Wednesday, September 24, 2014

This is no time for celebration, Gambia

The Liberian who died of the virus in Nigeria

The Point newspaper is reporting that the Gambian dictator is planning on celebrate the 22nd July 1994 coup d'etat next month.

This is coming on the eve of the United Nations General Assembly meeting that will focus on the Ebola outbreak which the UN Secretary General described this morning as an "exponential crisis that requires an exceptional global response."

The Security Council of the United Nations last week declared that the spread of the deadly disease is a threat to international peace and security.  In the midst of the frantic international calls for responsible actions by both 'big and small' as well as those countries affected and unaffected, to see the Gambian dictator declaring his plans to celebrate his twenty-year old coup is deplorable and should be condemned.

The announcement is also coming on the heels of a recently concluded mission of the IMF that warned the regime of Yaya Jammeh that "spending pressures have reemerged" caused by the financial difficulties of the public utility (NAWEC) as well as some other spending excesses in the budget.

The IMF Mission noted that although "The Gambia remains Ebola-free,... news from the sub-region appear to be deterring tourists and this will open an additional challenge."  While the challenges facing the regime compound, Jammeh and his regime are busy organizing a celebration that will probably last a week or more, involving all sectors of a community that will be vulnerable.  It is irresponsible of the regime to continue to pretend that The Gambia is immune to the outbreak.

The celebration of an illegal usurpation of political power that has resulted in the horror that is The Gambia, is misplaced and should, therefore, be cancelled.  The country cannot afford it financially and from the point of view of exposing thousands of Gambians to the risks.  We agree with the Secretary General of the United Nations: the spread of the deadly virus is an exponential crisis that requires an exceptional global response from big as well as small countries.  The Gambia is no exception.