Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Fatou Jaw Manneh Speaks at Oslo Freedom Forum

October 24, 2014
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Fatou Jaw Manneh with GRACE Management Group Vice President @OsloFF

Fatou Jaw Manneh, journalist and activist was invited to  Oslo Freedom Forum 2014. The forum on defeating dictators lasted for 2 days, from  21st – 22nd October. The founder and  editor of maafanta online newspaper gave an oustanding speech on  Gambia’s Silenced Dissent in which she exposed numerous human rights violations in The Gambia. She also expounded on her arrest and long trial in 2007 by dictator Jammeh.  Below we reproduce the full speech of the journalist cum activist at Oslo Freedom Forum.

I am a refugee, currently living in Arizona, USA. I have lived in America for more than 10 years. Earlier in my life, I was a reporter in my country Gambia, once called the “smiling coast of Africa.”

In 1994, my peaceful country descended into a brutal dictatorship when Yahya Jammeh seized power through a military coup.

For 20 long years, Gambia has been defined by fear and violence. Before Jammeh, tourists would come from all over Europe to enjoy our sun, our beaches, and the welcoming smiles from Gambian citizens. But that Gambia is no more.

Now, Jammeh uses brother against uncle, mother against aunt, soldier against neighbor, community against community. He arrests, jails, tortures, and kills those who stand in his way. Today in our cities, soldiers with machine guns guard check points to instill fear, where only police used to stand to help guide traffic.

Gambian courts are filled daily by helpless families as the President brings lawsuits against them on bogus charges. Many journalists are accused of “writing false information and sedition.”Like many other exiled dissidents, I have had to risk my life to see my family. In 2007, I decided to go back to Gambia to attend my father’s funeral. I knew my dad’s passing and my possible incarceration would be more than my mother could bear. So before leaving for Gambia, I promised to visit her and my two sons in London after the funeral. But it was a year and a half before I was finally able to leave.

When I arrived in Gambia, I was greeted by some plain clothes secret service personnel at the airport. “You are Fatou Jaw Manneh??” they asked. “Yes,” I answered. “Come with us,” they said.My brother was there to pick me up. “Where are you taking her??” he asked. “We cannot tell you.” Seeing my brother agitated, I begged him to go home I really knew they had me. I was ready for the showdown. Die or live.

In my own country, here I was crammed into a white pickup truck and driving into the darkness. No one would have known that our car of plain-looking Gambian citizens was actually a team of people whose job it was to make my countrymen disappear.

On and on we drove, and then I knew – we were heading to the capital Banjul, Residence of the president.

Suddenly, we made a swift turn down a road to a secret detention center. It was enclosed by tall dusty walls and edged just along the Atlantic Ocean. I shivered as I realized that they could easily just throw me into the sea.

The young secret service agents did as they were told, keeping me up until 2 am, and ransacking my suitcases. The interrogation rooms were huge, dusty and old. They left me, in a room. I looked around and saw a broken couch and, a window with torn mosquito nets.

I heard many stories of people disappeared by way of the deadly intelligence officers, but this time it was happening to me. It was terrifying.

The thought of my mum and my sons was unbearable.I prayed inwardly and asked God to give them the strength to move on should anything happen to me. I swore to myself that I would not shed a tear for the punk president Jammeh.When death comes it comes.

I could not sleep. Mosquitos came buzzing in. To eat, I was given a half loaf of bread with boiled egg on a torn cement bag paper. I kept a pen hidden in my bra; I also had a small disposable camera tucked in the sleeves of my blouse.

I could not sleep, so I told the guards that I wanted to use the bathroom

And then…it happened.

Coming out of a very filthy scary bathroom, a guard came to me and touched me lightly on my chest. I stood there. I thought I was going to be raped. But then he called my name: Jaw. Only someone who knows me in person or is from my neighborhood would call me that name, as it is the last name of the woman I am named after! I answered. He told me he was the night guard. “I knew you very well in the village,” he said, “but you will not remember me. I went to the same primary school I know your mum; she is like an aunt to me.”

I don’t know if he is still in the country or not. So I cannot discuss what we said that first night…but this was a sign.

“God is with you,” I thought.

The fear of not seeing my sons again was toughest — but I discovered that we can surprise ourselves with what we are capable of under duress. I prayed for the best. I sensed it was going to be a very long journey, if I was ever going to see my children again.

When the morning sun came out the next day, I was happy that I was alive, not raped, not shot.

On the plane to Gambia, I had met a few people I knew, and they witnessed my arrest, so they must have gone to the media. That morning, when I was summoned into an office, someone walked in with the Foroyaa Newspaper and I saw on the front page:

“Where is Fatou Jaw Manneh?”

There it was! A headline — the voice of the voiceless.

The interrogations soon began. I was always under surveillance. They deprived me of sleep and interrogated me several times per day. They kept telling me that my writings were destroying the country. They searched my articles on the Internet and found the interview I had given to a newspaper that was fire bombed after it took my story to print. Then, they put me on trial and charged me with sedition and false information.

I was told I was a threat to national security, that the articles I wrote about the government would drive investors away. False witnesses were lined up against me. The trial continued for almost two years.

My case was so outrageous that Amnesty international, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and major press houses and human rights offices around the world came to my assistance to expose my ordeal. Foreign ambassadors kept an eye on me. And U.S. Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice even sent out a letter on my behalf.

Now I knew I would not disappear that easily! The international community was watching.

One day, finally, the verdict was read. I was convicted of sedition and writing false information against the government. I was fined 12,000 dollars – to be produced in two hours, or else I had to go to jail for four years with hard labor. I was shocked at the cruelty of it all, all for the crime of journalism.

My lawyer pleaded that I had two sons, that I had yet to finish my Master’s program in the U.S., and should be pardoned as a first- time offender. The judge refused to hear it.

Leaving the courtroom I saw a police van parked outside, and an officer approached with handcuffs. I prayed and told my lawyer I was not paying a dime. I did not have the money, and the sentence was unjust.

What I didn’t know was every family member and friend that was in that court house that day came with money. They scrambled to pay for the amount. Even the Gambia Press Union came up with 2,000 dollars. FINALLY, there was enough money – I was set free! The next day my friend’s husband whisked me off to Senegal, where I stayed for six months to get my travel papers in order. Most Gambians, after they are set free, get quickly re-arrested, and taken back to jail with no trial. I was very, very fortunate I flew to London to see my family – I will never forget the relief I saw in my sons’ eyes meeting them. From there I went back to the U.S., with the help of the Human Rights Defense Fund.

My lawyer, Lamin Jobarteh, who later became his Justice Minister is now serving a 2 years jail sentence for giving false information to government.I was lucky.

Not so lucky was journalist Deyda Hydara, who we lost to a dictator’s bullet. Chief Manneh has disappeared. The Publisher of my newspaper then the Observer, a Liberian refugee, was bundled up and sent back to Liberian warlords. Finance Minister Koro Ceesay burned down to ashes in his car. Killed 43 Ghanains, arrested almost 1000 old folks around the country, made them all to drink concoctions, it became fatal for most of them, the effect and the humiliation, killed many of them. In 2009 he executed 9 prison inmates, his Presidential convoys kill more children in the poor country than all the road accidents that happen in the country.

In December, 2004, the Jammeh government passed two new media laws. One imposed prison terms for sedition and defamation. The other made it a requirement for newspaper owners to buy expensive operating licenses, registering their homes as collateral. Complete overhaul Actually now The adjusted Information and Communication Act 2009 which was passed by the National Assembly in Banjul on July 3 – allows for a fine of D3 million (about USD$100,000) or imprisonment for fifteen years or to both fine and imprisonment – to anyone convicted of using the internet to spread false news about the Government or public officials- according to Front Page International. Deyda, a champion of the press, announced his intent to challenge these laws. Two days later, he was assassinated by an unknown gunman. Today, there are hundreds of Gambians who have been Flee, killed or disappeared. Here is a list of their names:

Defeating dictators is an arduous task. They have entire countries and billions of dollars at their disposal. They control the military and unleash it on civilians. Killings are like sport to them.

Dictators are like natural disasters to world citizens. Gambia and its citizens suffer more from our President Yahya Jammeh than we ever will suffer from fire, flood, famine, drought, or disease. So how do we defeat tyranny? First; by looking at dictators squarely in the face and exposing them. They are all bullies and cowards at heart. They fear the truth. They fear the fearless. That is why I thank all the other participants here… We all share the same story.

Many of us were persecuted for telling the truth. We all have faith and maintain courage, or we would not be here. Many others could not make it in this world. They have disappeared and or have been killed. We are the lucky ones — and now must be their voice.

We are here to speak the unspeakable, so the world will listen. All of you are super heroes. You have a good heart. You are kind people and you the best for your communities. Everyone in this room has something to offer this world. Call me anywhere, China, New Zealand, you will have my support but I also need your support and attention to this very beautiful country destroyed by a brutal dictator.

My deepest thanks to The Human Rights Foundation. The journey continues.

And Inshallah – may GOOD prevail. Thank you

Youtube Link to Fatou Jaw Manneh’s Speech :  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J7sPSi58ko8

Gambian Scholars Converge to Grace IAC Norway’s Gamo cum Seminar

October 20, 2014
Reads :697
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L-R Imam Ebrahim Touray, Imam Ebrahim Saidy, Imam Seedy Ali Janneh and Oustaza Gas Lowe Njie at Gamo cum Seminar

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Some of the participants at the Gamo

Gambian Scholars in Scandinavia converged on Saturday, 18th of October 2014 to grace a “Gamo” – Seminar organized by The Inter African Committee(IAC) in Norway, an organization that seeks to unlock the potential of minority women and Children. The theme of the seminar was: Imams, Men and Youths As agents of Change. The scholars who grace the event are ; kibaaro’s own Imam Seedy Ali Janneh based in Goteborg, Oustaza Gas Lowe Njie a female scholar based in Denmark, Imam Ebrahim Saidy and Imam Ebrahim Touray both based in Oslo. The Gamo which was well attended by people from different nationalities and different works of life took place at P-Hotels in Oslo. The schedule of the event range from presentations from the scholars on various topics, presentations by IAC boys and girls groups and break periods for prayers and refreshments.

Interesting topics were covered by the venerable scholars and topics range from early and forced marriages, rights of women in Islam, prevention of extremism, children’s rights in Islam and female genital mutilation. The distinguished Imam who hosts a religious program on Kibaaro Radio; Imam Seedy Ali Janneh tackled the topic early and forced marriages in Islam. Imam Janneh said that the girl child should only marry when she reaches maturity and that forced marriages are unacceptable in Islam. He buttressed that maturity is not only physical but mental as well. He cited verse of the Qur’an in the chapter of women to solidify his claims the nearest in meaning is ; God commanded the believer to properly take care of the wealth of orphans until they reach maturity and then hand it over to them. It shows that maturity that God is referring to is when one is able to decide what is good or bad for the person. Imam Janneh also deliberated on FGM a controversial topic amongst the Gambian community. Imam Seedy Ali Janneh was very clear when he indicated that FGM has nothing to do with Islam but a cultural Issue. It is a practice that was carried out by people well before the advent of the prophet of Islam. He reiterated that there are no valid evidence to indicate that FGM is an Islamic injunction.

The female scholar based in Denmark Oustaza Gas Lowe Njie deciphered the topic; rights of women in Islam. She was very eloquent in her deliberation. She pointed that the Islam does not suppress women but instead has given them numerous rights but said women should first fulfill the rights of the creator over them before claiming their rights. She illumine that the rights enjoyed by women under Islam 1400 years were alien in the west 2 centuries ago. She went on to buttress that before the advent of Islam or the coming of prophet Muhammed peace be upon him women were down trodden , it was even considered a shame to have a female child and men would bury their girl child alive. When Islam came all these barbaric crimes against women were put to a halt and women started enjoying equal status with men. She said women are Queens in both their household and outside. She urged fellow women to strive and make their marriages last forever. She lamented that women can win the hearts of their men if they are very caring and gentle. She also urged men not to take advantage of the kindness or gentleness of women. She cited the example of Khidijah the wife of the prophet of Islam who was a wealthy woman but offered all her wealth to the prophet but the prophet peace be upon him only urged her to take care of her wealth and give him only a little for sustenance. She said who dares surrender your wealth to men of today, they would go behind you and marry and second wife with it…laughs.

Prevention of extremism was treated by venerable Imam Ebrahim Saidy. Imam saidy hinted on what extremism means in Islam, counting that it is not a new term for the prophet peace upon warned muslims of going over the limit in daily life over 1400years ago. He said there are people today who have a very narrow version of Islam and these people don’t hesitate to call anyone who differs from their ideology of Islam as a “Kafir” (an unbeliever). If they declare you a kafir then they would make your life and your wealth lawful for pillage. He said in order to prevent extremism we need to take our knowledge from the Qur’an and Sunnah as interpreted by the rightly guided knowledgeable and humble elders of Islam. He said we have to be tolerant to each other in order for us to live in peace. He expounded that some people are very swift at condemning every act of goodwill that may have not been done by the prophet of Islam as an innovation in Islam without any basis.

Imam Ebrahim Touray delved on the rights of children in Islam. Imam Touray said muslims should be kind, dutiful and friendly to children because that was the way of the prophet peace be upon. He gave an example of Anas ibn Malick who said he lived with the prophet when he Anas was a child for 10years and the prophet never reprimanded him. The distinguished imam said we should show mercy to our children for those who don’t show mercy the most high would not show mercy on them. He emphasized that care and guardianship are amongst rights of children and parents should try by all means to raise their children in the best manner.

The Gamo cum Seminar was moderated by Kejau Touray a volunteer of IAC and wonderful Senegambian food was served as dinner. The closing remarks were delivered by Mbinkinding Fofana Manneh a member of the organizing committee. The event started at 5pm and lasted until an hour before midnight.

SHAMED COLONEL UMPA MENDY BACK AT STATE HOUSE

October 19, 2014
Reads :941
THE HUMILIATED COL MENDY

THE HUMILIATED COL MENDY

President Jammeh’s longest serving Principal Protection Officer, Col Umpa Mendy, who received his matching orders after been humiliated with a callous demotion from colonel to private has swallowed what was left of his tattered pride to serve Dictator Jammeh to the chagrin of his colleagues, irrefutable source reaching Kibaaro News has intimated. Col Mendy has bitter encounters with his unpredictable boss several times in the past but their recent clash followed aftermath of the historic DC demonstrations by Gambian nonconformists in America resulting in his disgraceful exit from both the army and State House.

Some reports held that Col Umpa Mendy was met by an emissary of Jammeh shortly after he was demoted and dismissed soliciting him to resume duties for the Gambian Dictator which he flatly turned down without a second thought saying, “Over my dead body will I accept a job from Oga again”. Many of his colleagues and junior officers hailed his stand with gallantry and pride. However, that pride was curbed short by his unfathomable sudden U-turn from his position of never to work for dictator Jammeh. Our State House informant posited that Col Umpa was persuaded by the devil’s advocate, Imam fatty who pursued the destitute Col in Senegal.

Reader will recall that Imam fatty tried the same with Ba Kawsu Fofana but failed to convince the upright cleric to make peace with the person who wanted and ordered him killed. It is still unclear as to what fatty must have told Umpa to make him accept Jammeh’s offer of employment again but it is certain that he has his col rank back on his shoulders. “The man is a disgrace just like Samsudeen Sarr. Both men are not fit to be associated with the GNA”, a furious young officer of the State guard charged.  “I just don’t get it”, another angry officer added, “he was demoted three times…three times he got demoted over very silly little things. Firstly, he was late to escort Oga; the second was when he stopped a woman approaching Oga in one of the Meet the People Tour and his recent one after return from US with Oga. I only hope he will not be cleared next time round”.

Col Umpa Mendy is perceived as an officer who lacks personal protection expertise by President Jammeh who accuses him of security lapses. The DC experience was a humiliating one for both men which is believed by many as the reason for his kissing farewell to his job as PPO. “Perhaps, he will learn from his experience and do things better this time”, opined our source.

ABDOULIE SAIDYKHAN, SON OF EX-WULI EAST MP, ARRESTED AND DETAINED BY STATE SECURITY

October 18, 2014
Reads :790
MR A SAIDYKHAN AT THE MERCY OF THE NIA

MR A SAIDYKHAN AT THE MERCY OF THE NIA

WHAT HAPPENED O FREEDOM AND JUSTICE?

WHAT HAPPENED O FREEDOM AND JUSTICE?

The former parliamentarian for Wulli East Hon. Duta Kamaso’s, who was unlawfully arrested, detained and severely torture while in detention for allegedly being part of a doctored coup attempt, son-Abdoulie Saidykhan is currently unlawfully arrested and detained at the nefarious NIA torture chambers in Banjul. Mr Saidykhan, a GAMTEL staffer is described by his colleagues and neighbours as a God-fearing and law abiding gentleman is currently at the mercy of State thugs at the NIA. Abdoulie’s only crime, according to dependable source reaching Kibaaro News, is his failure to show up and mark his approval of colours of dictatorship and tyranny guised in President Jammeh’s 20th celebration of his usurping a democratic rule.

“It is not only preposterous but shameful to accuse Abdoulie of being anti-establishment. The man cannot even kill a fly due to his contagious shyness and respect for authority”, a furious colleague told Kibaaro news.

“President Jammeh is nothing but a bitter and contemptuous immature leader who gratifies himself in settling scores with his perceived enemies. Mr Saidykhan arrest is an extension of the vendetta Jammeh holds against Abdoulie’s mum. The man is innocent, my friend. Mr Saidykhan like his mother is a victim of political muzzling and neutralisation”, another worried colleague added.

Abdoulie is known for being the quietest of the four children of the veteran politician, Duta Kamaso. He is always polite and mindful of not overstepping his limits. He is one the most knowledgeable and dedicated staff in his department revealed a Senior Official in GAMTEL who chose not to be quoted by name. Many believe the young and innocent Saidykhan will go through hell and back in the hands of his interrogators at the NIA just as did his mother. An insider of the NIA confided to Kibaaro News that “even some of our Directors finds his arrest unlawful and vehemently oppose it but are fearful of the repercussion if he his release without satisfying Oga”.

“Please don’t be surprised if they come up with another bogus charge against him. Everyone is compelled to sing praises of Babili Mansa. Anyone who is strictly off the political hoo haas in the office is stereo-type as anti-establishment. Abdoulie happens to be someone who refuses to mix politics with work”, laments another. Many other GAMTEL staff is also reported as been arrested and detained for failing to attend the coup 20th celebration. Abdoulie’s mother unlawful arrest and torture without trial was due to government’s failure to twist her arms to slavishly follow the regime and campaign for it. She and her son- the family bread winner have become Jammeh’s political punch bags.  Abdoulie urgently needs help to regain his freedom as many fear he might end up in one of the dungeon of Jammeh’s killers- the Jugulars.  As we go to press neither Abdoulie nor his arrested colleagues have been charged or accused of any crime, a typical of the Jammeh regime.

LANG TOMBONG TAMBA FOILED NDURE CHAM’S 2006 COUP

October 16, 2014
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MUM IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO COME HOME?

MUM IS IT SAFE FOR ME TO COME HOME?

LANG TOMBONG AND NDURE CHAM

LANG TOMBONG AND NDURE CHAM

Readers will recall that Gambians woke up on Wednesday 22 March 2006 to another doctored presidential communique of a foiled coup. However, what most Gambians were unaware was the coup had almost succeeded until Lang Tombong Tamba stepped in to safe President Jammeh by foiling the coup. At the time, panic-stricken President Jammeh was on an official visit to Mauritania. 

Gambians were told, “Security forces yesterday discovered that a group of army officers led by Colonel Ndure Cham, former Chief of Defence Staff, were at an advanced stage in their plot to overthrow the constitutional government of The Gambia”. The communique went on to assure Gambian “All those involved are presently in custody and helping the security forces in their investigation, except the leader who is still at large. The general public is hereby assured that there is no cause for alarm and the situation is firmly under control.”

Reliable sources have impeccably confirmed that the plotters comprised Lang Tombong Tamba, Ousman Sonko-Interior Minister, Ndure Cham and a handful of other officers. The plotters disagreed on leadership. Lang and Ousman vehemently opposed Ndure Cham leading the plot because they believed Cham was not only ill-educated but lacks charisma and leadership quality. According to Ousman Sonko, “Ndure has a shabby appearance and a ghetto personality.” Their argument was bitter and when it became obvious that none of the two camps was willing to compromise on who should lead, Lang embarked on foiling the coup.

Lang Tombong then phoned President Jammeh in Mauritania and informed him about the coup plot. He further advised and convinced Jammeh to return to Banjul. A member of Jammeh’s entourage with him in Mauritania who wished to remain anonymous disclosed that Jammeh was reluctant to return to Banjul as he was seriously shaken by the plot. The source went on to add that Jammeh was determined never to return to Banjul as he was convinced that he will be arrested and killed the moment he lands in Banjul. To assure him, Lang went to see Asombie Bojang; Yahya’s mum for her to assure her son that it was safe for him to come home. Jammeh was scared to death. “I will wait here in Mauritania until all potters are behind bars and it is safe for me to return”, he told Lang Tombong and his mum in a shaky voice.

Finally, President Jammeh agree to returned to Banjul only after strong assurance of his safety and wellbeing from his mum and Lang Tombong. He then cut short his trip to Mauritania, returned to Banjul under cover of darkness with an escort of Mauritania military commandoes.

Ndure Cham remained in self-exile in Senegal until he was subsequently arrested in August 2013 near Numu Kunda. Cham started travelling to the Gambia in 2010 disguising as a ‘NARR’ all wrapped up and travelling by ‘SARET’-a donkey or horse cart. Another reliable source also disclosed Ndure “Cham was thoroughly interrogated after his arrest and then cleared”. When asked to shed light on what he meant by “cleared”, he laughed before saying “killed of course”.

General Saul Badjie was not in any way linked or associated with the 2006 coup plot. However, General Badjie is the one who saved Ousman Sonko because he still has the report of the coup plot but continues to keep Ousman’s involvement from Jammeh. President Jammeh also personally ordered the killing of Daba Marena and co.  Many Jammeh supporters felt that he has betrayed Lang Tombong who saved his life by foiling the 2006 coup that had otherwise succeeded already.

AN EMOTIONALLY UNSTABLE TYRANT: WHY YAYA JAMMEH IS SO BITTER

October 16, 2014
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WHY DID YOU ABANDONED ME MUM WHEN I NEEDED YOU MOST?

WHY DID YOU ABANDONED ME MUM WHEN I NEEDED YOU MOST?

“President Jammeh is a fraud and callously wears a chip of hatred and bitterness on his shoulder”, one of his siblings furiously disclosed. This is a trait of The Gambia’s President Yaya Jammeh that most Gambians are all too familiar with, for many are living witnesses to his vengeance.  But why has a man who supposedly came from a humble beginning turned into such a monster?   His upbringing detailed below might provide some clues.

Contrary to what the forged birth certificate has as his date of birth – President Jammeh was born neither in May nor 1965, his exact date of birth, like most of his generation in rural Gambia, remains disputable and unrecorded. This is due to the fact that before the 1980s, record keeping of child births in the rural areas was almost non-existent because most were delivered at home with no nurses present to keep records of any kind.  Consequently, most provincial Gambians are left with no option but make up their own dates of births around events and celebrations of their choices. President Jammeh settled for the month of May marking African Liberation Day and 1965 to coincide with Gambia’s independence to, as part of his self-mystification, present himself as a pure Pan-Africanist even through birth. “Jammeh is either born in 1962 or 1963 but definitely not in May 1965, the coincidence is way too good to be real”, the source added.

President Jammeh’s father, Junkung Jammeh, had three wives and was never a wrestler as some other reports portrayed. He was renowned drummer mostly during wrestling contests. However, many believed his late father never had a ‘Sulayman’ as a middle name. Perhaps, a possible explanation for Jammeh personally adding the Sulayman to his Dad’s name stems from a mandinka believe Junkung is synonymous to Sulayman. Junkung’s three wives are Yassin Jarju, Fanta Kolley and Asombie Bojang-who was the most beautiful of the three. Fanta had three boys: Araba Jammeh, Seneng Jammeh and Nyandorr Jammeh. Seneng who later baptised into Christianity, died of cancer in 1993 in Mayork after the family moved from Kanilai, as they believed the village was full of witches and blamed their father, Junkung’s death on witchcraft.  Perhaps this explains why Jammeh subjected many of the Foni in March 2009 to brutal witch-hunt rituals in which many old folks lost their lives.

Both Yassin and Asombie had a child each for Junkung. Yassin’s child, Ansumana Jammeh-Gambian Ambassador in Qatar, was born in Sintet and Yahya Jammeh; an only of Asombie was hailed from Kanilai.  Nyandorr also passed away shortly after the demise of his brother. It is reported that he collapsed at Serre Kunda. He was also suspected of having died of cancer. The Jammeh family has a history of cancer and mental illness. His cousins, Kunyaa and Ansu Pajero, all suffered some form of mental issues. His father died in Kunjunjorr, he moved there for treatment after he fell off and sustained a fracture while tying his goat, it was narrated. The old man was never a wrestler but a renowned drummer. He often played during wrestling matches.

In all, there are 3 notable Jammeh Kundas of close ties with the bitter Yaya Kanilai. They are Alkali Kunda, Junkung Jammeh and the one Jejaw hailed from. Jejaw’s family was the one healing fractures and not President Jammeh’s as he claims. Jejaw died in the 60s. President Jammeh had it rough with his father, Junkung. Those close to Asombie recalled that she wanted to abort her pregnancy when she discovered she was carrying Jammeh. It did not come as a surprise to them when she left for Bakau as soon as she gave birth to Jammeh leaving the baby behind.  Jammeh was never breastfed by Asombie but Fanta Kolley, his step mum as Asombie shuttled between Bakau and Bujinga.  She walked out of her marriage because Yahya’s father could hardly make ends meet at the time. She was very pretty and young; marrying Junkung was her biggest mistake, according to sources. Walking out of the marriage gave her the freedom and attention she was craving.  Albeit, she never remarried after walking away from Junkung, she enjoyed her freedom as a young woman.

Young Jammeh was brought up by Fanta Kolley who is a well-known and loved “Kaa-nyaleng”. Kaa-nyalengs are celebrated for manifesting varied and comical emotions sending their audience and spectators into hysteric laughter. Many associate Jammeh’s unpredictability to this gene he inherited from his foster-step mum. Jammeh will be dancing and smiling one minute and frowns the next, a characteristic of the Kaa-nyaleng.  A family insider has it that Jammeh always scolds his mother for abandoning him when he needed her most. Yahya moved to Alfonse Tamba in Banjul after his Common Entrance exams.

As a result of his unstable upbringing and the bad experiences of his childhood, Jammeh’s emotional wellbeing is always rocky, and this is easily manifested when he is reminded of that past.  He killed Harona Jammeh who was always telling him off and admonishing him to stop grabbing land in Kanilai because his family abandoned Kanilai and moved to Mayork. The late Harona Jammeh’s son Tamsir Jammeh works at Drug Squad. He knows Jammeh killed his dad, but he could not confront him lest he kills him too.  Even with Asombi’s intervention, Yaya still hasn’t had the guts to face the family.

So any time Gambians see Yaya lashing out or engaging in erratic behaviour, it mostly emanates from the mental and emotional instability that were caused by both his unstable upbringing and history of mental illness in his family.

INNA LILLAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAJI’UN

October 15, 2014
Reads :1515
LATE MOHAMMED LAMIN MASS

LATE MOHAMMED LAMIN MASS

The Mass Family, Karamo Mass and family, Nene Binta Mass and family  and Sarjo Mass and family all of the United Kingdom, Jainaba Mass and the rest of the Mass family in the United States of America, Sainey Mass and Family of Germany, regret to announce the sudden,  unexpected and untimely death of their son and nephew, Momodou Lamin Mass who died yesterday 14th October 2014 at Plaistow, London, United kingdom. This sad news is also extended to all Gambians home and abroad.

Late Muhammad Lamin Mass is the son of elder brother Lamin Mass of the Gambia. The family intend to repatriate the corpse to the Gambia for burial at home.  All those who wish to contribute towards this goodwill gesture can contribute into the account  below:

Mr. K.  Mass

Barclays Bank Plc

Account Number: 53907325

Sort Code number: 20-40-73

Please it would help if you put in reference so that it would be easy for the family.  Anonymous donors are also welcome.  Help the mass family to repatriate young Mohammad Lamin back to the Gambia for burial. May Allah grant him Jannah.