Thursday, December 4, 2014

My thoughts on the White House press release

It is safe to say that the expression of "deep concern" about reports of continued human rights abuses by the Jammeh regime opens up a new chapter in the struggle against a vicious, corrupt and highly inept government - a government that continues to flout international law at every turn. 

The reference to the aborted UN Rapporteurs Mission to Banjul, and the fact that one of the members of the two-person mission was at the press conference to give an account of their frustrations encountered at the hands of Isatou Njie-Saidy and her cabinet Ministers are signals that both the U.S. Government and the UN attach great importance to the work of the Rapporteurs.  It just so happened that a group led by Amadou Janneh has been following up, and actually collaborating with the UN team, to facilitate the work of the Mission - a work that is expected to continue well beyond February 2015 when their Final Report is expected to be released. 

Forced disappearances and arbitrary arrests of journalists, human rights advocates and civil servants continue to be of concern to the United States.  The White House press release appears to be referencing Gambia's Foreign Minister's ill-advised, undiplomatic and immature statement targeting the LGBT community in The Gambia when it cites "the continued call by senior officials for the persecution of members of the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community."

The failure of the Jammeh regime to investigate the disappearances of two Gambian-Americans could prove fatal for a regime that has no regard for international law nor places high premium on human life and human rights.  

The US has always pursued rogue governments to the ultimate end to rescue or account for its citizens, and there is no reason to deter this administration or the next, regardless Democratic or Republican, from finding out whatever happened to Ebou Jobe and Alhagie Mamout Ceesay.

Jammeh is finally being reminded that if Gambia wants to be a respected member of the international community, he must, at least, share in the fundamental and universal values of the rights of humans that guide US foreign policy.  Harmful practices must be stopped and so must obnoxious legislations that target specific groups that the regime dislikes. 

This may signal a new chapter for The Struggle and a mark of significant progress but it should also serve as a springboard to getting rid of a very bad government in Banjul.  To achieve this, all must come together in a team format to build on the momentum.  Anything less may set us back.

Excellent job Fatu Camara, Banka Manneh, Amadou Jammeh, Coach Pa Samba Jow and all those nameless folks who have contributed, in their own little way, to making it all happen.

I have posted the Release on my blog. 

Thank you. 

Sidi Sanneh