Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Aji Yam Secka refuses to meet with Jammeh's emissaries

Aji Yam Secka 
Reliable reports reaching us is that Aji Yam Secka, the Interim Leader of Gambia's biggest opposition party, the United Democratic Party, has turned back emissaries of Yaya Jammeh.

She refused to meet with a group of Imams who claimed that they want to talk peace and possibly to try to convince her not to proceed with the planned demonstrations.

According to reliable sources, she said her party will not entertain any government delegation until ALL the prisoners of conscience of her party are released unconditionally and until all missing demonstrators are accounted for.

She is also reported to have said that either Solo Sandeng is produced in the flesh as the regime is claiming that he is not dead or Jammeh produces the body of the UDP youth leader, believed to have been tortured to death while in custody after he was arrested following a protest demonstration.

The firm and unequivocal response that greeted Jammeh's emissaries is a welcomed change in attitude and a demonstration of solid leadership needed in times of crisis.  As a result of her first stance, it is feared that Jammeh will try to seek other party stalwarts who are more amiable to striking a  deal with the devil.

Already, there are strong dissenting voices within the opposition in general and the UDP in particular on the Inter-Party Committee process with those supporting the process to continue even when the APRC is still unable to designate a representative on the Ad Hoc Committee that started its work last Saturday by visiting families of the unaccounted protesters.

Two views appear to be prevailing within the UDP as at now - those in favor of proceeding with the process and those who are opposed to it because it sends the wrong or mixed messages to supporters and to the international community represented by the Ambassadors of the United States and European Union and the Coordinator of the UN System in The Gambia.

To buttress this point, an opposition party affiliate cited the fact that a Western Ambassador visited an opposition party stalwart to get a feel for his party's position because of the mixed messages coming from the opposition and from their diaspora supporters.

We had opined previously that the presence of the US and EU Ambassadors as Observers should be seen as an opportunity to send a clear message of the opposition's position on critical issues and one of those keys messages should be " no negotiations with Jammeh unless all prisoners of conscience are released unconditionally, all unaccounted supporter/demonstrators have been accounted for, the bodies of the dead handed over to loved ones including Solo Sandeng."

Aji Yam Secka. meanwhile, appears to be holding firm on her position that unless all of the conditions she has laid out are met by Yaya Jammeh, there will be no talks.  Her position appears to be consistent with the general sentiments that are currently prevailing and are being loudly expressed by supporters, especially in the diaspora and social media.

A clear and unequivocal message needs to be sent to supporters and the international community at large and Aji Yam Secka, in our view, is that unique voice that is carrying that message.  Her voice must not be drowned out.  #JammehMustGo