Tuesday, June 14, 2016

Increasing anger over Jammeh incitement of violence

Yaya Jammeh at the United Nations 
Yaya Jammeh is no stranger to putting his foot in his mouth but his June 6th Tallinding political rally speech when he was inciting his supporters to rise up against the Mandinka ethnic group whom he threatened to "kill one by one" and referring to them as "enemies, "foreigners" is attracting attention and generating reactions from many quarters that have shaken his confidence on clinging on to power.

The Special Adviser of the United Nations Secretary General on the Prevention of Genocide has called the speech "irresponsible" who was "profoundly alarmed by...Jammeh's public stigmatization, dehumanization and threats against the Mandinkas."

An editorial in a Rwandan newspaper, in turn, cautioned Jammeh that when he calls Mankika names like "enemies and foreigners" in their own land, "he is paving the way for impunity and the world should worry."  The paper recalled the devastating effects Leon Mugesera's inflammatory anti-Tutsi speech he delivered in 1992 that is regarded as a precursor to the 1994 Rwandan genocide.

Reactions from the Diaspora Gambia communities across the globe has been equally vehement, furious and pointedly critical of the Gambian dictator.  Locally, the protesters continue to defy Jammeh and his threats of killing demonstrators.  In fact, he has instructed his security agents to keep a distance from the demonstrators to avoid confrontation from an emboldened opposition protesters.

Jammeh recognizes the tension his vitriolic and irresponsible rhetoric has created.  His intent is to send a delegation, made up of his cronies and sycophantic supporters, across the country to claim the fears and anger of the Mandinkas.  He is worried that his incitement speech will help derail the presidential elections that are already precariously hanging on a thread for several reasons.

What Janneh fail to realize is that the ground has shifted drastically from under his feet.  His incitement speech against the largest ethnic group in the country is certainly not going to help him cling unto power beyond his current term of office.  It is time for him to come to grips with the reality that a new dawn in Gambian politics that rejects dictatorships.  Gambians are ready to turn a new page without Yaya Jammeh.  #JammehMustGo