Archive for the ‘News’ Category

DOZENS OF JAILED GAMBIANS IN LIBYA CALL FOR SUPPORT

March 19, 2015
Reads :1566
GAMBIAN IMMIGRANTS IN ITALY

GAMBIAN IMMIGRANTS IN ITALY

ITALIAN RIOT POLICE

ITALIAN RIOT POLICE

By Sainey MK Marenah

More than dozens of Gambian immigrants currently detained in the Libyan city of Misrata Jail have urgently call for emergency support from the Gambia government and international bodies for their release and subsequent repatriation from the war-torn country of Libya. Scores of Gambians were arrested by the Libyan militia two months ago and thrown into poorly ventilated prison cells. The correspondent who had a rare contact with some of the detainees does not know the reason for their incarceration.

The young men aged between 20 and 35 have been in Misrata jail without access to legal or diplomatic representation for months. They are complaining that condition in prisons are worsening and therefore call for the Gambia government’s intervention. Most of the detainees are on their way to Italian city of Lampedusa where they hope to seek greener pasture.

“I have just been contacted by a group of Gambians in Misrata jail. According to them, they have been languishing in prison for the past two months without representation. The young Gambian men and women are in a very serious and dire condition requesting for help as soon as possible. Could you push the list forwarded to the authorities and/or write a newspaper article to get the attention of the authorities concerned. I have email it to the ministry of foreign affairs two days ago but no reply yet”, a family member of some the detainees told our correspondent vie email, requesting anonymity.

For the benefit of the public and government, here is the list of detainees, their dates of birth and addresses:

Sally Susohoko-Sukuru, 1982; Ebrima Faye-Bakau, 1986; Ousman Kanteh-Banjul, 1988; Foday Jabbie-Jarra Sutukung, 1988; Lamin Keita-Santato, 1988; Sulayman Jabbie-Mballykuta,  1994; Lamin Jagne-Jarreng, 1992; Alpha Ganno-Wellingara,1984; Kawsu Jabbie-Jarra Sutukung, 1981; Madi Jabbie-Libras, 1996; Jammeh Keita-Tankung Kunda, 1988; Bubacarr Kanteh-Bakau, 1972; Momodou Joof-Wellingara, 1994; Sajar Ceesay-Samea Pachunky, 1994; Lamin Saidy-Madiana, 1989; Muhammed Camara-Bundung, 1985; Musa Diko-Gambissara, 1988; Alieu Lowe-Nema Kunku, 1989; Sankung Ceesay-Dampha Kunda, 1990; Babucarr Touray-Cha Kunda, 1981; Lamin Bah-Brikama, 1993; Lamin Dahaba-Niani Banni, 1986; Korka Jallow-Foni Bondally, 1986 Amadou Jallow-Banjul, 1992; Yusupha Jabbie-Librass, 1986 Sheikh Tijan Sillah-Banjul, 1987; Bafoday Saidy-Busumbala, 1990; Ousman Jarju-Bakau, 1986; Nuha Sanneh-Kiang, 1996;  Muhammed Saidy-Bundung, 1988;  Ebrima Jabbie-Basse, 1986;  Yamadou Jawla-Basse, 1985;  Lamin Ceesay-Badibou, 1981;  Kebba Saidy-Tanjeh, 1980; Yankuba Gagigo-Brikama, 1985; Ousman Manku-Faji Kunda, 1987;  Mamadi Gabbidon-Banjul, 1981 and Assan Jallow-Banjul, 1992.

African Immigrants protest for Better Lives in Italy

Meanwhile, scores of illegal immigrants including Gambians on Monday protested to Italian authorities at the Isola Camp in Calabaria region of Italy over poor living conditions at the camp and slow process of seeking asylum. The protest was peaceful but riot police were seen mounting strategic location at the protest site with riots gears. The immigrants are complaining about the worsening health conditions at the camp and high rate of refusal of permit to stay in Italy.

Sources at the Protest site say after a closed- door meeting between representatives of the Protestors with Immigration police Commander of Calabria Region, the immigrants halt the protest but threaten to continue if their demands are not met.

MBA WUDAY JOBE IS NO MORE

March 19, 2015
Reads :748

LATE MBA WUDAY JOBE

LATE MBA WUDAY JOBE

INNA LILLAAHI WA INNA ILAIHI RAJ’UN

Kibaaro News management is deeply saddened in announcing the untimely dead of a mother, aunt and grandmother, Mba Wuday Jobe-which took place yesterday 18th March 2015 in Jarra Kani Kunda, Gambia. The late woman of substance who was anointed as an icon of peace and reconciliation in her community and beyond was laid to rest the same day at Kani Kunda Cemetery.

Mba Wuday Jobe was an adhesive web with strongly knitted her community cohesively together. Her passing away is not only an irreplaceable loss to her family but the whole of Jarra Kani Kunda. She is survived by sons, daughters and grandchildren.

This Sad news is extended to her sons Sarjo Wuday and Manding Saidykhan all in Portsmouth-UK, their brothers both in UK, Germany and around the world. May her gentle soul rest in peace.

BANKA MANNEH SURRENDERS TO FBI BUT MAINTAINS INNOCENCE

March 19, 2015
Reads :1858
Banka Manneh - Leader of the Gambian Diaspora Civil Society Groupings

Banka Manneh – Leader of the Gambian Diaspora Civil Society Groupings

The leader of the Gambian Diaspora Civil Society groupings, Mr Banka Manneh, had on Wednesday, 18 March 2014, surrendered to the US authorities investigating the 30 December 2014 alleged coup attempt against Dictator Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia. Mr Manneh, who is a resident of Atlanta, Georgia, travelled to Minneapolis, Minnesota to give into the US FBI authorities investigating his role in the abortive coup.

In a conversation with Kibaaro News, before his planned trip to Minneapolis, Manneh explained that his surrender should not, in any shape or form, be taking to mean he is pleading guilty to the charges, which are being scavenged to be levelled against him. But purely to avert any possibility of his arrest by the same authorities. He maintained that he has done nothing wrong and that’s one of the reasons, why he wanted to face the investigating authorities, in order to assist them with their inquiries.

Manneh maintained his opinion on Yahya Jammeh, who he described as simply a tyrant, who is oppressing his people in the Gambia. He however refused to comment on the 30 December aborted coup, due to its legal implications to his ongoing legal matters with the US authorities.

Manneh’s surrender and possible arrest has nevertheless attracted much condemnation and outcry from Gambians on the Social media, as many described him a hero to his people of the tiny West African nation of 1.8 million people. In his last message to his Facebook page, Manneh consoled his many admirers to: Keep the faith always, and NEVER give up!” Borrowing the slogan from President Barack Obama, he assured them that: “YES we can!”

Since his surrender to the US authorities on 18 March, Manneh is yet to be charged by the US authorities neither was he brought to any court of law. It is further yet to be confirmed whether he will be charged or not.

It could be recalled that 3 other Gambians, namely: Mr Papa Faal, Mr Cherno Njie, and Mr Alagie Barrow, are currently charged with offences under the Neutrality Act, by the US authorities, in connection with the 30 December aborted coup. All the defendants have been released on bail and awaiting trial for breach of the Neutrality Act.

The Neutrality Act states that: “Whoever, within the United States, knowingly begins or sets on foot or provides or prepares a means for or furnishes the money for, or takes part in, any military or naval expedition or enterprise to be carried on from thence against the territory or dominion of any foreign prince or state, or of any colony, district, or people with whom the United States is at peace, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than three years, or both.”

The problem with this act is simply its interpretation and application. The US has, for many years, covertly supported overthrows of leaders around the world, whether friend or foe, paying oblivion to the Neutrality Act. It seems, therefore, that the Neutrality Act only applies when the US citizens failed in their endeavour to effect regime change in the supposedly friendly nation to the US. If, however, they succeed in that endeavour, then the Neutrality Act becomes neutral and pays oblivion to their actions.

In simple terms, had the 30 December freedom fighters succeeded, in their endeavour of liberating the Gambia from the claws of Yahya Jammeh’s bondage, the Neutrality Act would have remained dormant in the confines of the US constitutional library cupboards.

Gender Activist Went Missing After filming a Police Officer Maltreating a Child

March 19, 2015
Reads :2330
Minah-1

Missing Gender Activist Aminata Manneh AKA Minah

Aminata Manneh commonly known as Minah is a 3rd Year University of The Gambia student, a gender activist and also an intern at the American Corner, Banjul, has gone missing.

On Monday while on her way to work, she came across a highly disturbing scene of a Gambian police officer repeatedly beating a young girl of about 10 years of age with a long cane. She couldn’t bear it and started taking video of the horrible incident, which she shared with her over 4500 followers on Facebook with the caption” This is a total child right’s violation. Since when does a traffic police officer have a right to lay a hand of a young schoolgirl? What has become of our authorities?”

The video went viral and attracted lot of comments from people who feels equally shocked with the police officer’s behaviour and heartlessness towards a defenseless child. Jeffrey Smith, an advocacy officer and Human Rights Manager at Robert F Kennedy Center for Justice & human rights in New York twitted’’ Just saw a highly disturbing video of a Gambia police officer beating a young school girl in broad daylight. Sadly not an uncommon episode’’.

Last night after the video went viral, Aminata started getting contacts from people of National security agents from unanimous mobile numbers and also messages on facebook demanding to meet her urgently. That was the last time the family and friends have seen or heard of Aminata. All efforts were made to contact and locate her with no success. The family repeatedly calls her mobile phone, which appears to be completely switched off since the last time they heard from her. The family is very desperate and worried about her whereabouts and do not know where to go in order to locate their daughter.

Aminata gained admiration, respect and recognition from across all sectors of the Gambian society due to her gender and human right activism. The family is appealing to the authorities and everyone to gets any information on Aminata to come contact in order to reunite her with the worried family.

Source : FJM

DUGA URGE GAMBIANS TO TAKE TO THE STREETS – AS 15TH ANNIVERSARY OF APRIL 10 & 11 LOOMS!

March 16, 2015
Reads :869
DUGA

DUGA

Dear compatriots at Kibaaro News, on behalf of the civil society groups (NRMG, CORDEG, GDAG, CCG, GCC, GMDD, SGD, GDD, STGDP and DUGA) we write to your esteemed online paper to join us in the commemoration of the 15th anniversary of the student massacre of April 10 and 11, 2000. To the vast majority of Gambians, April 10 and 11 2000 will be forever etched in our memory until the perpetrators of that heinous crime are brought to justice.

We want to converge in Washington DC on April 11, 2015 to March and rally at the White House to honour the fallen students and survivors of that barbaric crime of the Jammeh regime. Following the march and rally, we will have a dinner and meeting to consolidate our forces for a strategic way forward.

As always, your participation in the outreach of all our activities remains invaluable to the Gambian community at home and abroad. We have declared 2015 as the decisive year to uproot the Jammeh regime out of our lives and chart a path for a forward looking Gambia.

We need every righteous son and daughter of our beloved Gambia to take part in this commemoration.

We are asking you to give us some air time to put the word out to the Gambian community and friends of the Gambia to join us on April 11, 2015 to register our outrage against the Jammeh regime for 20 years of atrocities. Please advise us of when you can schedule at least two of our representatives on your radio.

On April 11, 2015, all roads lead to Washington DC.

Yours sincerely,

 

Ousainou Mbenga

DISCLAIMER…DISCLAIMER…DISCLAIMER

March 14, 2015
Reads :992
VERONIC CARAYOL-A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE

VERONIC CARAYOL-A WOMAN OF SUBSTANCE

It has been brought to my knowledge as Editor-In-Chief of Kibaaro News that a story captioned: “DEPUTY COMMISSIONER ENFORCEMENT AT CUSTOMS EXPOSED” written by ‘A CONCERNED GAMBIAN’ and published on the 1st September 2014 was a calculated malice aimed at tarnishing the reputation of Veronic Carayol. Kibaaro’s management hereby strongly condemned such a callous act by the ‘CONCERNED GAMBIAN’ and profoundly apologise to Veronic Carayol for any pains and inconveniences the publication has caused her.

I also wish to add, the opinions expressed in the publication were entirely that of the ‘CONCERNED GAMBIAN’. It is pertinent to bear in mind that tarnishing the dependable image, integrity and hard work of fellow colleagues in the name of reaching one’s selfish and undesirable goals is not only callous but inhuman and ungodly.

IS PDOIS BEING EXCEEDINGLY DIFFICULT?

March 12, 2015
Reads :663
PAPA KOUMBA LOUM

Author: Pata PJ Saidykhan

By Pata PJ Saidykhan

For us to attain any gains in our pursuit of freeing The Gambia from the tentacles of a 20 year dictatorship, we must embrace the culture of impartiality, brevity and honesty in our actions as well as our political discourses. For far too long, many observed that most of our political pundits, commentators and those with voices and platforms have been exceedingly kind to certain politicians whilst holding others by the collar. My observation is that PDOIS have been cut slacker than their counterparts, possibly out of respect or we do not see the need to address their shortcomings. I am not blaming anybody for that but it will be so unfair to hold these parties and their leadership to a different yardstick and expect to make any meaningful progress in this war. 

As 2016 elections nears and talks of Party Coalition intensify to devise ways of halting the accelerating wheels of Jammeh’s tyrannical administration, a lot of people, myself included, are almost certain that Jammeh will never be defeated at the polls. There are a lot of factors that play against our favour but the one thing that gives us a remote hope of putting up a strong fight via elections is when we are able to have a United Front putting up one candidate against Jammeh. Personally, that will be the only time that I would support any elections in 2016, though I’m nobody.

Many who are pessimistic of any sort of political union argued that the differences between the political party leaders are so deep that they could never put them aside to look at the greater good of the nation. And their position is premise on their experience of the past election cycles. Despite the absolute urgency of now, we have seen indications that indeed, a coalition is farfetched.

While the Group of Six (G6) Opposition Political Parties are adamant on their demands for electoral reforms for them to participate in elections, we have seen NRP and Hamat Bah contest 2 National Assembly elections going for the 3rd this month. Their party, they said, do not believe in election boycott. We came down hard on Hamat and accused of aiding and abetting a dictatorship. Then we have GMC and Mai Fatty put out two press releases that we considered to be endorsing Jammeh’s positions on homosexuality legislation and the recent verbal amnesty extended to diaspora Gambians. We even had an issue with him believing that Yaya is a ‘good Muslim leader’. He got accused of being opportunistic and wanting to kiss up to Jammeh.

When we feel frustrated that we are missing out on the timely opportunities to pounce on Jammeh, we point our daggers at UDP/Darboe and PPP/OJ for not dragging their supporters to the streets. But what do we expect of PDOIS and their leadership?

Personally, at the look of things, PDOIS are more likely to be the fishbone in our collective throats than NRP are, for the following reasons:

Although I respect PDOIS as an autonomous, sovereign Party, I am troubled by their reluctance if not refusal, to compromise their position even when we all know what’s at stake. That for us to rid Gambia of her predicament, each have to give up a position for us to reach a consensus. To me, because of the limited options available, a lot of variables would have to be forgone so all members at the negotiation table could be respected as equal stakeholders. That is what I called Compromise.

Since I am Not privy to any discussions taking place between these parties, I am going to argue on what we have all seen and known since the G6 demands were put forward:

a). In May 2013, PDOIS were the only Party not represented at the Raleigh Conference when an invitation was extended to them because they thought the Diaspora needs go back to the drawing board to get our houses in order before they could partake in any National discourse.

b). In 2013 when Jammeh had his former Presidential Affairs minister read that unfortunate, inflammatory statement on TV that had the potential to stir ethnic tensions, the G6 members organized a press conference to condemn it. PDOIS was absent because they thought they needed to do thorough investigations before having an opinion about it.

c). From that, birthed the GUC rallies in Buffer Zone and Brikama, which they were absent too, since that was related to the same issue.

d). CORDEG invites all parties to ‘discussion’, PDOIS were absent because they were on a countrywide tour.

Now, let it be known that I am NOT a registered member of any local or diaspora Organization nor am I a member of CORDEG, so I am not holding brief for them. But as a private Gambian invested in our national affairs, I have been dehydrated and sickened by the 20 years of tyranny that poses an existential threat to our beloved nation. I have made it clear that I’ve subscribed to ‘any means necessary’ model of ousting the Jammeh dictatorship. Therefore, I do believe in the significant role the Political parties could play in making this happen. But we cannot idly sit by and watch the petty political and personal differences between these parties derail us, even when they are expected to recognize and respect the dire urgency of our situation. From the release PODIS had put out responding to the supposed CORDEG-Political Party meeting, indications are that history is about to repeat itself. They are ‘firm’ and would take a lot to have them shift positions.

With all their shortcomings, we are told that CORDEG in fact DID invite all Parties to a ‘discussion’ which PDOIS had acknowledged but claimed they were “engaged in a village to village tour to exchange opinion with the people in order to know what they want and what they think of PDOIS’ programme”. And their frustration that none of the party leaders at the meeting, didn’t distance themselves from the meeting, confirms that those parties actually did partake in the ‘brainstorming’ session. Therefore to claim that the CORDEG meeting was ‘News’ to them is not totally true. What I found a little disturbing in this was PDOIS’ inability or unwillingness to multitask significant issues. I am not expecting them to abandon their engagements but I am convinced that if interested, they could have delegated a party official. Reiterating that “Malick Kah had no mandate to represent PDOIS and did not represent PDOIS at the meeting” raises questions about the internal running of the party.

Lest we forget, when the DUGA ‘occupied’ the Gambian Embassy in DC, PDOIS were not pleased especially with the involvement of their Party member in Coach Pa-Samba. Though he was not representing his Party, Coach almost got reprimanded and reminded of the code of conduct of party members. We have seen the same, if not worse, in embarrassing their European Branch’s chief. It is obvious that the Party members are answerable to the Central Committee instead of the reverse.

Evident in this release was the rigid nature of PDOIS’ handling of matters with their colleagues in the letter written to them following the said meeting. As equal stakeholders, PDOIS could have been a little respectful to the rights of their ‘Colleagues’ to be sovereign and trust their ability to be engaging all participants in this fray without throwing a tantrum, which prompted Darbo’s terse response via text. To request a postponement of a scheduled all-important meeting because of a meeting they were not part of is worrying. They could have gone ahead regardless of the CORDEG issue, with the meeting to do with the confidential pact they were to sign. But because they did not have it their way, they bounced. I am afraid but Banka & Coach’s fear that these leaders have deeper differences that they would never put aside are getting validated.

We cannot have the same sickness bedridden us again after 4 election cycles. All parties and their leaders must be held accountable to the same standard. When we choose to cherry pick, we’re setting ourselves on a political suicide mission because we’re handing Jammeh the silver platter to turn the Gambia into a monarch. And to prevent that, we have to speak the truth to our partners on the ground – PDOIS especially. Politics is about evolution and adaptation, and thus far the Gambia’s oldest political party is stuck in stale ways of politicking. These parties must be forced to respect and run after our votes as Gambians instead of wanting us to allow to be herded.

In my subsequent blogs, I’ll be writing to all parties and their Secretary Generals in a bid to start dialogue as a private citizen but also give my assessment of them and how I think they could do better where I think they fall short. I don’t know why I think my take would matter anyway. Until then, PDOIS and NRP are our pinpoints, based on what we see. And we have to address it.

Good Morning and Peace to the Planet!

Pata PJ