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happy new year … 2017 a new year of peace with DAOUDA N’DIAYE !
Please call the coalition members to leave Gambia to Senegal ,bfore ECOWAS intervention ,because I got info ,that they want to kill them all if the intervention starts
Please publish the opinion below from a concerned Friend of the Gambia hailing from Sierra Leone.
Gambia: The exception:
Gambia the smallest country in mainland Africa has been an interesting geopolitical case, due mainly to the tyrannical nature of its President and leader Yahya Jammeh, making it an exception in a West African Region where Democracy has relatively thrived in the last few years.
In fact, for 22 years, Gambia has been ruled with an iron fist by a regime which has little, to no regard for fundamental and individual liberties. Unlawful arrests, imprisonments, fear, intimidation, murder, kidnappings, gross human rights violations…are indeed some of the tools used to keep Gambians from tasting freedom and happiness in their country. The dysfunctional and erratic behavior of the Gambian president has transformed his country into a laughing stock.
However, on December 1st 2016 the people went to the polls peacefully and chose regime change by electing Adama Barrow-a candidate of a coalition of opposition parties, hoping to usher a new democratic era post Jammeh’s traumatic reign. After conceding defeat and congratulating his opponent on live television, the outgoing president surprised many with such an unusual posture from him, perceived at that time as responsible, dignified and statesmanlike. Suddenly Frenzied Celebrations broke out almost everywhere in the tiny nation, highlighting the great feeling of the new-found freedom. But Few days after displaying this “Strangely Remarkable Political Fair-Play”, Yahya Jammeh made headlines again by rejecting the election’s results citing fraud, irregularities, threats of indictments by the ICC… denying his compatriots an opportunity to enjoy their rightful victory, crushing once again their hope of ending his dictatorship.
Seen from outside the Gambia, the situation on the ground illustrates the deep fear that characterized Gambians for the last two decades. The absence of a viable opposition and the nonexistence of a strong civil society like the one in Senegal (Gambia’s only neighboring country) has shown the limits of the Power of the People versus the Power of Yahya Jammeh. The main regional West African organization ECOWAS has made it known via statements that military option is one to consider, if Yahya Jammeh refuses to peacefully transfer power to Mr. Adama Barrow on January 19th. 2017. But The man with multiple bombastic titles has warned The ECOWAS of dire consequences.
In the meantime, all eyes are on the small nation as it prepares to enter a crucial time in its history. Are we going to witness the departure of West Africa’s last despot without the horrors of tragedies that unfolded in Sierra Leone, Liberia, Ivory Coast, Guinea Bissau, Guinea, and Mali?
THE BRIDGE ACROSS GENERATIONS
Black History Month just ended. Let’s make it a Black History Year, as history is too big to be told or to be revisited in one month. Let’s revisit our past with pride and shade the light on the dark side of the history of this nation.
Let’s make Black History Month a bridge across generations that helps open mores doors of hope, love, and tolerance. Let’s use this moment to bring down the walls of mistrust, hate, and racism. Let’s bridge cultures for a better nation. “If a race has no history, it has no worthwhile tradition, it becomes a negligible factor in the thought of the world, and it stands in danger of being exterminated.” Said Carter Goodson
For me, February is a very special month. It is special and exciting, because, it’s my birth month and the month we celebrate Black History Month, our heritage. This year is going to be more special and perhaps more emotional, as it was President Barack Obama farewell as he leaves office after eight years in the White House. For those who are asking why to celebrate Black History Month these eight years of President Obama are one of your answers.
It is a moment to pose and reflect on what has been accomplished and what is left to be under his leadership. Whatever his legacy will be, to have a black President and a black first lady in the white house was an exceptional moment in an exceptional time of this country. This is going to be black history! The future generation will learn about it after we are long gone.
To witness his election and reelection at a time where the country was at a crossroad and race relation at its lowest was unprecedented. It is an incredible moment in the chapter of black history and the history of this nation given its role in the most horrific and shameful human trafficking in the world history, slavery. It’s a moment to revisit our past with communion and solidarity bonded by the history of a common heritage and the will to tale it as it was. Beyond and above the celebration and the tributes, it is also a month to learn and help immerse the youngsters in their heritage.
Yes, it should be also a moment to remember those before us who gave their time, comfort and lives to improve ours today. More than a celebration it should be a month of gratitude. It should be an opportunity to educate our youngsters not only to remember names and faces and accomplishments but to know who they are. It should be also a time to remind them about the contribution of their heritage in every aspect of what is America today. In a global view, it is a month to revisit the roots and origin of blacks and the contribution of Africa and Africans in the world and specifically in the USA.
Black History Month should not be about the cultural aspect alone but about every aspect of blacks lives here at home, around the world, and particularly in the motherland of Africa. Using this month as a venue for lips service, pull the tricks also known as politics will only be a setback. Let’s use this month to stop the rhetoric that always states that“ action speak louder than words“ and take action now. From Jefferson, MO to Banjul in Gambia (West Africa) racism bigotry and inequality is becoming the new norm. What a shame!
What is the point of celebrating Black History Month when unemployment of black is at its pick, young blacks are incarcerated at a staggering rate, the police who is sworn to protect and serve is killing blacks without being held accountable and the justice is almost blind about it? If Negro week is Cater G. Goodson brainchild Black History Month is our tradition, our heritage lets make a good use of it and pass it on with pride.
We can only do that if we accept to take the challenges that we and our children face today and in the future. On the wake of the killing of young black men by the police around the USA in the last few years, this Black History Month should be about how to bring the country together and help prevent and end these senseless acts that are undermining not only the race relation but the very foundation of our nation, which is supposedly “one nation under GOD with justice and liberty for all“. Where is the justice and liberty for all when some are denied voting because of the color of their skin? I thought Apartheid was over!
What good is a Black History Month without a reaching hand to our brother and sister who were oppressed in the Gambia for twenty-two years by a dictator who was taking his illusions for a reality? Can we celebrate Black History Month without expressing solidarity to our brother and sisters being butchered by the barbaric Boko Haram in West Africa and Al Shabab in Somalia? I hope not. A celebration is sharing and caring in solidarity! Let’s share our heritage and history by educating and standing for what is right. What is right is helping and demanding states around the country to reform the police, end voting right discrimination base on the color skin.
Malcolm X once said “ if you are not careful the newspaper will have you hating the oppressed and loving the oppressor“.
Cherif Zawiya Diallo
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