price.

To conclude here is what George W Bush told America on September 14, 2001, at The National Cathedral, Washington DC – “just three days removed from these events, Americans do not yet have the distance of history. But our responsibility to history is already clear; to answer these attacks and rid the world of evil. War has been waged against us by stealth and deceit and murder. This nation is peaceful, but fierce when stirred to anger. The conflict was begun on the timing and terms of others. It will end in a way, and at an hour, of our choosing”

Take America out and replace it with Gambia. See the evil as Yahya and our people fierce when stirred. With the gutsy GW Bush resolve and wisdom…why can’t we take out Yahya?

Let’s make Gambia ‘A Functioning Institutional Democracy’ – the optimal way to end dictatorship!



November 9, 2014
Reads :3507




“Let us not jump the gun”, cautioned veteran human rights activist, Sidi Sanneh as he soberly reflects on the news of Amadou Samba’s arrest in Dakar, Senegal. He went further to underpin, “Sedia Bayo may have scored the biggest propaganda coup of the Struggle by dragging and kicking screaming Amadou Samba across a Radisson Bleu Hotel lobby. To humiliate the single most influential Gambian of the Jammeh regime who is also its staunchest and most reliable supporter is equivalent to a slap in the face of Yahya Jammeh. That said Sedia Bayo, and especially members of his security entourage, must be ready to face the force of the Senegalese law should the so-called “arrest” and the ensuing scuffle is ruled as an assault on the person of Amadou Samba who, according to sources, is on a private visit to Dakar.”

The news spread like bush fire and many became jubilant and festive that Amadou Samba has been arrested and detained in Senegal. Others queried the rationale of his “arrest and detention” particularly in Dakar, Senegal.  I wondered aloud, what is his crime? As I joggled my mind through tonnes of probabilities, I settled for his association and abetting a dictatorial regime. Amadou Samba, on the one hand, is directly responsible for what befell him from his assailants as a result of his open support for Dictator Jammeh.  On the other hand, how can a wealthy and influential man like Amadou Samba be wondering in the lobbies of hotels in Senegal without personal guards knowing his association with Jammeh?   Lamentable as it is, Amadou is not just an ordinary business man. He is a prominent and influential representative of the dictatorial Jammeh regime. If not, why did the government hastily jumped into his defence by running a news headline on GRTS that “Amadou Samba, a Gambian business man was not arrested and detained in Dakar, Senegal but was attacked by criminals”. Gambian diplomats are currently arraigned before a court of law in the UK, why didn’t the Jammeh government jump into their defence but rather opted to zip its lips on its very own diplomats? Some actions are more explicit than words.

“Let us be careful”, admonished Mr Sanneh , “The incident may have unintended consequences that may end up affecting the Gambian exile community in Dakar, and which may include, but not limited to, current residence requirements of the dissident community. Infraction of local laws (if that is what happened here) is not something that the Senegalese will tolerate, if it is established that indeed laws have been broken.” At this juncture, one may ask what are the ramifications of the Amadou Samba and Sedia Bayo fracas in Dakar, Senegal. First and foremost, at the national level, the two governments of the Gambia and Senegal both have interest in this case and if not handled with care, honesty and justice, it may breed catastrophic consequences. The mere fact that the Jammeh government is sending a high powered delegation to Senegal clearly signifies that Jammeh is prepared to pursue this case to any level.

The Senegalese government will not want the Jammeh regime to see it tolerating Gambian dissidents using its territory to coordinate and execute attacks on the Gambian government. On the other hand, it does not also want France to see it as a puppet of Jammeh especially where its citizen is involved. Moreover, Jammeh wants to see all Gambian dissidents kicked out of Senegal and this is an opportune moment to further that agenda. The best option for the Senegalese government is to completely stay out of the case and let its Police Department and judiciary handle it without any duress. Whatever the outcome of the case, it will then be seen as justice running its course. The Senegalese Judiciary is celebrated for its independence until the arrest and detention of Karim Wade. Albeit, Karim’s case is viewed by many as political and the judiciary is dragging its feet on the case, it still remains independent.

Politically, this case will yield lasting repercussions. For instance, even if Macky Sall acts impartially, it will not go down well with Jammeh. If Sedia Bayo is convicted, the Gambian nonconformist, the French government and human rights activists will consider it as political persecution. Others are postulating that Jammeh may not pursue the case any further as Amadou Samba was heard denouncing his association with him as he pleaded for mercy with his assailants. Even if Amadou disowned Dictator Jammeh, President Jammeh will still use this case to settled scores with the Macky government. Jammeh has always perceived the Sall regime as providing safe haven for Gambian dissidents in Senegal. Suffice it to say, the Senegalese government will do whatever it can to prove that it is acting according to international protocols. Readers will recall the Macky government extraditing the late Kukoi to Mali and recently, it is refusing entry to any Gambian refugee with refugee travel documents. The Macky regime has a list of Gambian dissidents at the Yoff Airport and anyone who is blacklisted will not be given entry clearance in Senegal. To me all that amounts to appeasing Dictator Jammeh. The case is murky and Macky should not succumb to duress from Banjul. Let the law runs its course and whoever is guilty should pay. For anyone who is not prepared to do the term should not commit the crime.

The lessons of the case varied. For President Jammeh, it indicates that his enablers are vulnerable outside the Gambia. He is equally vulnerable too, but it may not sink in his deluded head that he is touchable. It further demonstrates that anyone who openly supports and abets the dictatorial regime in the Gambia will be hunt down the streets of Banjul and drag into courts of law to face justice. The fracas also emboldens Gambians in the diaspora and home that dictators are cowards. They are always reduced to cry babies under captivity. Gaddafi did it and now Amadou Samba has joined the list. If Amadou Samba can quickly and easily denounce Jammeh by just grabbing and dragging him in a hotel lobby, it spells that their loyalty to the dictator is cosmetic. His loyalty is raptured.


November 7, 2014
Reads :2586




Barely two weeks ago Dictator Jammeh sent his Justice Minister as an emissary to the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva to resuscitate his dying regime. Amongst many spin lies which Minister Mahoney told the edified council was “There is no detention without trial in the Gambia. Prisoners’ rights are well protected. Furthermore, Gambia supports the 72 hour law of detention and where it exceeds; people go to court and file habeas corpus”. Perhaps, the deluded Gambian Dictators thought the UN Human Rights Council would be convinced by his whitewashed dossier and not travel to the Gambia to separate chaff from the grains of his doggy-dossier.

First, he ran to Jangbureh ducking and diving his backside in the rice field posing as a leader effacing hunger for his people. What many of the muzzled Gambians with him at the rice field did not know, was he swop national duty for a personal one and avoiding the UN veteran investigators for illegal killings and tortures. When he realised his gimmicks did not wade off the investigators patience, he told them that the wailing nation was in observance of the Muslim end of year Eid. Like the determination of a starving person looking at a delicious meal, the investigators waited patiently to accomplish their mission.

The decisive moment finally projected itself when the investigators asked to be led to the security wind of Mile II prison. Hell, broke loose and Dictator Jammeh manifested his monstrous side by refusing the investigators access. They were dismayed by the Jammeh’s government refusal for them to visit a prison which they were informed by the same government it was not only given a facelift but prisons are accorded their full rights. Christof Heyns and Juan Mendez said in a joint press release “ an inference must be drawn that there is something important to hide. This incident forced us to suspended this integral part of the visit”.

The release went on to add, “We would like to recall the duty of the government to take measures to prevent and punish deprivation of life by criminal acts and to prevent arbitrary killing by their own security forces”. The blocking and sabotaging this first ever UN human rights investigators from completing their probe into killings and tortures by the Jammeh regime accentuates what Gambian nonconformists have been advocating for the past twenty years . Heyns, who is UN special rapporteur on extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions, concluded, “Our inability to visit sections of a Banjul prison despite written guarantees obtained in advance suggested the government had something to hide”.

On the death sentence, the UN veteran investigators asserted, “According to available evidence, the death sentences were imposed in violation of international fair trial standards, including the most serious crimes provisions”. Readers will recall that in August 2012, Monster Jammeh ordered the unlawful execution of 9 Mile II death row inmates to fulfil his marabou’s directive.

As we go to press, a young Gambian, Sait Matty Jaw, is currently unlawfully detained for more than 72 hour stipulated by law. His whereabouts remains a mystery and his safety highly feared. Mr Jaw is a lecturer at the Gambia University who has no political affiliation whatsoever. He is still neither charged nor released by his captors. It is highly believed that Mr Jaw is undergoing chilling tortures from his captors.


November 1, 2014
Reads :1687




Power is a treacherous intoxicant, once you get drunk it becomes viral and to sober from it is almost impossible. However, historical realities couple with common sense often help us read clearly the road signs and markings we trek to advert fatal accidents and regrettable lifelong mistakes. Most importantly, it equipped us to make informed choices deflating potential hazards to our own lives and that of others especially our loved ones. A wise Fula, you know the Fulas are always wise and cunning, said “No furu maondu ko eh hoore maonde fu ndata”. It literally translates a big ear grows on a big head. The Burkinabe situation brings home our very own Gambian reality.

Twenty years ago, like Campaore, you ascended to power through a military coup but unlike him you ousted a constitutional government and he 7 years your senior in power. Both of you promised your people change. A change that will usher in sustainable development characterised by accountability, transparency, probity, eradication of poverty, good health, education and above all freedom. Freedom of expression. Freedom to ask the executive how it accumulates it wealth. Freedom to repeal draconian laws that only benefit a few at the expense of the majority. Freedom to curb electoral fraud. Freedom of safety of a person. Freedom for affordable living cost. Freedom to access electricity and clean water. Freedom to employment. Freedom to be free in your own bedroom.  Did you live up to your promises? Firstly, let us examine the rise and fall of Campaore and contrast it with the Gambian reality perhaps you would learn a lesson or two Mr President.

Growing public distrust is a factor which prevails prominently in both countries. The Burkinabe got reticent with mounting failed promises with Campaore whereas Gambians take Jammeh’s illusionary promises with a pinch of salt. For example, he promised Banjulians paved streets yet year in year out they swim in muddy ponds which are even more visible than the roads markings and signs of the streets of Banjul. Furthermore, President Jammeh assured Gambians that he would electrify the whole country and build a railway connecting the provinces with the urban areas all to no avail. As if Gambians are gullible, he comes up with a coup plot every now and again just to incarceration, kill and banish more Gambians. Electricity and clear water are now more inaccessible than before. At least those who had it were assured of its regular supply.

Lack of political alternative base. Both Campaore and Jammeh have systematically scheme a political environment in which opposition parties lack the ability to create a platform to offer electorates alternative base and effect change through the ballot box.  In the Gambian reality, opposition politicians and perceived opponents are intermittently harassed, intimidated and/or falsely accused of bogus felonies and unlawfully incarcerated. Femi Peters and Amadou Sanneh are living prove of Jammeh’s political thuggery. Opposition parties particularly UDP is usually denied police permits to hold political rallies. To makes matters worse, any civil servant who is suspected as anti-established is dismissed and charged with giving false information to a public officer, economic crime, and neglect of duty or abuse of office. If any of these felonies is to hold any water is under the bridge of President Jammeh. Do I really need to give evidence in support of my claim? Well just to shut off my sceptics and his supporters, I will tender a couple exhibits. Gambians are used to hear “Do you want to go to my hotel?” and “I will send you to my hotel” from President Jammeh. An elected president threatening a state minister on a national television, if that does not equate an abuse of office, I wonder what else will signify an abuse of office. How about the tonnes of rice given to the Gambian people by Japan sold and pocketed by Jammeh? That is not an economic crime, I guess. Oh, less I forget did Justice Minister Mahoney under the directive of President Jammeh not tell UN Human Rights Council “There is no detention without trial in the Gambia”, and “Gambia supports the 72 hour law of detention, and where it exceeds; people go to court and file habeas corpus. Certainly, Mr President I bet that is not giving false information to a public officer.

Abysmal human rights records. Even china expressed her displeasure on the Gambia’s repulsive human rights record. Each of the 62 member states urged you to step up and amend your nauseating human rights records. Again this reminds me of a Wolof saying “Ku nyep tuff li nga toy”. Mr President, they all cannot be wrong. Gambian home based media houses have been turned into sports and entertainment outlets. The censorship is so sickening that Gambians are now afraid to think. Gambians continue to disappear from their cosy beds in the middle of nights. Unlawful arrests and detentions, contrary to your whitewashed human rights reports, linger unabated. The killings. What are the killings? The killings of journalists, political opponents, security personnel and other vulnerable citizens. In Burkina it is Zongo and in the Gambia it is Dayda Hydara. What do they have in common? Their only crime was been journalists investigating criminal Presidents.

A country on edge. Both countries heavily depend on foreign aid and imports for their survival to say the least, Jammeh Gilanka. Youth unemployment is an ugly sore on the foreheads of both countries. With the growing frustration and anger of both people resided growing warnings to jolt your attention to your people’ craving that they want you to go…go and go yet you remain defiant. The latest sign in the Gambia is the deadly back way to Europe route that the youth are embarking on risking their youthful lives. Will telling Europe it is payback time resolve this menacing issue Mr President? Are you refusing to acknowledge reality because you are an oaf or are you disconnected with the reality right under your very nose? What more do you hope to accomplish that you could not in 20 years of your leadership?

Mr President, I will leave you with one of my late dad’s maxims: “To sleep with anger is better than sleeping with regret”. Do not let yourself end like Campaore Gilanka.

Sulayman Jeng

Birmingham, UK


October 30, 2014
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Recently, the Upper River Region administrative area has been inundated with graphic rape cases of under aged girls as young as 10. Basse which was known for its hospitality, amazing landscape and cosy night clubs has meandered into a sinister dwelling for the Basse girl child. The outrageous rape on Sunday of a grade five pupil in the Upper River Region (URR) calls for concerted efforts to curb this increasing menace in it bud once and for all by all and sundry in the region particularly its authorities.

Kibaaro News informant disclosed that the unremorseful felon, Mr S.C, had been molesting the 10 year old girl, whose name has been withheld for legal reasons, for day after severing her tender and fragile virginity on Thursday before his luck extinguished. The 35 year old divorcee is currently helping the Basse Police in their investigation over the alleged rape case. The police remained tied lip by refraining from shedding any light on the case.

Unlike the police, the Regional Education Director for Region 6, Claudine Cole did not hesitate in registering her profound displeasure of the inhumane molestation of her pupil. Speaking to the press, she rebukes: “Such kinds of incidents are so sad and I am deeply frustrated to hear the raping of school children in the region”.  She went further to inform the press that her office is doing all it takes to ensure that students are protected from all forms of sexual abuses as her department continues its immense sensitisation campaign.

The educationist implored parents to be more vigilant and take proper care of their children particularly by monitoring their movements after school hours.  “We have a radio programme every week in Basse during which we talk to parents about the reoccurrence of rape cases and early marriage among others in the region,” she concluded.

Also reacting to this latest series of unsettling rapes cases in the region was Mr Kebba Susso, chairperson of the region’s Parent Teacher Association. Mr Susso urges the security and social services to wake up from their slumbers and tackle this monstrous crime head on. “Concerted efforts are urgently required from all stakeholders in the region to put their hands on deck in ushering out this scandalous crime from our midst. Parents must equally step up and execute their fundamental obligations and duties”, charged Mr Susso. He pressures severe action to be taken against the perpetrators to deter others from venturing into the despicable felony. “We are working very closely with the Police, Education and Social Welfare departments to foster awareness on the consequences of rape on both victims and perpetrators and its health implications”, he assured the press.

Basse is a closely-knitted society and its sons and daughters should not stand by and watch it fall in disarray. The youth force should start policing its community by reporting any suspected felon to the alkalo, chief and police. Basse belongs to us all and only us can develop and protect it.