|Yaya Jammeh , Babillimansa|
The country is The Gambia and the leader is the idiosyncratic and neurologically imbalanced dictator whose repressive and sinister regime's human right's record earned his country the dubious honor of being referred to as the North Korea of Africa.
The occasion attracted some opponents of the regime who were attracted to an offer of reconciliation with a dictator whose erratic behavior is legendary. The reconciliation process seemed to have been hatched from the Gambian Embassy in Washington will ill-defined intent that also lacked official endorsement from the dictatorship.
Two Gambians were sufficiently convinced of the need to seek 'pardon' from the Gambian dictator but only one - a refugee from the regime and former army commander - took up the offer of a plane ticket to attend the commemoration of the country's 50th Indepenedence Anniversary. While there, the guest of the dictator was treated to a humiliating take-down by being accused of being a world-class liar because an earlier book he wrote while in exile which the dictator claimed were full of lies.
The second Gambian, an exilee living in New York did not attend the ceremony but that did not spare him public mention by the Gambian dictator because his opponent insulted his mother while protesting the dictator's presence in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly.
The recent attack on State House - the seat of power - that resulted in several deaths, coupled with an increasingly successful public protests against the Gambian dictator in New York, Paris and Washington have obviously rattled Jammeh and his regime to the point of increasing belligerence and threats of violence and death through poisoning his political opponents. While we do not have evidence of the regime's use of poison to deal with its opponents, the accusations have become increasingly frequent, especially in the Senegalese press.
The so-called amnesty or reconciliation that is on offer has been anything but clear and concise for lack of a written or clearly defined terms and conditions. It was only during the dictator's television interview on government-controlled television that he said "they are free to come back to this country...and those who have not personalized everything I am not going to let them come back. If they do, I will send them to jail."
Jammeh's rambling interview also revealed that he is prepared to "wipe out" (meaning kill) anyone he considers to be in the country for the purpose of destabilizing a country already on the verge of further instability even without the aid of another incursion similar to the one conducted last December.
During the interview, he also made an implied threat by suggesting that if his opponents think they are safe living abroad, they better think again. He then followed it with the question : "How many are gone, anyway" which many in the diaspora take as reference to the numerous Gambians who have died recently, mostly in Dakar, Senegal, suddenly and, some would say, under mysterious circumstances.
Again, the use of poison by the regime to silence his critics has been cited as the new weapon of choice for opponents living abroad - a section of the Gambian community that has provided the most effective opposition to a regime who is under increasing pressure from abroad and from within the armed forces, especially after the 30th December events that has exposed the underbelly of the regime.
The You Tube video where these threats are made by the Gambian dictator will be distributed to the appropriate United States authorities for the records in the case of any eventualities. We encourage those in Europe and Africa, particularly Senegal, to do likewise.
The regime has provided us with sufficient warnings that these are desperate times because of the external pressures currently being applied. With its back against the wall, the regime poses a clear and present danger not only to Gambians within, but by the regime's own admission, to those of us living abroad.