Archive for the ‘News’ Category

FLASH FLOODS WRECK HAVOC IN RURAL GAMBIA

July 28, 2015
Reads :1495
Jammeh & Flood

Jammeh’s pardon brought flash floods to the rural Gambia!

Heavy rains and flash floods have wrecked several villages in Sandu and Wuli Districts of the Upper River Region of the Gambia.

The heavy rains started on Sunday nights, according to officials from the Disaster Management agency in the region, and continued to Monday non-stop, causing flash floods, which caused serious damages to many households in many villages of the region and further caused many villages be inaccessible, .

The main crossing points between Diabuku and Darsilameh Jindeh and Bajonkoto were completely cut off in Sandu, while similar scenario is witnessed in Demba Wandu and Diabuku to Basse.

Two trucks loaded with sugar and other food commodities were overturned to the ground, as a result of the heavy rains and flash flood.

Most businesses have resorted to use ox-carts and donkey-carts to transport their goods and people from the main shopping towns and villages.

The heavy rains continue displacing families and affecting people and farms in the region, according to the officials.

Authorities have warned of more rains and flash floods are expected in the area this year, and other parts of the region.

Upper River Region has been plagued with heavy rain and flash flood woes in recent years.

 “We need everyone to exercise caution and be on alert of their surroundings”, Weather Forecasters warned

GAMBIANS ARE TIRED OF YAHYA JAMMEH AND HIS CONDITIONAL PARDON

July 26, 2015
Reads :3515
COMANDING DICTATOR

Jammeh must go with his pardon! Gambia needs a new page not Jammeh new page

By Adama Trawally

It’s now 21 years since the vicious government of Yahya Jammeh came to power in the Gambia. Dictator Jammeh fails to honour the promises he made to the Gambian People. He instead continued to violate the basic human rights of the Gambian citizens. The present condition of the Gambians under Yahya Jammeh is very sad and distressing; people are living in silence due to fear of facing torture and disappearance, if anyone dared to criticise the regime of Yahya Jammeh in the country.

I bore witness to what my fellow Gambians are going through, when I visited the country in 2013. While trying to express myself about the autocratic leadership of Yahya Jammeh and his administration, some of my friends warned me not to mention his name anywhere near them, because it was not safe for them. The country’s media houses all dance to his tune and operate in fear. Saying anything that is not right against the regime could get them closed or suffer arrest and detention. It is only the external online media operated by genuine Gambians, who are keeping the Gambians informed with issues that are really affecting Gambians.

The Dictator has recognised that the only threat to him and his brutal regime are from the Gambians in the Diaspora, since the people on ground are locked up in his countrywide prison; therefore, he is using various methods to silence the Diasporas also. Please let no one fall into Dictator Jammeh’s trap in believing that he has indeed forgiven those of you in the Diaspora with the condition that mean you keep quiet about his dictatorship in the Gambia. Where are the two Gambian – American citizens, Alhajie Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, who were subjected to force disappearance during their visit to the country in 2013. Many people have testified seeing them in a detention centres and appeared to have been tortured. The reason behind their reported disappearance is simply because their use of Facebook to criticise the regime.

Yahya Jammeh needs to know the fact that The Gambian people are fed up of him; although some are pretending to like him and support his administration, but they are his number one enemies. This is because our people are really suffering, especially the youths, who are so desperate that they sacrifice their lives for a greener pasture abroad, as there is high rate of unemployment in the Gambia and hence no future for them there. Additionally, I personally spent seven months in Gambia in 2013 searching for a job with my qualifications, but there was no job opportunity in the country.

Yahya Jammeh is also a big fool to think that Gambians are fools, as alluded to during his 30 December incident speech, the Gambians are no fools, that’s why some are pretending to be loyal to him in other to put a meal on their table for their families. This is because they know the fool has left them with alternative. This is also why some are risking their lives to leave to the country to Europe through the back-way.

Lastly, Dictator Jammeh rules the Gambia for 21 years, which is more than enough and therefore, after failing the Gambians, he needs to leave now.

GCC REJECTS JAMMEH’S AMNESTY AS RIDICULOUS AND CALLS FOR RELEASE OF ALL PRISONERS AND DETAINEES

July 26, 2015
Reads :1770

 

Dr Sedat Jobe the Chairman of the GCC

Dr Sedat Jobe the Chairman of the GCC

The GCC Logo

The GCC Logo

The Gambia Consultative Council (GCC) has issued a press release in reaction to President Jammeh’s recent olive branch amnesty announced on 22 July 2015 resulting in the pardoning of the release of 228 prisoners of the country’s overcrowded and unfit Mile 2 central prison. The GCC rebuked Jammeh’s overtures as ridiculous and calls on him to release all prisoners and detainees in the Gambia. We publish the same in full below:

“Gambia Consultative Council Press Release: GCC rejects amnesty as ridiculous; calls for release of all prisoners and more

On July 23rd, 2015, Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh began releasing prisoners from some of the worst prisons in Africa. On the same day, President Barack Obama left Washington, DC. for second trip to Africa as president of the United States. Yahya Jammeh, has long time been on the radar of western governments and institution unhappy with the state of human rights in the Gambia. As a result, in January, 2015, the United States removed Gambia from the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act for failing to meet eligibility requirements. In December, 2014, Reuters reports the European Union withholding critical funds from the Gambia. And in October, 2013, Yahya Jammeh unilaterally withdrew the Gambia from the 54-nation Commonwealth of Nations. Additionally, Yahya Jammeh has on many occasions, either, expelled diplomats from western governments and international institutions, or block the appointments of others to Gambia. Over the past several years, Gambia’s relations with the west hit rock-bottom over the Gambia’s death squads, executions, tortures, forced disappearances, mass incarcerations and the fleeing of Gambians to lands near and far. Tensions between the Gambian military regime and Gambian dissident, political establishment, western governments and regional and international NGOs and institutions have continued to deteriorate to levels where the threats of civil unrest are real and the demands for political change is louder.

Under these circumstances, Yahya Jammeh, isolated and shunned by both his African peers and the international community, has finally relented on the question of prisoner release. In addition, Yahya Jammeh has extended amnesty to dispute dissidents to return home. The Gambia Consultative Council (GCC) wants to make it categorically clear that the organisation and its supporters reject the offer of amnesty as ridiculous and unnecessary. Gambian dissidents around the world have done nothing criminal, for which they need amnesty. Since its formation, the GCC has fought for the liberation of the Gambian people against the murders, executions, mass incarcerations, tortures and the general fear in Gambia. GCC, like similar civil society organisations around the world, makes no apology for its role in fighting to free the Gambian people. GCC also calls for freeing all the political prisoners from the dungeons of death; too late for the over five hundred prisoners who have already died in Mile 2 Prison since 1994. GCC takes the opportunity to condemn the national Assembly for its role in passing a repressive Bill geared towards turning Gambia into a one-party state. The National Assembly’s act was a cowardly act designed to give Yahya Jammeh complete control over the lives of Gambians. In the same vein, GCC asks the National Assembly to not bring the proposed Death Penalty amendment Bill up for debate, now or ever. GCC calls for Yahya Jammeh to step down to allow Gambians to form a unity government between the political establishment and civil society.

Signed

GCC”

OPEN LETTER TO PRESIDENT JAMMEH

July 24, 2015
Reads :5530
JAMMEH, THE  UNRELENTING TYRANT

IS HE SERIOUS ABOUT THIS NEW PAGE OF HIS?

By Baba Galleh Jallow

Dear Mr. President, I am writing this open letter to you in direct response to your speech of July 22, 2015 granting amnesty to several categories of people, including those convicted of treason in The Gambia and those members of the Gambian Diaspora who have been in disagreement and/or outright conflict with you and your government. This letter is motivated by pure love of country and a desire to encourage what I understand, rightly or wrongly, to be a potential beginning of change for the better for our dear Motherland. My uncompromising hatred for all forms of injustice is only equal to my belief in the human capacity to evolve and improve. In granting forgiveness, I understand from your speech that you desire to be forgiven for crimes committed under your watch, if not by the victims of these crimes, then by God.

Some members of the Gambian Diaspora community who have been in disagreement and/or conflict with you and your government are not liars as you characterized them; nor have they ever committed a single crime in their lives. Their only “crime” has been to criticize you and your government for doing things they believe to be detrimental to the wellbeing of our country, and to offer advice on how best to move our country in the best direction. They have simply been criminalized by the spirit of intolerance that characterized your regime and which, I dearly hope, is about to become a thing of the past. Of course, no one can claim to be infallible and we have staunchly resisted and rejected your claims of infallibility in the past. And should you claim to be infallible in the present or the future, some of us will reject it out of hand; for infallibility may only be claimed by the All Mighty God to whom you make frequent reference. If you do indeed read the Quran everyday as you mentioned in your speech, then this fact is not lost upon you. Human beings are fallible creatures and peace will elude them as long as they refuse to acknowledge that fact and act accordingly. Perhaps your frequent reading of the Quran (in translation I hope) is beginning to bear fruit. Perhaps you are growing increasingly capable of recognizing the error of your ways and making amends to that effect. That can only bode well for our dear Motherland.

I hope you understand Mr. President, that saying you forgive your critics and opponents in the Diaspora does not mean that they will not criticize you where they find this necessary, or desist from advocating the kinds of political changes that they feel is best for our Dear Motherland. Indeed, our freedom of expression and association is absolutely nonnegotiable and inviolable by any leader or government on earth. We reserve the right to condemn unjust laws and object to the abuse of our God-given rights by the State which is our child and servant, or the head of state who is our child and chief servant. We conceive of the Nation as one big family – the Family Nation – in which the people are the parents and the government the children. The head of state deserves due respect as the First Child of the Family Nation. But he/she will be censored if he/she disrespects or in any way unjustly abuses public authority, the dignity of any member of the national family or our national institutions. So will all members of their government. Disagreements are inevitable in any social unit; but disagreements within the Family Nation should never be elevated to the status of enmity; they must be tolerated and resolved where possible. Where it is not possible to amicably and/or legally resolve disagreements within the Family Nation, family members must be content with agreeing to disagree. No member of the family should be forcibly silenced or punished because they disagree with other members of the family. All members aspire to help our Dear Motherland become a universal model of all the beautiful virtues expressed in the Holy Scriptures – from forgiveness, which you just practiced – to justice, respect for human dignity, freedom of worship, and unconditional tolerance of differing opinion within the nation-state space, among others. The task of helping our Motherland become such a model is a perpetual work in progress that we will carry out as long as is humanly possible and that future generations of Gambians will continue after us. And the fact that the Nation is a work in progress means that we and those who come after us bear the responsibility of pointing out faults within our leadership and our political and cultural institutions and seeking remedies for them. In effect, what I am saying is that if you do something we feel is not good for our nation, we will criticize you for it and we will say what we believe, rightly or wrongly, is the best thing for our nation. No Gambian may claim to love The Gambia more than any other Gambian, and it is important for those handling the affairs of our nation to be perpetually and immediately cognizant and respectful of this fact. So while I personally appreciate the fact that you have released political prisoners and other people convicted of various offenses in The Gambia, and the fact that you have decriminalized those innocent critics of you and your government residing outside our beloved country, I believe that there is still much more you can and should do in your own personal interest and in the interest of our Dear Motherland. Below is a very short list of suggestions:

Institute Term Limits: This is one of the most important steps you should take in the interest of our Nation. Moreover, it is a step that you strongly promised Gambians that you will take 21 years ago when you took over the reins of our national government. I am sure you clearly remember saying that even ten years is too much for any single person to be in power in The Gambia. Instituting term limits is not, as you recently suggested, an act of pandering to the West, or being a puppet of the West. It is an act that will heal our nation in ways that we can only imagine at this time. Giving ownership of democracy, human rights, term limits or any other aspect of political civility to the West is giving the West power it does not possess or agency it may never lay claim to. Civility is a human virtue, not a Western imposition because the West has no power or authority to impose it. Instituting term limits is simply the right thing to do and I hope you will do it in your own personal interest and in the best interest of our dear Nation. Occasional changes of political leadership propels a nation forward; it allows for experimentation with different ideas as to how best to improve the conditions of a nation. On the other hand, overstaying in power may give the illusion of progress but is actually a recipe for political, cultural and developmental stagnation, if not outright national disaster. The fact that Jawara overstayed in power was among your primary excuses for toppling him. Do not repeat his fatal political mistake.

Annul the 2015 Elections Amendment Law: As a leader who seized power in the name of bringing about political freedom and equality, you have many times abrogated that declared intention. However, with the incredible increase in electoral fees that your government is in danger of imposing, you have literally gone way over the top and reached perhaps the farthest point away (so far) from your initial declared intention of bringing about political freedom and equality. The best thing to do in the interest of our Dear Motherland is simply nip this unjust idea in the bud and leave the fees as they are. It is manifestly unjust to make it virtually impossible for well-meaning Gambians to offer their services to the nation through elected office simply because they are not as wealthy as yourself and cannot afford the fees. Let the Gambian people choose their leaders in free and fair elections, which are already hard enough to conduct within the context of our current political culture.

Consider Alternative Views: Ideas, Mr. President, are the building blocks of a nation. Therefore, it is incumbent upon you as Head of State to seriously consider all ideas proposed in the name of helping our Dear Motherland, regardless of their origin. The Gambian media needs to be free to agree or disagree with you and your government, because they are equally invested in the welfare of our nation. The criminalization of legitimate public opinion is much like cutting your nose to spite your face and represents a violation of the fundamental God-given rights of citizenship every Gambian should enjoy without let or hindrance. Where media or journalists explicitly break the law or commit sedition or libel, let the rule of law take its due course rather than have state agents unlawfully pounce upon them. The practice of punishing journalists and media houses simply because they criticize their own government is utterly counter-productive. Just as parents have the right to criticize and correct their children, so does journalists have the right to criticize and correct their government, whose members are their children and servants.

I understand that our alternative political parties are suggesting a list of electoral reforms for your consideration. It would perhaps be unrealistic to say that you must accept all their suggestions, which may in fact be the best thing for you to do. However, I would urge you to seriously consider some of their proposals if not in recognition of their merit and legitimacy as coming from well-meaning, well-respected Gambian citizens, then in the interest of what is best for our Dear Motherland. Our electoral politics are in much need of improvement and I am sure the proposals coming from our other political leaders have something to offer. You will notice that I do not refer to them as opposition parties because I think the term “opposition” does not adequately capture the essence of our alternative political parties and leaders. We need a rethinking of not only our political culture, but the political nomenclature that is of this increasingly outmoded culture, including terms like opposition, honorable, and excellency.

Finally, Mr. President, I heard you say that you have turned a new page. I dearly hope you have. Let me just say that turning a new page is much more than offering amnesty to convicted criminals and allowing Gambians in the Diaspora the freedom to visit their homeland without fear of arrest or persecution. That is certainly a significant step, but it is only one step – however significant – that you need to take towards bettering the condition of our Dear Motherland. I have outlined a few other crucial steps you need to take in this short open letter. If you have already decided to take these steps, praise be to God. If not, I urge you to seriously consider taking them sooner rather than later, in the best interests of our Dear Motherland. All Power Belongs to God, Lord of the Worlds.

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

July 23, 2015
Reads :2295
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.

“I HAVE TURNED A NEW PAGE” – DECLARED GAMBIAN DICTATOR, AS HE STUNNED CRITICS WITH SINISTER AMNESTY

July 22, 2015
Reads :12015
Jammeh said even Pa Nderry is pardoned to insult Asombie Bojang!! Do you believe it?

Jammeh said even Pa Nderry is pardoned to insult Asombie Bojang!! Do you believe him?

The Gambian Dictator Yahya Jammeh has declared his pardoning of murderers, coupists, rapists and ardent critics in a sinister amnesty, which did not include political prisoners and family members of 30 December 2014 coupists, who are still arbitrarily detained for seven months without charge.

The President declared the amnesty during an unscripted marathon address to a gathering in Banjul on Wednesday, July 22, marking the 21st anniversary celebrations of his coming to power, through a military coup, on 22 July 1994. The President, who bragged to have turned a new page in his life, claimed to have learnt forgiveness from the holy scriptures of the Koran and the Bible, and for that reason wished to forgive some but not all.

Political prisoners, such as UDP’s Amadou Sanneh were not included. This was the case, despite claiming to have forgiven murderers, military coupists, rapists, drug dealers, etc.

The Dictator, who reasoned that if he does not forgive; how will god forgive him; declared that his forgiveness has limits and he explained those limits as follows:

“All those convicted of treason from 2013 to 1994 and are in Death Row are hereby pardoned”……As from today all those convicted of murder and have served 10 years and above are hereby pardoned……. Except in 3 cases that I know of, the carnival, who chopped the woman and ate her body………….. will not be forgiven…………. the man who killed his wife ……….nicknamed Ayatollah, will not also be pardoned ……….. and the group of foreigners, who killed a British citizen, will not also be pardoned.” President Jammeh declared.

All those convicted of Cannabis related offences and served 3 years or more in prison are also pardoned. As well as those sentenced for hard drug offences, such as: Cocaine and Heroin; and have served 5 years or more are also pardoned, with the exception of repeated offenders.

Rapists who have also been in prison from 1994 to 2013 are also pardoned provided their victims were adults of over 20 years. No forgiveness for child rapists and those convicted of infanticide; as the president claimed to have no mercy for those who committed crimes against women and children.

All those pardoned, who are foreigners are to be deported.

As for his ardent critics, who he once labelled as the ill gotten sons and daughters of the Gambia, the Gambian Dictator claimed to have unconditionally forgiven them. “All those people mostly in the USA, UK who have fought against this country and said all lies against this country; whether you attempted a coup plot or lied and ran away, you are all pardoned”; the Gambian dictator declared.

But one thing that is not clear, is whether his forgiveness covers only the past deeds of his critics in the diaspora or whether it will continue to cover further criticism of his regime?

Although, he added that they must be warned to stay away from the wrong side of the law. Declaring that “murder, rape, drug will never be accepted in this country. But this is a country, where mere criticism of the President is deemed to be on the wrong side of the law. It therefore remained to be seen as to whether the Gambian Dictator has indeed “turned a new page”, as he claimed; and whether first person who stain that page will not be his critics.

He has however warned that the first person to stain the page will pay the “ultimate price”. This is from a man who claims to have a forgiving heart. Some people will never change and Yahya Jammeh is one of them.

OBITUARY: INNA LILLAH WA INNA ELAIHI RAZION

July 21, 2015
Reads :5100
Late Inspector Kutobo Samateh

Late Inspector Kutobo Samateh

‘Inna lillahi Wa Inna Elayhi Rajioon! From God we came from and to him we shall return’. It is with great sadness that we announce the demise of our dear friend, brother, uncle and father, Inspector Kutubo Samateh, commonly known in his native village of Kiang Jali as Kutubo Manifa, who was an Inspector of the Gambia Police Force. He passed away on Sunday 19th of July 2015 at the Coventry University Teaching Hospital, Coventry, West Midlands, United Kingdom.

This sad news is extended to all past and present staffs of the Gambia Police Force, Gambians abroad, Gambians at home and anyone related or close to the late Kutubo one way or the other. Brother Kutubo was a very compassionate, contented and down to earth human being, who was a devout Muslim. He preached, even in his death bed, to anyone who visits him asking them to remember Allah at all times and performed their regular prayers, especially at mosque. Many people have attested to his friendliness and compassionate character towards anyone he came across. He was easily approachable and loved by all.

Gambians in the United Kingdom are trying to repatriate his body to The Gambia for burial at his home village of Kiang Jali. They solicits the kind benevolent of anyone, who can assist to assist them with funds to repatriate his body to the Gambia. Any kind assistance can be made to the following account details:

Mr Koneth Suso Account No: 73811867 Sort Code: 20-23-60 Barclays Bank plc.

Thanks you.

There will also be a prayer gathering for late the Kutubo at: St Paul’s Hall, located at Foleshill Road, Coventry, CV6 5AJ. Bus 20 from the city center takes the route to the hall for anyone who wishes to attend.

The body of late Kutubo is expected to be flown to the Gambia as soon as possible.

On behalf of the entire management of Kibaaro and my own behalf; we wish to extend our condolences to his family back home in the Gambia and to all his close family, friends and love ones. His demise is a great loss, not only to his family, but to the entire Gambian nation, as he served the Gambia all his life. May he rest in Jannah! Ameen.