Saturday, April 30, 2016

Jammeh promises to finance the political campaign of Abdoulaye Baldé if.....

Abdoulaye Balde, Mayor of Zinguinchor,  Senegal
The Gambia - Senegal border closure which is now two and a half months old is being felt so hard in Banjul that it has driven Yaya Jammeh to promise Abdoulaye Baldé, Mayor of Ziquinchor and member of parliament, the largest city in southern Casamance, to finance his future political campaign if he can flex his political muscle in the Casamance region in an attempt to turn public opinion against the government of Macky Sall,

Jammeh believes Macky Sall's intention is to prolong the border closure for as long as possible to weaken and eventually help bring down his government.  The Jammeh regime is not only seen as a destabilizing force within Senegal but it is increasingly seen as posing a security threat to the region.  Jammeh's erratic and idiosyncratic behavior has earned him the reputation of being an unreliable and unpredictable partner resulting in the diplomatic isolation of The Gambia.  The Gambian dictator has become a butt of jokes in the process.  

Cultivating political alliance with the young and politically ambitious Abdoulaye Baldé may be seen as an act of desperation but Jammeh sees in the Mayor of Zinquinchor a useful regional ally with a common enemy in Macky Sall.  Jammeh already has Salif Sadio, a factional leader of the MFDC.  If he succeeds in forging a political alliance with Abdoulye Balde in addition to his military partnership with Salif Sadio, it will have the potential of posing a new threat in a region that Senegal and the United States had thought he had finally has the 35-year old low-intensity rebel war under control.

Abdoulaye Baldé and his delegation was invited to the Gambian capital of Banjul but were turned back at the border post of Siliti by Senegalese border patrol.  Somehow some of the delegation were able to take the back road around Kanilai (Jammeh's home village) to honor his invitation.  Mr.Baldé stayed home because he would not only be undignified but conspicuous should he followed suit.  He also took the back road.

A strategy meeting is presently (Saturday evening, 30 April) taking place at the Flourish Hotel near the Palmarima Hotel in Kololi to discuss the need for a coordinated response which the participants - mainly Deputy or Assistant Mayors, chef des villages and local authorities who belong to Abdoulaye Baldé's l'Union Centriste du Senegal (U.C.S).

Yaya Jammeh is instigating politicians from  Abdoulaye Baldé's l'Union Centriste du Senegal to return to their localities in the Casamance to agitate, protest with a possibility of strike action against the border closure which they will blame on Macky Sall who is a natural political opponent of the former Minister in the Wade's administration.  Mr. Baldé was a close friend and political ally of Karim Wade, the powerful and influential son of the former President of Senegal currently serving time in prison.

Among those in attendance on the Gambian side at the Flourish Hotel in Kololi were Jammeh's Interior Minister, Ousman Sonko and Kanifing Municipal Council Mayor Yankuba Colley.  The Casamance delegation from the Sadiou and Kolda regions of southern Senegal.

Friday, April 29, 2016

Editorial: Enough is enough, Jammeh must go



Sidi Sanneh 
Yaya Jammeh has overstayed his welcome.  He must, therefore, vacate the State House.

This is the message the thousands of Gambians have been displaying in the streets of Serekunda in the outskirts of Banjul and in the city of Banjul itself that is hosting the High Court hearings of the United Democratic Party (UDP) leader, Ousainou Darboe and co who are faced with six counts of unlawful assembly, riot, incitement of violence, riotously interfering with vehicles, holding a procession without a permit.

Yesterday, the Nigerian mercenary Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) S. K. Barkun, who doubles as recruiter of mercenaries that have infested Gambia's court system, added a seven count of conspiracy against Ousainou Darboe and nineteen others.

These charges are further proof that the mass arrests of the top echelon of Gambia's biggest political party, including it's leader and almost its entire Executive, is nothing more than a political act of intimidation with the intent of eliminating any threat to Jammeh's electoral chances in the December presidential elections.  The unintended consequences of these legal maneuvers by Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mama Fatima Singhateh and her DPP, S.K.. Barkun that the effect as a keen followers of Gambian affairs said "[E]ach new charge brings more support" for Darboe.

Jammeh seized power promising Gambians "transparency, accountability and probity".  Three words that have disappeared from the dictatorship's lexicon because the opposite is what Jammeh and his regime have managed to transform a once well-managed economy and more transparent public administration under Jawara than Jammeh's 22-year of brutal, corrupt and incompetent regime.

It is not only that corruption is rife, incompetence a badge of honor and tribal affiliation a passport to high positions of power in Jammeh's regime, but the abuse of the human rights of Gambians and non-Gambians alike have reached such acute levels that it has resulted in two-week of rare protest demonstrations.  The ensuing violent crackdown of the peaceful demonstration by Jammeh's security agents which led to the death of Solo Sandeng and two others in custody fits the pattern of violence employed by a regime as a means of maintaining political power.  The employment of such violence and various torture techniques have earned The Gambia the title of North Korea of Africa.

If nothing else fails in demanding that Jammeh leaves office, his personal record of corruption and incompetence should deny him the privilege of being a candidate for a 5th term of 5 years.  He didn't deserve his first opportunity, mush more a 5th stab at the presidency.  It is, therefore, time to same to Yaya Jammeh, enough is enough. #JammehMustGo.  Na dem-adem-adem.  The protest demonstration will not cease until we see the back of Yaya Jammeh.

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Thursday, April 28, 2016

Three of Jammeh's henchmen


Ousman SONKO , Minister of the Interior 


Yankuba Badgie, NIA DG
These three are among Yaya Jammeh's leading hatchet men and prime candidates for travel and visa ban.

Interior Minister, Ousman SONKO is the principal conduit of Jammeh's illegal orders that include whom to torture, to hold in custody and whom to eliminate and made to disappear.  If you want to know where the bodies are buried, ask Ousman SONKO who's occasional assignment also include observing and supervising torture sessions at the NIA which explains why he usually gets home at 4.00 A.M.

Yankuba Badgie, Director General of the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA) supervises all the torture sessions that take place at the NIA headquarters in Banjul in close proximity to the Banjul High Court where Ousainou Darboe and co are currently answering to false and frivolous charges of inciting violence.  Yankuba is responsible for the Torture Team who ensures that the sessions are video taped for the listening and visual pleasure of the Kanilai narcissist. Badgie is preparing for his exit to Sweden since he cannot enter the United States where he is a wanted man in Columbus, Ohio.

David Colley, Commissioner of Prisons is one of the least known but the most vicious of Jammeh's henchmen.  He is from the Kanilai and a neighbor of Jammeh who fell out of favor and was imprisoned by the dictator.  He was later pardoned and reinstated - following the standard pattern of humiliation that is followed by rehabilitation so that you become a lap dog thereafter.

David Colley specializes in the public humiliation of those they consider to pose the most serious threat to Jammeh's power by publicly parading them to and fro court in leg irons, shackles that reminds Gambians of how their ancestors were shackled by European slave traders to be sold as slaves across the Atlantic.  This man is responsible for all those prisoners you see shackled and paraded across town - the same treatment meted to Lang Tombong Tamba, Momodou Sabally and others.

Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Jammeh plans to infiltrate crowd of protesters tommorow to create chaos as pretext for violence



The Gambian dictator who found himself suddenly on the ropes for the first time in his 22-year has been trying for the past couple of weeks to see how he can fight himself out of the corner to center ring.  Initially, he thought he could do the rope-a-dope to wear down the protesters into retiring into their daily chores by re-submerging into the difficult survival mode that they have come to be accustomed to because of the economic crisis the corrupt and incompetent regime has caused.

Instead, the crowds grew bigger and more energized.  And as the protest demonstrations grow louder as well with reinforcement coming from around the country, the security forces appear to be on the side of the protesters - at least they've displayed restraint by not firing live bullets, except last week when unconfirmed reports of firing live shots in the air occurred,

It is being reliably reported that Jammeh is ready to infiltrate tomorrow's demonstrations with 1,500 "Jammeh supporters" - comprising of 1,000 military personnel and 500 Green Boys who are fashioned after Qaddafi's Green Brigade, all dressed in civilian clothes for the sole intent of attacking demonstrators.  It is expected that the ensuing chaos will be the sufficient pretext needed for the military and paramilitary to shoot at the demonstrators.  The international community and the rest of the world's attention is being drawn to this likelihood.  

Leaders of political parties including the ruling APRC, who met with the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) under the aegis of the Inter-Party Committee, have bailed out the electoral consultation process,  The message has finally broken through that this is not the time to talk elections.  The nation is faced with a political crisis created by Jammeh with the death in custody of Solo Sandeng and others, the arrest and detention of Ousainou Darboe, a number of his party executives including many others who have still not been accounted from since the first protest demonstration two weeks ago.

Tomorrow's court hearings are expected to attract large protest demonstrators who will be in Banjul to show support of the opposition members.  Because of the large crowds that seem to grow daily, Jammeh is changing strategy by limiting the number of protesters that will be in the capital tomorrow by considering changing the venue of the court to an isolated place - like the Mile II prison complex or an army barracks even though none of the accused is in the military.  Today's National Security Council chaired by Isatou Njie-Saidy did not reveal the conclusion regarding the venue perhaps because the proposed venue - should there be a new one - will need to be cleared with the dictator who is still holed up in his native village of Kanilai.

Jammeh also plans to close the Oyster Creek Bridge ( to many the Denton Bridge ) at 9:00 A.M. if not earlier.  Demonstrators have indicated that they will walk the 3-mile distance to the High Court at the entrance of Banjul.  We are recommending that either demonstrators spend the night in Banjul or start very early tomorrow morning and well before the 9.00 A.M closure.

Developing story ..  

Jammeh is afraid to return to State House

Jammeh with guards 
Since he left Banjul over the weekend for his native village of Kanilai, Yaya Jammeh is afraid to return to the Gambian capital in the midst what has now been dubbed in social media as the "Mbartu Revolution".

It is so named for the hundreds of calabash-wielding women demonstrating their support for the opposition leader who was in court today to face charges for leading a peaceful demonstration last week.

Jammeh intended to return to Banjul yesterday but quickly changed his mind because, according to reliable sources, he was unsure of the reaction of the residents of Banjul towards the demonstrations - whether they will join in solidarity with the opposition.

The picture is further complicated by the increasing mistrust that exists between the Gambian dictator and the Commander of the State Guard, Saul Badgie, who has defied orders to shoot at peaceful demonstrators under any circumstances.  With his allegiance to the dictator in doubt, Jammeh is reportedly trying to out maneuver his once trusted Commander who appears to be siding with the demonstrators and against an increasingly isolated Jammeh.

In addition to the uncertainty posed by the crowds of demonstrators that are increasing daily, Jammeh is also worried about the intentions of Senegal that has amassed troops and materiel along the common borders.  Speaking by phone to Amadou Samba, Jammeh's trusted business partner and manager of his ill-gotten wealth, he accused the Senegalese music giant Youssou Ndure and TFM of being part of a Franco-Senegalese plot to undermine his regime and those of "other Pan-African leaders."  In fact, according to Jammeh, TFM is owned by French interests and not the Senegalese star.

Meanwhile, Jammeh has not decided when he will  consider it safe to return to State House.

This s a developing story.  

GAMBIA: Power belongs to the people



If the adage that power belongs to the people was a vague concept to those born and/or grew up during the twenty-two years of dictatorship, the spontaneous singing of Gambia's National Hymn by calabash- and cooking-utensils wielding women demanding justice transformed it into a real live concept.

Women, young and old with calabash and blue spoons in hand were at the Banjul High Court to show solidarity with and support of Ousainou Darboe and others facing charges of inciting violence during peaceful protest demonstration.

The first sign of open deviance by protesters led by the United Democratic Party's youth leader and party executive challenging the absolute authoritarianism that comes to represent the Jammeh regime occured only a couple of weeks ago but it has since come to represent the start of a people's revolution that continues to gain momentum.

The reason why peoples' power is on the march in The Gambia is because THE PEOPLE have successfully overcome the fear instilled in them by a regime that used fear to rule over the Gambian people for over two decades.

For twenty two years, the regime applied severe forms of torture, including breaking victims skulls with hammers, to eliminate its enemies, real and perceived.  Death squads and the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA) agents have been used to kill and main ordinary Gambians for the sole intent of instilling fear into the population. That fear dissipated a couple of weeks ago

The leadership provided by Solo Sandeng in open defiance of the threat posed by Jammeh's authoritarianism led to his death that provided the spark needed for Ousainou Darboe, the leader of the UDP to spring into action.  It was the protest demonstrations he led in protests over the death of Solo Sandeng and numerous others that led to the arrest of most of the top-tier leadership of the UDP.

Protesters vow to continue to defy the dictatorship as long as their leaders and supporters remain in custody and Solo Sandeng's body and those others feared dead are not released to loved ones.  The open revolt against the Jammeh regime has ushered in significant transformation worth noting.  In less than two weeks, the Kalashnikov-wielding paramilitary policemen have been replaced by police with riot helmets and batons who appear to be in crowd-control mode, at least based on still photos transmitted via social media.

It is the same paramilitary forces that mowed down fourteen unarmed students in 2000 for simply protesting against the death, in custody, of a fellow student and the raping of another by members of the security forces.  Those responsible for the atrocities were later indemnified.

The difference in both attitude and comportment of the Jammeh's security agents on display in the past several days has been remarkable.  Their professional behavior appear to have changed for the better in part because the message that power belongs to the people appears to have finally sunk in. There is no going back.

#JammehMustGo

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Tuesday, April 26, 2016

IEC Inter - Party Committee undermines the opposition's collective interest

It is being reported there is a follow-up meeting of the Inter-Party Committee Meeting at the Independent Electoral Commission offices, tomorrow, Wednesday, at the same date as the United Democratic Party (UDP) leader is scheduled to appear before a High Court judge for the hearing of the case against Ousainou Darboe and many others.

Last week's between the opposition and APRC with the US and EU as observers resulted in a flurry of criticism of opposition members from the diaspora demanding that the meetings should cease immediately.

The optics provided by these meetings undermine the efforts of those out demonstrating support of and in solidarity with Ousainou Darboe and others facing charges of inciting violence and other frivolous charges in connection of his last week's peaceful protest demonstration.

These IEC meetings are seen as providing cover for a regime that is under pressure and has been heavily criticized by the United States, United Nations, European Union and ECOWAS over the violent crackdown of the peaceful demonstrations organized by opponents of the dictatorship of Jammeh resulting in several deaths and several wounded the first and subsequent protests.  The message coming from supporters of the opposition is : Do not throw Jammeh a lifeline.

Given that an EU Article 18 Political Dialogue is likely to take place soon, any meeting with the IEC will be used by Jammeh to his advantage as a goodwill measure on his part that has the potential of overshadowing all events of the past two weeks which have succeeded in throwing Jammeh off-balance.

We are, therefore, appealing, once more, to the opposition parties to suspend all engagements with the APRC and the IEC.  They (the opposition parties) should instead direct their undivided attention towards supporting Ousainou Darboe and all the victims of the violent crackdown of Jammeh's security forces.  The ground has shifted and so must the strategy going forward.

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Opposition Leader, Ousainou Darboe, at High Court in Banjul on Wednesday, April 27th at 9:00AM

UDP Leader Ousainou Darboe 
United Democratic Party Leader, Ousainou Darboe and others are scheduled to appear at the High Court in Banjul for the the second time this week on Wednesday, 27th April, 2016 at 9:00 A.M. 

We continue to encourage our readership and social media followers to show up en mass at the Banjul High Courts tomorrow, Wednesday, to continue to show solidarity with Ousainou Darboe, UDP Executive members, Solo Sandeng and the numerous victims of the Jammeh regime who were violently confronted by security elements of APRC-led regime.

The world continues to watch as events unfold in The Gambia and we want you to be present in Banjul to show support for Ousainou and others.

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Sunday, April 24, 2016

Senegal army kills several MFDC rebels, destroys marijuana fields and seizes cache of weapons

Senegal's MFDC rebel 

Senegalese military attacked an MFDC rebel camp outside the town of Sindian in the Department of Bignona in the region of Casamance resulting in rebel casualties.  MFDC rebels sustained heavy casualties with one Senegalese soldier sustaining a "slight injury" according to reports. fighters reportedly were killed.

The Senegalese army also searched and destroyed large fields of cannabis which the rebels use as cash crop that fuels their low-intensity rebel war that has been going on since 1982.  A  large stockpile of harvested cannabis was also destroyed.

It is widely believed that cannabis grown under rebel-controlled areas eventually finds its way into Gambia through Kanilai which is the home village of the Gambian dictator.

In addition to the stocks of cannabis destroyed, a large stockpile of AK-47s Kalashnikov riffles were recovered by the Senegalese military which, according to a source in Dakar, will facilitate the tracing the origins and the manufacturer of these weapons.

We reported on last Thursday that Jammeh had left Banjul for his home village to meet with Salif Sadio, MFDC faction leader.  Our sources have reported that a continent of Gambia army patrol sited a heavy build-up of Senegalese troop on the Senegalese of the border.

The patrol immediately returned to Kanilai and reported to Jammeh of the sighting.   According to the same sources, Jammeh retreated to Four House which is the residential complex built by a Gambian contractor and later modified by Lebanese contractors.

Ousainou Darboe and others will be at High Court in Banjul, Monday 25th April @ 9:00 AM


Ousainou Darboe and others is scheduled to appear before a judge at the Banjul High Court on Monday, 25th April, 2016 at 9:00 AM.  We are encouraging all our readership including those who follow us on social media and who reside within reasonable distances from Banjul Courts Complex on Independence Drive, Banjul to show solidarity with Ousainou Darboe and others by attending the Court hearing.

Please show support for and solidarity with all of the victims of the recent peaceful protest demonstrations that were violently put down by the security elements of the regime of Yaya Jammeh with your presence.

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Joint Public Statement : A call for an independent inquiry into the death in detention of protesters and the release of all arbitrarily detained

JOINT PUBLIC STATEMENT

Gambia: call for an independent inquiry into the death in detention of a protester Release all those arbitrarily detained

Dakar, 22 April 2016- Last week’s tragic events demonstrate once again that The Gambia is ruled with an iron fist by a blind dictator whose reputation is sullied since more than 20 years, by a macabre record in human rights violations.

On 14 April 2016, Solo Sandeng, a prominent leader of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), and other members organized a peaceful protest demanding electoral reforms and the exercise of freedom of expression in advance of December’s elections. According to several witnesses, Sandeng, 57, Fatoumata Jawara, a young UDP leader and over 20 members were arrested by the security forces who have severely beaten and brutalized protesters. Fatoumata Jawara is believed to be suffering from serious injuries due to ill-treatment while in detention. The UDP leadership claimed that Sandeng died after being tortured by agents from the National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

We, civil society and human rights organisations signatories of this Statement, strongly believe that Solo Sandeng was tortured to death. Several other detained protesters were also tortured by the security forces.
On 16 April, Ousainu Darboe, the UDP leader and some members of the party’s Executive peacefully gathered again to demand justice for Sandeng, and call for the immediate release of detained party members. The police reacted violently and used tear gas against protesters among whom 27 UDP members were arrested, bringing the number to 50 arrested since 14 April. 

On 21 April, our organizations have learnt that 37 UDP members including the leader Ousainou Darboe appeared before a court and were charged with unlawful assembly, incitement of violence, assembly without a permit, interference with the traffic and uproar. However the following four UDP members did not appear before the court: Solo Sandeng, Fatoumata Jawara, Modou Ngum and Nogoi Njie

There is a prevailing climate of fear and terror since more than 20 years.  Journalists, human rights activists, and ordinary citizens are targeted. Freedom of expression is at risk. Several people are still held incommunicado. It is difficult to know their exact number. The country uses the military court which still hands down death sentences. Gambian authorities violate international human rights standards.


1- Our organizations call on President Yahya Jammeh:
- To shed light on the death in detention of Solo Sandeng
- To drop all charges against peaceful protesters
- To release all political prisoners and prisoners of conscience
- To promote the free exercise of fundamental rights

2- We also urge ECOWAS and the AU:
- To systematically raise the Gambia’s negative human rights record  
- To implement strong measures against Gambia to respect its international human rights obligations

3- Finally, we encourage the international community:
- To impose targeted sanctions against President Yahya Jammeh, his government and his family



Have signed
Senegal

1.    Cicodev  Afrique
2.    Conseil des Organisations non Gouvernementales (CONGAD)
3.    FAMEDEV
4.    Forum Social Sénégalais
5.    Ligue Sénégalaise des Droits de l'Homme(LSDH)
6.    Rencontre Africaine pour les droits de l’homme (RADDHO)
7.    Syndicat des professionnels de l'information et de la communication du Sénégal (Synpics)
8.    Société Internationale des Droits de l’Homme section Sénégal (SIDH)
9.    Y’en à Marre

Gambia

10.  Coalition for Change Gambia (CCG)
11.  Democratic Union of Gambian Activists (DUGA)


Regional and International
1
12.  Amnesty International     
13 ARTICLE 19
14.  Institut Panos Afrique de l’Ouest (IPAO)
15   West African Human Rights  Defenders Network (WAHRDN)

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Trade Minister Abdou Jobe responsible for the 10,000% tariff increase that led to the border closure

Gambia's Trade Minister, Abdou Jobe
Gambia's Trade Minister, Abdou "Ndobin" Jobe, was in the Senegalese capital recently at the invitation of his counterpart to attend a forum.

At the close of the Forum, the Gambian Minister met with the press to discuss primarily the 10-week old border closure that has severely impacted Gambia into an economic crisis, the worst experienced in 30 years.

He assured Senegalese that both countries are "working tirelessly to find a lasting solution" to the problem.

If the Trade Minister had stopped at assuring Senegal that he is committed to finding a lasting solution, we probably wouldn't have had the cause to respond to him.  But the Minister's additional utterances bordered on hypocrisy because he failed to take, at the minimum, partial responsibility, for the preceding actions that led to the tariff being raised by 10,000% i.e. from CFA 4,000 to CFA 400,000.

Gambia's Trade Minster made the recommendation to Yaya Jammeh who in turn and without consulting with his Finance Minister or his economic management team instructed his Gambia Revenue Authority (GRA) to implement a recommendation based on dubious assumptions.  The report prepared by the Trade Minister appeared to have had no input from his technical staff nor from his colleagues at Finance, the Central Bank or the GRA,

When the GRA Director General expressed concern to Yaya Jammeh about the negative impact such a huge tariff increase will have on revenue, the head of the GRA was given the option of either implementing the new tariff structure immediately or resign.   In stead of resigning, he implimented the new tariffs which led to the Senegalese Transport Union deciding to opt for using the longer route to Ziguinchor via Tambacounda.

The Trade Minister must admit his role and take responsibility as the initiator of this incredibly stupid policy recommendation that resulted in the border between the two countries being closed.  

Friday, April 22, 2016

Why meet with a discredited regime?

OJ, Darboe and Momodou Sanneh 

The news that members of the opposition parties met with the so-called Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) as part of the regular consultations process under the aegis of the Inter-Party Committee was met with ferocious condemnation from the online media of the diaspora community. Social media was full of criticism of the actions of all those in attendance which were seen as an act of betrayal of the cause of justice for Solo Sandeng and the two others dead in custody and Ousainou Darboe, members of his executive and party supporters who are currently in custody and are faced with charges resulting from peacefully marching on public space for less than 1,000 meters.

The week long protest demonstrations in demand of reform of the country's draconian electoral laws was met with disproportionate and violent reaction by Jammeh's paramilitary forces who arrested unknown number of protesters which led to the subsequent death of Solo Sandeng, a youth leader and two others.  The fates of dozens of others are still unknown, including a dozen persons currently in custody at the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) suffering from severe and life-threaten wounds sustained by torture.

The International community led by the United Nations Secretary General, US. Department of State,European Union, United Kingdon Government and ECOWAS have all condemned the violent crackdown and the death in custody of Solo Sandeng and others.

It is in the midst of an intense international pressure that Jammeh would like to seek relief from by diverting public attention away from the stinging criticisms to small talk of presidential elections - elections that are already rigged by Jammeh and his IEC.

The Inter-Party Committee meeting which was attended by  the APRC, GMC, GPDP, NCP, NRP, PPP, PDOIS and UDP concluded with a signed MOU in the presence of the UN Resident Coordinator, the American and EU Ambassadors as Observers.  The MOU states that the parties agreed to meet again to "revitalize and restructure...the Committee to promote peaceful political party activities and the holding of free, fair and genuine elections."  The parties also agreed to form an ad- hoc committee to "address the current political tensions by engaging in dialogue with civil and security authorities."

The general feeling in the diaspora among supporters of political parties and other unaffiliated activists have come out strongly against any engagement with Jammeh and his APRC at this time. The immediate issues and problems facing the country are about the death in custody of Solo Sandeng and two others, the numerous protesters arrested and in custody of the National Intelligence Agency and, of course, the leaders of the United Democratic Party leaders currently in jail for peacefully demonstrating against the death of Solo Sandeng and other protesters.

No other political activity or issue than the death of Solo Sandeng and matters related to recent developments should occupy the time and energy of opposition politician from now onward. National and not individual political interest should be the main driving force.

By engaging Yaya Jammeh through the IEC at the Inter-Party Committee meeting, the opposition have inadvertently extended a lifeline to a despot who has been in the international limelight for all the wrong reasons.  In our view, it was an error that must not be repeated.        

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Yaya Jammeh and Salif Sadio meeting in Kanilai

Yaya Jammeh and Salif Sadio
Yaya Jammeh is on his way to his home village of Kanilai after been holed up at State House since he returned from Turkey to a week long of protests against his regime's draconian electoral laws that resulted in the death of at least three opposition members, including Solo Sandeng.

He will be meeting Salif Sadio, the MDFC Casamance rebel leader who was summoned to Kanilai by Jammeh.  A source told us that Jammeh is worried about a possible military move on the part of Senegal to the point of distributing heavy arms and ammunition to the Presidential Guard at State House and the army stationed at Fajara.  It is reported that Senegalese troops have amassed in all points of entry at the border.    

Although the subject of the meeting is unclear, the current issues confronting Jammeh in relations to the week-long protests demonstration against the Jammeh's electoral laws and the death in custody of Solo Sandeng and two or more other supporters of the opposition will be discussed with the Casamance rebel leader.

It is public knowledge that apart from harboring MFDC rebels in Gambian territory when the Senegalese army is in hot pursuit, some elements of the rebel group maintain residence in a small settlement called Bojongkoto near Abuko in the outskirts.  Reports have it that human traffic in the compounds in the area has been heavy in the last few days.

As international criticism of Jammeh regime grows louder and more frequent and after his security forces used violent force against peaceful demonstrators, Jammeh is growing increasingly nervous about what the regional leader, Senegal, will do, in addition to the border between the two countries continues to be closed to Senegalese traffic.   The border closure is in its seventh week with no sign of it being opened anytime soon.  The financial repercussions are huge for a country whose economy was already in crisis.

Attempted cover up of Alhagie Ceesay's death in custody

Alhagie Abdoulie Ceesay 
This 18th April, a Facebook entry claimed that Alhagie Abdoulie Ceesay was alive and has been re-admitted at the RVTH.  If the Jammeh operatives are to be believed, this was Alhagie's third hospital admission in one week.

Monday the 11th of April was his last and final visit because he died Monday night or early Tuesday morning.  At the time of admission, he was in a semi-conscious state and was "coughing blood", according to a close relative of the deceased.

The radio journalist was a victim of torture who endured over 200 days of custody at Mile II prisons with intermittent visits to the torture chambers of the notorious National Intelligence Agency (NIA).

The fact that Alhagie was regularly tortured was public knowledge.  His lawyer was aware and had tried to submit the fact in the court records but was overruled by Justice Simeon Abi who dispenses justice according to the whims of the Gambia dictator.   We have reported on this young man's case on numerous occasion to bring his plight to the attention of the Nigerian authorities (because the presiding judge in his case was a Nigerian named Simeon Abi) and the international community.

Since we reported on our blog post of 15th April, several false stories have been planted by NIA agents and Jammeh supporters. falsely suggesting that Alhagie Ceesay re-admitted on two occasions the 13th and then again on the 18th when, according to false stories being circulated by the Jammeh regime, Alhagie climbed a window in his semi-conscious state and escaped, headed to Dakar - so goes the NIA story.  In fact, we had fallen victim on one occasion when we referred to the re-admission stories which were false.

The regime of Yaya Jammeh is on the ropes.  These criminal characters have been internationally sanctioned and heavily and scathingly criticized by the United Nations Secretariat, United Nations Human Rights Commission, United States, U.K.Government, and ECOWAS and almost all of the international Human Rights Organizations for the violent manner they cracked down on the peaceful demonstrators.

Because of the pressure being applied with insistent demands to investigate and punish those who were responsible for the death in custody of Solo Sandeng and two others, the Jammeh administration can ill-afford to have another death in custody to explain.  It is for his reason that they are trying desperately to change the conversation fro death by torture to escape to Dakar.

Since we reported Alhagie Ceesay death by torture, we are challenging the authorities or anyone for that matter to show proof that indeed Alhagie.  Until such proof is provided, we stand by our story and our sources that Alhagie Ceesay had died of injuries sustained by torture at the hands of the Yankuba Badjie's men at the National Intelligence Agency Headquarters in Banjul.  There must be justice for Alhagie Abdoulie Ceesay and a closure for his family and we will not rest until both objectives are achieved.      

 

Nigeria is also on trial in The Gambia

New team of Nigerian mercenary judges
We announced last February the arrival of seven addition judges and magistrates from Nigeria personally recruited by Yaya Jammeh's principal legal hatchet man and Director of Public Prosecutor (DPP) named S.H.Barkum.  He has succeeded in framing false charges and has "successfully prosecuted" real but most imaginary opponents of the dictatorship.  Mr. Barkum has proven to be the reliable enforcer of the instructions of the Gambian dictator to imprison numerous victims of a very brutal regime.

S. H. Barkum is accused of being an accomplice in the torture and eventual death of numerous victims of the Jammeh that includes the 25-year old radio journalist named Alhagie Abdoulie Ceesay whose lawyer announced in court that his client was tortured.  Despite the visible signs of torture, DPP Barkum elected to ignore the lawyer's plea.  When Alhagie showed up in court again clearly displaying physical trauma, another Nigerian, this time Justice Simeon Abi threatened journalists with jail terms for "misquoting" him in their reports of court proceedings.

The Director of Public Prosecution is of course not alone.  He is complimenting the Gambian-born Attorney General and Minister of Justice, Mama Fatima Singhateh, an equally prolific framer of false charges against innocent Gambians whose only crime is opposing a vile, brutal, corrupt and incompetent system.  She continue to present false narratives, distortions and outright lies to the diplomatic community that continues to ask questions about the recent violent crackdown on peaceful protesters that has resulted in numerous deaths including Solo Sandeng, youth leader and member of the executive of the United Democratic Party (UDP).

The UDP Party Leader, Ousainou Darboe and numerous members of his party executives, included among them Femi Peters, Jemeseng Jammeh, Lamin Dibba, Lamin Jatta, Fanta Darboe, Juguna Suso, Ismaila Ceesay were charged yesterday for disrupting the flow of traffic plus other frivolous charges before Justice Ottabaa who was recently recruited from Nigeria, together with six other mercenary judges by Barkum (see the group photo above).

The trial which is scheduled to start today will be closely watched by an international community that has trained its eyes on The Gambia that has developed the well-earned reputation of being one of the most violent and repressive countries on earth.

As we have in the past, the Nigerian government will be full apprised of the role that Nigerian cowboy judges play in entrenching the regime of Jammeh that has been universally condemned for its recent use of violence to suppress peaceful demonstrators for which Ousainou Darboe's three colleagues have paid the ultimate price and others, including himself, have been brutally assaulted by members of the security forces.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Jammeh's aide threatens protesters with more violence despite international condemnation


An aide and business crony to the Gambian dictator who is facing a week of protests against his unpopular regime has issued an explicit threat of violence by posting on twitter that the security forces will "mercilessly crush" any protest march organized by the opposition parties or any other organization.

The aide goes by the ficticious name of His Royal Highness Prince Ebrahim Sanyang of the Koring Dynasty - a chracter whose exploits include trying to scam rich Arabs and professional African soccer stars into thinking that they are investing in legitimate businesses in The Gambia.

For more information on him and his business partner, Ansumana Jammeh, who is a brother to the Gambian dictator, please see here and here and here, among numerous other blog post which you can find in our archives.

Prince Ebrahim Sanyang posted the threat on Twitter recently which was quickly deleted but not before it was grabbed and can be seen accompanying this blog post.

In addition to the threat posted on twitter, several names and phone numbers of individuals and online media outlets opposed to the dictatorship of Yaya Jammeh were inadvertently posted with the threat.  This discovery confirms that members and agents of Jammeh's security forces and supporters have been targeting with the intenet of disrupting news outlets that have proven to be formidable and worthy opponents of the regime of Yaya Jammeh.
Prince Ebrahim Sanyang 

Prince Ebrahim Sanyang accompanied Mr and Mrs. Jammeh on their recent trip to Turkey to attend the OIC Summit where they hoped to attract Arab donors to the numerous "Foundations" they have created recently in response to the dwindling foreign aid as a result of sanctions resulting from Jammeh's horrendous human rights record and high level corruption.

Ansumana Jammeh, the brother to the dictator and also a business partner to the 419-type scammer (Prince Ebrahim), did not accompany them to Turkey because Ansumana is reported to have fallen out with his brother and was in the hands of the police being questioned on corruption allegation relating to  his previously held position as Managing Director of MaliGam, a trading company reportedly owned by Jammeh.

Meanwhile, protesters are in consultation regarding their next move with diaspora groups planning to demonstrate today and the rest of the week in Washington, Atlanta, London, Dakar and many parts of Germany and Scandinavia.  Gambians have vowed to continue the protest demonstration across the globe until Yaya Jammeh and his vile, violent, corrupt, and incompetent regime is toppled.  They will not settle for nothing less and neither will we.

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Waa Juwara: From a D 25,000 fine to six months prison term

Waa Juwara, Former Local Government Minister
Waa Juwara, former Local Government Minister, has been sentenced to 6 months with hard labor but that was the initial sentence of the judge.

The NDAM leader was initially sentence to a fine of D 25,000 but when the Gambian dictator was informed, he instructed the judge to change it to a 6-month prison term.

He was also told that Jammeh will ensure that the former Minister will not be part of the December presidential elections even though he should be out well before then.  Why Jammeh made the threat is anybody's guess.

If we think that we have inflicted a mortal blow, we better think again.  Jammeh may be limping presently but he still has life left in him to continue to harm us as a country and as a people.

We are therefore appealing to political leaders, youth organizations and ordinary citizens who have been protesting for a week against this vile, corrupt and incompetent regime to redouble their efforts. The protests must continue.  Jammeh must be driven out of State House bfore he plunges the country into absolute chaos.


Dozen protesters still at NIA to recover from wounds sustained by torture

Ousman Sonko, Interior Minister
Yankuba Badjie 

Twelve victims of torture who were arrested with Solo Sandeng are still being held at the National Intelligence Agency headquarters to recover from their wounds suffered after severely tortured.

All were arrested last Wednesday as part of a larger group that participated in a peaceful protest demonstration against the Jammeh regime demanding electoral reforms.

Solo Sandeng, the youth leader and member of the executive of the United Democratic Party (UDP), who was arrested together with those presently at the NIA died Thursday from wounds suffered at the hands of Jammeh's torture team led by Yankuba Badgie, Director General of the NIA under the close supervision of Gambia's Interior Minister, Ousman Sonko, a prolific torturer himself and a confirmed serial rapist.

Police who came to take cautionary statements have been turned away of three occasions by Yankuba Badjie because the wounds sustained have not healed and still visible. These victims have thus far spent 6 days which is twice as long as the 72-hour prescribed by the constitution for anyone to be charged.  If one is not charged within the period he or she must be set free.

                                                                 #####





Monday, April 18, 2016

YOUTH POWER on display on Kairaba Avenue

YOUTH POWER on display today at the protest demonstrations by thousands of young people who have grown increasingly alienated that has abandoned all of its promises made to them when Jammeh seized power in 1994.

His promises and assurances of providing quality education and employment after graduation were quickly abandoned in favor of his business cronies who helped him amass wealth for himself, his family and selected business partners.  The young have promised that their protests against the Jammeh will continue until he vacates State House.

These young men and women who showed in their numbers on Kairaba Avenue are determined to seize the occasion to remark their future without a dictator who has failed to deliver on all of his promises to the young, leading many to head for the Back Way.

Faced with a bleak future, thanks to Yaya Jammeh, the young men and women of The Gambia showed up in their numbers today to show their disapproval of the Gambian dictators policies and methods of governance which has earned him the wrath of the international community as well as ordinary Gambians.  Young men and women want change which can only come without Yaya Jammeh.


The entire world is watching

Yankuba Badjie

Add caption
This message is directed at Jammeh's most loyal henchmen - Chief of Defense Staff, Ousman Badgie, Interior Minister, Ousman Sonko, Director General of the notorious National Intelligence Agency, Essa Tamba (Jesus) Commander of the Fajara Barracks and Beran Mbye, Commander of the Police Intervention Unit.

You must recognize the fact that the whole world is watching your entire moves.  We have your names and some of us know you and your families.  The moment is now for you to abandon your blind support of Yaya Jammeh and support the just cause of the Gambian people.  Your loyalty must not be to an individual but to the Nation.  We are, therefore, calling on all of you to denounce and disown Yaya Jammeh, who has brought nothing but shame and misery to Gambians and The Gambia.

The torturing MUST Stop immediately, and ALL detainees in your custody freed and unharmed. Jammeh is isolated,  The entire world has disowned him and his brutal methods of governance.  You must, therefore, refrain from harming Gambians whose demands are quite simple.  They want to be able to protest against a tyrannical regime without hindrance or being harmed by your security personnel.  The entire world is watching.  Therefore, you are expected to act professionally and allow the protesters to protest unhindered.

Youthful protesters are being denied access to protest route along Kairaba Avenue



 As anti-government protests enter its third day, the regime of Yaya Jammeh has decided to prevent the youths from taking to the streets by blocking the main thoroughfare of Kairaba Avenue also known as Pipeline Road.

Essa Tamba also known as Jesus Tamba who heads the Fajara military camp and Beran Mbye, Commander of the Police Intervention Unit also referred to as the Paramilitary Unit have been put in charge of the protests.

They are to prevent any peaceful march from taking place.  The youth on the other had are insisting they be allowed passage to exercise their constitutional right to express their dissatisfaction at the regime of Yaya Jammeh in general and the deaths of Solo Sandeng and two others that occured in the past few days while they were in custody.

The flurry of international condemnations coming from the United States, United Nations Headquarters and from the UN Commission on Human Rights in Geneva, the European Union and those expected from ECOWAS and the African Union has caused panic in Jammeh's camp and also within the security forces.

Meanwhile, the youth who have assembled since mid-morning along Kairaba Avenue remain clam and orderly while the security forces continue to deny them access to the main thoroughfare.  How long the stand-off will end is anybody's guess.

THIS MAN MUST GO

Gambia's brutal dictator, JAMMEH 

UPDATE: Story corrected: Opposition leader still in custory, security patrolling streets in masks

Opposition leader protesting death of party members
Ousainou Darboe, who we reported in an earlier version of this story as being released is still in custody at Mile II prisons, according to my traditional sources.  We apologize to our readers for reporting wrongly on the earlier vision.  Our sincere apologies.

Reports reaching us this morning are that "a lot of paramilitary (personnel) are out in the streets with masks covering their faces" to avoid a repeat of having their faces plastered all over social media as was the case in previous occasions that they have been out brutalizing protesters who had been peacefully exercising their right.

If they are out to ensure peaceful protest, why are they concealing their faces.  By wearing masks they have every intent to act extra-judicially and thus criminally.   Video evidence exist of the brutality meted out on peaceful protesters in the last several days of protest.

This is a developing story which we intend to follow to bring you regular updates throughout the day and weeks ahead.  This is a protest that will last as long as Yaya Jammeh insist on remaining in power.

Sunday, April 17, 2016

Why go to elections with a murderer ?



Yaya Jammeh must be confronted in Banjul

Darboe (in middle) with UDP Executives
The late Solo Sandeng, Youth Leader 










Yaya Jammeh has just landed at Banjul International Airport, according to sources close to the airport operations. He's back from attending the OIC Summit in Ankara from where he directed his security forces to use violence against protesters demonstrating against his tyrannical rule.

Protesters were demanding that the draconian electoral laws be amended to guarantee a free and fair election. Barring amending the rule, the opposition parties are likely not to participate in the December 2016 presidential elections.

It was during the last Wednesday protest that Solo Sangeng, the leader of the Youth wing of the leading opposition party was arrested and held without bail at the notorious Mile II prisons. Also arrested were twenty-nine others, including young as well as old men and women.  

It was from Mile II prisons that they were transported in batches of five to the National Intelligence Agency's torture chambers known as "Bambadingka" and tortured.  Solo Sandeng died the same evening from internal wounds suffered as a result.  It was Jammeh who instructed the Director General of the NIA, Yankuba Badjie to dispose Mr. Sandeng's body at the NIA premises situated at the village of Tanji after he was informed of the youth leader's death.

The leader of the opposition, together with numerous members of his party executive, were out demonstrating and demanding the release of Solo Sandeng and other demonstrators when they were also arrested by paramilitary forces who later went to the opposition leader's house, ransacked the premises and stole valuables - a shameful act by an unpaid and highly abused members of Jammeh's security forces.

While the NIA torturers were busy torturing innocent Gambians and manhandling many of those arrested, Yaya Jammeh was busy directing the operations from his Ankara hotel room.  Now that he is back in Banjul, he must be confronted head-on, once and for all.  We must get rid of this monster.  

Gambians have had enough of this semi-illiterate coward with his tyrannical ways.  We are, therefore, urging all Gambians of all shades and hue to stand up to the dictator at protests and demonstrations against his regime in the coming days and weeks, if necessary. .

The youth, whose future continues to be mismanaged by a corrupt and incompetent regime, must come out to express their opposition to the repressive APRC regime of Yaya Jammeh.  Students at the University of The Gambia, GTTI, MDI and other institutions are encouraged to be part of this mass movement to end dictatorial rule in out country, once and for all.

We are also calling on the Christian communities in Banjul and the Kombos, of all denominations, to come out and protest against a regime determined to transform The Gambia into an Islamic State. Jammeh has just returned from the OIC Summit where he reaffirmed his commitment to seeking parliamentary approval to change the status of the Gambia from a secular to an Islamic State.

Join me in saying to Gambia and the world that:  Enough Is Enough and that #JammehMustGo.
 

Warning to Yaya Jammeh about the safety of Ousainou Darboe and others under arrest


Ousainou Darbor and several members of his United Democratic Party's executive and other prominent members were arrested while peacefully expressing their opposition to dictatorship and concurrently demanding the release of UDP and other youth who were arrested and detained a few days earlier.

According to a press release posted in the official Facebook page of the UDP, Ousainou Darboe and at least six executives of his party were arrested and taken away by members of the security forces to an unknown destination.  They must not be harmed in any way.

We demand their immediate release and unharmed.  There will be chaos should anything happen to any one of them.  Meanwhile, we are serving notice to Jammeh and his sycophantic supporters that protest demonstrations will continue until he steps down from the presidency.

Dictatorship in The Gambia must end now and Yaya Jammeh must step down from the presidency. Since seizing power from a democratically elected government in 1994, he has proven to be incompetent, corrupt and repressive, using unconstitutional and illegal means to perpetuate himself in power, destroying Gambia's economy in the process.

Enough is enough.  #JammehMustGo

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Presidential guards defy Jammeh's orders, will not shoot at civilians

Dictator Yaya Jammeh 
Reliable sources are reporting that the elite presidential guard commonly referred to as State Guard has indicated that they will not shoot at unarmed civilians currently mounting a sustained protest in the outskirts of the capital city of Banjul.

The refusal by the State Guard to shoot at protesters is in defiance of orders issued by Yaya Jammeh, the Gambian dictator who has ruled this tiny nation of 2 million.  His brute use of force, violence and fear is what made him stay in power for 22 years.  Now his power is being challenged by a determined number of Gambians, and it looks like the stand-off is paying off because the military appears to have fragmented further with the State Guard siding with the civilian population.

Jammeh who is still in Ankara, Turkey, where he was attending the Summit of the Organization of Islamic States is directing the uprising by telephone to the other sections of his security apparatus by relying on his Interior Minster, Ousman Sonko, the Inspector General of Police, Ousman Badgie, the Director of National Intelligence Agency, Yankuba Badjie (who's conducting all the torturing) and the head of the paramilitary Unit.

As long as these factions continue to stay loyal, Jammeh can expect to continue to be holed up in Ankara rendering his reentry into Banjul via Banjul International Airport a very dicey proposition. With very few friends in the region, Jammeh's options are very limited which complicates the situation.  And unless the security environment improves significantly in the next few days - a highly unlikely scenario - he will be left twisting slowly in the wind.

The opposition parties have, meanwhile, stepped up their game by dominating the social media campaign with the help of international human rights organizations who are concerned about the deteriorating security atmosphere in a country that is known for its poor human rights record.  A senior military officer speaking anonymously is quoted as saying "why allow him (meaning Jammeh) to return only to have us killed.  He's done it numerous times before, why is it going to be any different this time around if we allow him entry into the country."    

GAMBIA: Press Release on the arrest of the opposition party leader

Ousainou Darboe, UDP Leader
PRESS RELEASE ON THE ARREST OF THE EXECUTIVE OF THE UNITED DEMOCRATIC PARTY (UDP)
The leadership of the United Democratic Party (UDP) wishes to inform the international community about the continuing brutal crackdown of its entire executive members and other peace loving Gambians who were out this morning to demand the release of about 25 demonstrators arrested on Thursday 14th April 2016.

Currently, the UDP Leader who is also our party’s Secretary General, Lawyer Ousainou Darboe and at least six other executive members have been arrested and whisked away to an unknown destination. Several other peaceful demonstrators were severely wounded when security forces led by officers from the State Guards (the president’s own personal security guards) opened live ammunition on the crowd.

Today’s peaceful march was triggered by the arrest and detention of about 25 Gambian youths who were out in the streets peacefully demanding electoral reforms. Apparently, seven of those arrested were youth members of the UDP executive. They were brutally tortured and so far the UDP can confirm that three of its seven young executive members have died in state custody following two days of continued brutal torture meted out to them.

The UDP crowd was on its way to the police station that arrested the youths on Thursday to demand for their release when the security forces descended on the peaceful marchers.

The UDP vehemently condemns this barbaric act of savagery by the security forces. We wholly blame the Head of State and Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces Yahya Jammeh of whatever might happen to our executive and other youth leaders in custody now for three days.

The UDP further calls on the international community particularly the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to immediately intervene to stop the brutal crackdown on the opposition.

We are deeply worried about the continuous silence of the international community at a time when The Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh has put in place mechanisms to not only entrench himself in power by constricting the democratic space but also using all illegal means and the full force of the security forces to visit terror on defenceless Gambians.

The UDP and indeed all the other Gambian opposition parties are not demanding anything other than a free, fair and credible electoral process. And we shall not relent in this demand. Gambia cannot be an island where its leaders perpetuate self-rule through fraudulent and sham elections.
 
We are notifying the international community and indeed member countries of ECOWAS and AU of this ongoing crackdown on the UDP. This is a threat made good by the President who has repeatedly and openly stated his preparedness to do everything to stay in power even if it means spilling innocent blood.
 
President Jammeh has all along wanted to make the Gambia a one party state but this dream has not been fulfilled because of the uncompromised position of the combined opposition against the idea. We will not compromise our rights to engage in party politics. And we will not give in to threats from any quarters.

We are calling on all UDP militants across the country to remain vigilant. Peaceful demonstration is a right guaranteed under the constitution of The Gambia and this should not be compromised. The authorities can arrest the entire executive of the UDP but they cannot break our determined will to a Gambia where democracy prevails.

Long Live The Gambia
Long Live Democracy
Long Live The United Democratic Party (UDP).