Archive for the ‘Politics’ Category

GAMBIAN AUTHORITIES PICKS BONES WITH AL-JAZEERA

September 2, 2015
Reads :6275

Al-Jazeera-logoGambian authorities have felt uncomfortable with the team of Al-Jazeera journalists who were in Banjul to film and report on a wide range of issues related to human-interest.

They were told by the Gambian authorities to stop filming or risk being arrested after the government annulled their credentials. According to sources in Banjul the team were asked not make any film or report on any issue about the Gambia. The sources further noted the journalists were also informed that their permit was also revoked which was obtained prior to their entry into Banjul. “The Al-Jazeera team got the information that their permit has been revoked through their fixer” our source elaborated. It is not clear what must have fueled the Gambia government’s anger towards Al-Jazeera but some analyst postulated that the government feared that A-Jazeera may unveil the gross human rights violations taking place in the country.

Yesterday , 1st September Al-Jazeera broadcasted an interview with Gambia’s most radical rapper Ali Cham Aka Killer Ace. He was asked about his most talked about single track “Ku Boka C Geta G” where he stood up to the power that be , highlighting the rule of tyranny and the fear hovering over the skies of Banjul. Al-Jazeera has recently made interesting documentary on Senegal’s rich wrestling culture but their wish for a similar project in neighboring country, the Gambia is derailed by a pompous dictator.

In a democratic setting a free press should be able to ask legitimate questions and keep those in authority on their toes. In the Gambia such an atmosphere is very far from being realized. The tiny West African country is the most unfriendly media government in the sub- region. The country whose debt is 80% of GDP is dwelling in a financial turmoil. Since Yahya Jammeh took over power in a military coup in 1994 he has ruled the country with an iron fist making the West African nation not a heaven for journalists, opposition parties, and human rights defenders.

This year Gambia faced United Nations human rights group to review its human rights report but the country’s report was one of the poorest, according to rights defenders. In 2014 the country interrupted UN Rapporteurs on Torture and extra-Judiciary killing from their investigation in the country.

“JAMMEH DIDN’T CREATE DUGA; JAMMEH CANNOT DESTROY DUGA”, OUSAINOU MBENGA TELLS FREEDOM NEWSPAPER

September 2, 2015
Reads :3930
OUSAINOU MBENGA AND AMBASSADOR FAYE

OUSAINOU MBENGA AND AMBASSADOR FAYE

Based on a picture taken of me and Omar Faye, the ambassador of the Republic of the Gambia at the commemoration of Father Anthony Gabisi’s 30 years of service to the Catholic Church in the Gambia, the Freedom online newspaper posted an editorial titled: “DUGA, what’s the difference between Omar Faye and Yahya Jammeh”? Well, I will leave that to Freedom’s editorial board to answer. But I will pose my own question: what’s the difference between the Freedom Newspaper editorial and me?

Let me reaffirm my position once more. I am a revolutionary. I am not a “head hunter”.

I am in this fight for the long haul to ultimately transform our beloved Gambia in particular and Africa in general into a new society with revolutionary insights and foresight.

We have come a long way to allow a mere picture to take us off our path of resistance against tyranny and our “eyes off the prize”. I honestly don’t need to defend myself or DUGA but rather drive home the necessity of attaining political maturity in this period and into subsequent generations. In order to build a proud future Gambia, we need a highly sophisticated citizenry capable of exhibiting political maturity. The picture can only sway the politically naïve and those who choose to remain willfully ignorant.

I have always abhorred injustice and repression, wherever it raises its ugly head. My abhorrence spans the African world, from the Gambia to Washington DC and beyond. That invitation was an honour by the Gambian Christian Association, which I gladly attended. The picture is just a picture, nothing more.

Putting the Omar Faye issue aside; was it not my own flesh and blood that served as the first Minister of Agriculture in the Jammeh regime? Didn’t my niece serve in the Jammeh regime? Didn’t a comrade of mine join the Jammeh regime? In all these instances, did I give up the fight against the neo-colonial Jammeh regime? Absolutely not! I have maintained my unwavering stance against the Jammeh regime since their “lift onto the saddles of power”.

The fight against Jammeh’s tyranny to me has nothing to do with family, friends and neighbours (Waa Banjul). But also, Jammeh cannot in any way destroy my principled relationship with family, friends and neighbours.

It reminds me of when comrade Fidel Castro and Bill Clinton crossed paths in the corridors of the United Nations and shook hands. The incident achieved “breaking news” status and got highly debated in the US media for days on end. Many willfully ignorant republican and democratic leaders chastised Clinton for shaking hands with their “enemy” and a “dictator”. Fidel exhibited absolute political maturity and shook Clinton’s extended hand.

We are in this fight to win on our own terms; not Jammeh’s. Therefore, we will not leave any arena or terrain the APRC operates within goes uncontested, even within his support base. The Jammeh regime is standing on a “two legged stool”, we have broken two legs of the stool, which explains the balancing acts to keep steady from falling, such as the “massive prisoner pardon”, the subtle signs of “meaningless reconciliation” and “meaningless peace”. Even though the regime is dying but not yet dead, we will continue to fight for a politically conscious proud- future Gambia as oppose to a country of “blind patriots” at the service of one tyrant, Jammeh. We must win the vast majority of the people to eradicate the social backwardness that came with the AFPRC – APRC regime. Most of his support base knows the end is near; you have nothing to lose but Jammeh and your chains. Discard him into the dustbin of history and redeem yourselves.

I want to thank all the sons and daughters of our beloved Gambia who refused to be swayed from reality and keep their “eyes on the prize”, particularly my comrades Pa samba Jow and Ngange Demba Njie, likewise the Gambian Outsider, who weighed in on the matter. We must cultivate the terrain for political maturity and social responsibility. A proud – future Gambia is on the horizon, let’s build it from the bottom – up. Gambia cannot coexist with Jammeh.

WE WILL WIN! JAMMEH MUST GO! JAMMEH IS GOING!

Editor’s note: Thanks Mr Mbega for the rejoinder. Like you have denied being a head hunter, the Freedom Editorial too is after the facts and nothing, but the facts. We are not head hunters either. We are only after the facts!

If expressing one’s editorial opinion means being a head hunter to you, then so be it. That statement of yours is indeed troubling.

That said, we also don’t see the connections between your story and that of President Clinton. Ours was not to soil your reputation in any way. We respect you as an honest activist. That will never change brother Mbenga. It is healthy to agree and disagree. Thanks for your attention.

Courtesy of Freedom Newspaper

YAYA JAMMEH IN GROSS ABUSE OF PRESIDENCY TAKES EVERY GAMBIAN BIG FOOL

September 1, 2015
Reads :1970
SARJO BAYANG-A SOCIAL THINKER

SARJO BAYANG-A SOCIAL THINKER

JAMMEH, THE  UNRELENTING TYRANT

JAMMEH, THE UNRELENTING TYRANT

                                                                                                                                                        

Unveiling thick layers of deception and failed promises as presidents loots the nation

BY SARJO BAYANG

Over 20 years failed promises and still making compact majority of Gambians believe that heaven on earth comes the kingdom, it is now time to take stock. Gambia sinking as the president builds his personal fortune means something is missing. We now examine all cupboards where skeletons of truth may he found by curious scrutiny. It all starts by close look at factors that may be responsible for rise of a president from rags to riches in 20 years while the nation sinks deeper at sea bottom.

Political demagogue

Even those pretending as die hard supporters of Yaya Jammeh already know he is fooling them along everyone else. Talking about a complete novice who in his life has not managed the smallest establishment, the risk of letting him take possession over entire national economy, finance, and all public resources is fatal.

Yaya Jammeh is using Gambia as experimental platform to test his crooked notion that once a president all public funds and resources belongs to that person.

No wonder Yaya makes promises about transforming Gambia into superpower nation of first class economic standard knowing fully that is impossible. He makes such promises because there is no accountability about resources being grossly abused for his personal grab.

In more than 20 years Yaya Jammeh made lot of statements aimed at fooling Gambians the way the biggest of political demagogues will dare not. While he is busy getting rich quick by diverting public funds and national resources for his selfish use it is clear that Jammeh takes every Gambian real big fool for longest time. Take a look at some of the promises and void hopes that Jammeh raised while looting public resources to build his massive personal fortune around the globe including purchase of high value properties in America at places reserved locations for filthy rich home owners. Jammeh’s property fleet and material possession transcends geographical boundaries in diverse locations at home and abroad.

Suppressing Gambians politically and exploiting the nation by milking away entire public finances, Yaya Jammeh still expects unsuspecting followers to believe about bringing world class development for a nation relying on peanuts as main cash crop with chicken change from tourism part of the year.

Empty promises and deception

Jammeh’s loud pronouncement that Gambia will become envy of the world is red nose dive with closed eyes. Over national radio and television Jammeh raised empty floppy disk while telling Gambians about oil discovery that was meant to bring unseen developments. According to Jammeh oil reserves of Gambia is more than what the nation requires.

Demonstrating without blinking his eyes for one moment, Jammeh told Gambians that the floppy disk he held at hand contained details of oil discovery and how the proceeds will be used in bringing unheard developments. It is more than 10 years when Jammeh promised such developments as though about to happen less than 2 years.

Rather than apologise to Gambians for his many failed promises Jammeh who is busy more about increasing his personal fortune through open corruption still comes with more amazing tales about making Gambia heaven on earth as people experience hell in silence.

He promised the superpower development would have materialised 20 years after his military invasion by staging a coup in July 1994. According to him, he had a vision of transforming Gambia into world class economic superpower, technology giant, and tourist paradise sustained by an enterprising population. He called that Vision 2020.

Having failed to deliver his fantasised wild dream of Vision 2020 making Gambia world class superpower nation, Jammeh turned coat and came up with another promise. This time he is talking about not just feeding a nation that due to his mismanaging public resources battles with starvation. He promised that by next year (2016) Gambia will become food basket of the world that will feed other nations. With the clock ticking and time speeding to 2016, it is now clear that Jammeh’s Vision 2016 of feeding the nation and beyond is just another empty talk; pure hoax just to keep fooling everyone. All Gambian experts put at Jammeh’s disposal are not capable of raising the skeletons of economically dead nation making his wild dream come true, with due regards to every hard working Gambian out there.

Unstructured, Unsystematic, Arbitrary rule in Gambia

In the absence of structures and proper systems a nation does not develop on lip service. Since coming to power by that 22 July 1994 military invasion and dislodging an elected government with guns, Jammeh in the process dismantled all structures of systematic governance. He relies on crude power and arbitrary rule in mismanaging public resources; causing so much fear that nobody dares talking about that.

Even a small one person enterprise requires systematic management to thrive on. It is therefore not feasible that a nation can develop without structured administration in dispensing public services and managing the economy or financial systems.

Jammeh is largely confused about use of public funds or rather indulged misusing resources for selfish greed.

Given another 20 or more years all indicators are that Jammeh wants building his personal finance and material empire at expense of the Gambian nation.

What he takes for his personal use is never returned to the public. In that process, Gambian economy and finance dives deeper at sea bottom while Jammeh raises his financial profile as richest president on earth in custody of the poorest nation around that part of the world.

Taking public resources as personal belonging is where everything is going so bad for Gambia as Jammeh shows no signs he will relinquish political power while that remains his sources of economic and financial power. All these are possible because there are no structures or systems in place to scrutinise and sanction a sitting president equating the presidency to amassing private wealth.

Corruption of public officials and senior citizens

Diverting public funds and shared resources for his personal misuse is possible by engaging other crooked hands of public officials that are ready to do the dirty job of corruption.

Some senior citizens and those in public office are willing partners in milking public funds to keep Yaya Jammeh richer than the nation.

There is no magic or devil play in this whole affair. Everything is done by crooked hands of public servants who pay allegiance to Yaya Jammeh and not Gambian people or state. They are made to believe that by aiding a sitting president loot public resources will keep them on payroll as matter of job security.

By twist of irony, lot of people who participated in looting the nation to keep Yaya Jammeh rich ended in bad experience of being fired, arrested, jailed, and others may have died as a result of possible torture.

If that is not enough warning for those still lined up to carry on destroying the nation in satisfying a corrupt president and his sinking regime, time will tell.

Financial mismanagement and inevitable economic collapse

Considering the level of corruption especially by presidency since Yaya Jammeh invaded Gambia with guns to dislodge an elected sitting government all indicators are that Gambia is sinking deeper beyond rescue.

All financial wells are getting dry as cash cows die off unable to sustain excessive milking. Cooking figures to impress donors and development partners could not balance the books in long run.

At this crucial stage of Gambia’s economic collapse and financial meltdown, Jammeh will be seen doing most prudent by surrendering with little dignity rather falling apart in pieces beyond repair.

Every Gambian is taken for big fool by Yaya Jammeh

Viewed from all angles by realistic assessment the bottom line reading shows that every Gambian is taken as big fool by a president who was sworn in to secure everyone and all public resources but chooses diverting everything for his personal misuse.

Those who could have done something to correct the situation have taken to their heels by physically running away and leaving the situation to decay. That count of runaway Gambians include highly trained experts in various disciplines now serving abroad for personal economic security. Also included are entrepreneurs, engineers and other competent Gambians chased out of the country. The other runaways are increasing numbers forming part of Gambia’s share for migration crisis Europe cries about.

In short, for one person to take possession of collectively shared resources and getting richer than the state, that person is really taking everyone else big fool.

 

Recovery of Gambia is only possible when Yaya Jammeh is unseated

Talks are fuming up about recovery of Gambia in the event Yaya Jammeh is unseated. Opinion is divided about immediate redemption soon after undoing 20 years Jammeh in abuse of power. Hopes are dashed off by fears that pockets of dangerous elements cultivated by 20 years police state will unleash terror once their master is unseated.

There are people out there who are capable and willing to take the driving seat once their safety is assured in the event of unseating Jammeh.

The investment climate at this moment is dangerous and unsuitable. Some people are willing to encourage others in ploughing back huge reserve of Gambian expertise, material, finance and human capital to rebuild from 20 years of ruin. To the very capable that is no impossible mission over reasonable time span.

For now, every concerned Gambian including those forming the crowd around Jammeh wants to see a better nation. They hope and pray that dictatorship and abuse of political power for selfish economic motive will end forever. Time remains best healer.

Will the whole nation accept being fooled any longer after more than 20 years failed promises by a president getting richer as Gambia sinks deeper at sea bottom? What is your take ?

GUINEA BISSAU TOP OFFICIALS IN BANJUL FOR PEACE NEGOTIATION

August 29, 2015
Reads :3475
Dictator CALLING HIS CRONIES

Dictator CALLING HIS CRONIES

Top senior officials from Guinea Bissau government are currently in Banjul for peace negotiations talk that would ensure lasting solution in Guinea Bissau political turbulence, official informed Kibaaro News. The five-man delegation arrived in Banjul on Wednesday evening following an invitation from the Gambian leader. They are scheduled to meet the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh to discuss the crisis in Guinea Bissau.

The Bissau crisis evolved after the falling apart of the President and his former prime minister, Domingos Simon Preira, who was sacked a few days ago. Political analysts said President Jammeh has excellent relations with President Mario Vaz, and can play an excellent role to reconcile the two parties.

Previously, President Jammeh used to mediate and reconcile authorities of Guinea Bissau whenever they had differences. Sources added that members of the Bissau opposition party, PAIGC, who had the row with their President, are expected to come to The Gambia next week to meet with President Jammeh.

GAMBIA ELECTORAL COMMISSION DEMARCATES FIVE NEW CONSTITUENCIES FOR 2016 POLL

August 29, 2015
Reads :2870
IEC Chairman Mustapha Carayol

IEC Chairman Mustapha Carayol

DICTATOR JAMMEH

DICTATOR JAMMEH

The Gambia Independent Electoral Commission has created five more constituencies in the Greater Banjul region of Kanifing Municipal Council making the total number of constituencies totalling fifty-three for the entire nation.

“The IEC undertook this assignment of re-demarcation with a lot of cautious commitment,” said the IEC chairman, Alhagie Mustapha L. Carayol, during an opening of a two-day workshop on the electoral reforms and the re-demarcation of electoral boundaries held yesterday at the NANA conference hall.

“The areas re-demarcated are: Kombo North, Kombo Central, Serre Kunda East, and Serre Kunda Central”, Mustapha Carayol the chairman of the commission disclosed to his audience at the conference.

Kombo North with a voter population of 110,132 is divided into three constituencies namely, Sanneh Menterreng Constituency, Old Yundum Constituency and Busumbala Constituency.

Kombo Central with a voter population of 53,956 is divided into two constituencies, namely Brikama North Constituency and Brikama South Constituency.

Serre Kunda East with a voter population of 54,904 is divided into two constituencies namely, Tallinding Kunjang Constituency and Latrikunda Sabiji constituency.

Serre Kunda Central with a voter population of 42,510 is now divided into two constituencies namely, Serre Kunda Constituency and Bundungka Kunda Constituency.

The heartless Jammeh regime and its crunched cronies are hell bend to rape the 2016 election at all cost. Firstly, his unwitting members of the National Assembly introduced the undemocratic political bill aimed to exclude all potential opposite and barring political changes through the ballot. This latest move by the IEC is the final nail on the 2016 election casket to avert an amazing disgrace for Dictator Jammeh. Gambians must not let this political barriers planted by the Jammeh regime deter you from booting him and his cronies out of office in the 2016 poll.

UK GAMBIANS DEMAND JAMMEH TO RELINQUISH POWER

August 24, 2015
Reads :7390
Gambian protesters in London

One day, they will say these were the heroes, who fought for our freedom!

Gambian protesters in London

Battle hardened Gambian protesters in London !

Gambian protesters in London

They won’t stop till victory!

Flex Dan rallying the troops!!

Flex Dan rallying the troops!!

By Protest Gambia

Over two dozen UK Gambians added their roar to the bustling sounds of sunny London on Saturday, 22 August 2015, protesting against the 21 years of Yahya Jammeh’s tyranny in the Gambia. The demonstrators demand the Gambian Dictator to immediately vacate his most coveted occupation of the office of presidency in the country.  

The demonstrators, who gathered at the front gates of the British Prime Minister’s office and residence at: Number 10 Downing Street, London, chanted slogans: “down down dictator, down down Yahya Jammeh; down down APRC. Jammeh Must Go!” They further demanded the British government to do more to end the tyranny of Yahya Jammeh in the country, chanting: Britain must help, End dictatorship in the Gambia, Gambia is a former colony!”

They rejected the Gambian Dictator’s half baked reconciliation olive branch as laughable, which he offered on 22 July 2015, during a speech marking the 21st anniversary of his coming to power on 22 July 1994, through a military coup. They argued that it is actually the Gambian Dictator, who should be begging for amnesty and pardon from Gambians and not the other way round.

The demonstrators had attracted the attention of many visitors to the landmark area of London, Whitehall, which homes the central heart of the UK government, hosting the office and residence of the British Prime Minister, David Cameron, and many other government departments, including the British Houses of Parliament.

The protest started with a speech from the Gambian UK elder resident and dissident Mr Ablie Jobe, followed by Miss Mai Kanyi, Mr Yanks Darboe and Mr Yusef Taylor aka Flex Dan. All reminding the protestors of the importance of perseverance to continue their struggle to highlight the plight of the Gambian people to the wider world. They boasted that their activism had attracted the attention of the international community, which succeeded in the isolation of the Gambian Dictator, thereby forcing him to pardon some prisoners in the country, on 22 July 2015.

However, they contended that Jammeh’s pardoning of his selected prisoners, from the Gambia’s hell holed Mile Two central, was too little, too late. Rejecting the Gambia government’s propaganda that Jammeh’s prisoner release and so-call amnesty was done out of his magnanimity. They asserted that the decision was borne out of sheer desperation of the Gambian Dictator to receive international aid from the West, who have been withholding their development aid to the country, until the Dictator changes his ways and starts treating his people humanely.

The demonstrators believed that the Gambian dictator will revert back to his old tactics of fear rule, if succeeds at enticing the West to send him his much coveted international development aid, which is usually spent on his wife’s shopping sprees. They were unanimous in their doubts that Gambia will ever regain freedom, rule of law, respect and protection of human rights under Yahya Jammeh.

For this reason, they are not settling for less in their demands for the Gambian Dictator to quit his most coveted position, as president of their country.

The demonstrators ended the day by handing a petition to the British Prime Minister. They further plan to return on 11 November 2015 to remind the British Lawmaker at UK Houses of Parliament about the plight of the Gambian people under Yahya Jammeh.

THE GAMBIA: WHAT THE US AND EU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT YAHYA JAMMEH’S PRISONER RELEASES

August 20, 2015
Reads :6325
Author: Mathew K. Jallow

Author: Mathew K. Jallow

EU and US should not trust this man! Even the Chinese don't trust this man!

EU and US should not trust this man! Even the Chinese don’t trust him!

By Mathew K Jallow

A Diasporium Newspaper article, which extensively quotes former dissident movement member, Samsudeen Sarr’s rambling denial of National Security Adviser, Susan Rice’s statement on the terrible human rights violations in the Gambia, blew my mind with its irrational analogies, disputations and fabrications. It is hopeless, even needless, to argue with someone whose mind is bent towards denying reality, in order to embrace the fiction, on the human rights conditions in Gambia, peddled by irrational supporters of the military regime. Yahya Jammeh has for twenty years lied about the human rights situation in Gambia, which the rest of the world finds appalling and reprehensible. But in between the hundreds, perhaps thousands killed and disappeared in the Gambia by the regime, over the past two decades, are many of the landmark cases heard around the world; cases whose reptilian gruesomeness left the world baffled and seeking answers.

 

i. The November 1995 summary execution of ten military officers ii. The assassination, by burning alive, of the former civilian Finance Minister, Koro Ceesay

iii. The 2000 massacre of twenty demonstrating high school students

iv. The ambush assassination of Deida Hydara, head of the Gambia Press Union v. Disappearances of journalist Ebrima Chief Manneh and Red Cross Worker Kanyiba Kanyi

vi. The fake accident killing of nearly thirty children in human sacrifice rituals

vii. The witch-hunting exercise that resulted in dozen dead seniors and hospitalization of dozens more

viii. The broad daylight public execution of Sgt Dumbuya in the crowded Royal Albert Market

ix. The forced disappearances of nearly fifty Gambians, some since 2005 and earlier

x. The 2006 execution of seven more military officers xi. The burning down and closure of several media houses, and the home of one journalist

xii. The execution of between nine and twenty-six Mile 2 Prison inmates

xiii. The execution of two elderly brothers who opposed the slave labor on Yahya Jammeh’s farms

xiv. The abduction and disappearance of two Gambian dissidents from Dakar, Senegal

xv. The kidnapping in Banjul and disappearance of two US nationals of Gambian origin

xvi. The forced fleeing of thousands of Gambians to countries near and far

xvii. The mass incarceration of Gambians in prisons and detention centers around the country

xviii. The deaths of nearly five hundred Gambians while in unlawful custody or prisons

xix The massacre of forty-four Ghanaian immigrants to Las Palmas, Spain

 

In between these cases, are hundreds of individuals that the regime ordered killed in fake vehicle accidents, neck breaking, asphyxiations, dropping alive in deep dry wells, poisoning and a host of other killing methods. These listed incidents buttress the case made by the Gambia’s dissident movement for severe human rights abuses in Gambia, thus rejecting the denials of the regime’s mouthpieces as riddled with outright lies, inaccuracies and blinding insensitivity to Gambia’s carnage, under Yahya Jammeh. In addition to providing a few examples of the known human rights debacle in the Gambia, it is necessary to throw some light on the recent prisoner releases.

 

The recent prisoner release, as demanded by the US, the EU and other international organizations, is driving the pace of political change in the Gambia, particularly as it relates the recent prisoner releases, but as usual, Yahya Jammeh has found a way to circumvent the demand for prisoner release made by the US, EU and other international organizations. Beneath the hysteria and burst of excitement surrounding the prisoner releases, the regime’s undeniable charade represents an attempt to deceive Gambians and the international community into falling for the prisoner release subterfuge. A closer look reveals that Yahya Jammeh has primarily released former regime officials, most of who were arrested, accused, tried and incarcerated for various economic crimes. The prisoners released include a long list of former military and security officers accused of complicity in the attempts to overthrow the regime. Inversely, the vast majority of prisoners who have demonstrated real political opposition to the regime have not been released. The United States, the European Union and international organizations and the Gambian people are, therefore, being deceived by the Gambia’s military regime in their demand for the release of all political prisoners. Contrary to what the regime told international diplomats, Gambia’s real political prisoners still remain locked up in that gulag of death called; Mile 2 Prison.

 

Businessman Saul Ndow and politician Mahawa Cham, abducted together in Dakar, Senegal, about three years ago, are still being held by the regime, as are Alhaji Mamut Ceesay and Ebou Jobe, two US citizens also held incommunicado for three years, without any charges ever brought against them. Amadou Sanneh, a senior member of the main opposition political party, the United Democratic Party, journalist Chief Ebrima Manneh and Red Cross employee, Kangiba Kanyi, still remain incarcerated, and have not been seen since 2000. But in addition, former Security Chief, Daba Marena and many more military and security officers as well as civilians, arrested or abducted, some over ten years ago, have also never been accounted for, some, in over a decade. The regime has released many of its former officials or incarcerated members of Jola tribe, most of who were accused and tried for a variety of economic crimes, but the real political prisoners still languish in Mile 2 Prison; perhaps the worst in Africa. The Gambian diaspora, the US, the EU and international organizations must continue to demand the release of all political prisoner from Gambia’s den of death; Mile 2 Prison.

 

The struggle for political change in Gambia, has, in recent weeks, been tested by defections to the dark-side, of which Samsudeen Sarr is one, but these defections are not out of the ordinary; in fact, they are the norm in situations, which challenge the consciences and moral fortitudes of individuals in the struggle. These defections are less of a reflection on the struggle, than on the moral weaknesses of individual Gambians in the struggle with motivation other than the desire for political freedom of all Gambians. While discussions of the issues around the defections have often been adversarial, and sometimes confrontational, most Gambians realize that none of the recent defections register on the dissident movement’s richer scale of importance. The defections are hardly felt by the dissident movement as the new defectors are not that important in the perennial struggle for freedom.

 

The recent prisoner releases from illegal and unconstitutional detentions, also offered amnesty to Gambia’s dissidents and lifted the threats the new defectors to the regime would otherwise face in the Gambia, should they go there. Clearly, the releases and amnesty offer has made few headlines, but most Gambians are unimpressed, and view the regime’s release and amnesty move as too little, too late. After twenty years of tyranny in which hundreds of lives have been lost to a brutal regime, Gambians want and need a change of regime. Nothing else matters. International pressure and an African continent and a world have turned their backs on Africa’s medieval regimes and apocalyptic governing systems, and demonstrate a compelling need to change the antiquated ‘non-interference’ policy in favor of the UN’s ‘responsibility-to-protect.” In countries where regimes are dug in, some for many decades, committing horrendous human rights violations, as in the Gambia, the international community must act to protect the people. In Gambia, a country surrounded by Senegal, Gambians dissidents are willing, but unable to force a change of regime in their country, primarily, because Senegal will not permit the use of its territory as a launching pad to force regime change in Gambia and the freeing of Gambians from twenty years brutal tyranny.