Letter from DCC: A New Gambia Shall Rise Again (19.01.2017)

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As we write with heavy hearts and glimmer of hopes that our country is on the brink of being turned to ashes, one cannot certainly say that we haven’t exhausted all necessary means to avoid a potential catastrophe. The young children, women, old, sick and poor are the ones that pay the heaviest prices and thus the reason why Gambians have always chosen the right and peaceful way to express their dissent and change of government via the ballot box. While some around the hinterland cannot be reached or as a naive mind may dismiss as being safe since the central skirmishes appears to be in Banjul, the State House, we are equally concerned and wish to coordinate with every Diasporan who can reach loved ones for information dissemination and emergency assistance as needed.

The situation in The Gambia is tense, unpredictable and we are doing everything possible to provide information and assistance to loved ones and the diaspora. The declaration of Emergency unfortunately heightened the security of the nation and have therefore plunged Gambia into a refugee crisis. We are calling on the UNDP,UNHCR, IMF, WB,Red Cross and all other disaster preparedness agencies to draft a contingency plan for Gambians. We are calling the Obama administration to provide humanitarian assistance to the Senegalese as our host for thousands of Gambians fleeing their country. We are also calling on the British government to provide technical assistance in satellite feeds, setting up refugee camps around the borders,food, healthcare and transportation. We are also calling on the SeneGambian diaspora to join hands and raise needed funds to help their fellow citizens currently in harms way. As per World Bank, the Gambian diaspora contributed over 20% of GDP and such task of sustaining Gambian lives is not Herculean especially when lives depend on your efforts. It will be hard as no one can anticipate in the foreseeable future if such turmoil will end in days, weeks or months. We are calling on GDF to start a fundraising campaign or liaise with other organizations to help save Gambian lives. https://www.gofundme.com/gambia-humanitarian-crisis

We will create an information bank to track and report Gambians missing through forcefully disappearance or not reachable due to personal protection and safety.(https://gambiar2k2016.crowdmap.com/?full=1). We are working with the coalition team to give you updates from Gambia and vetting proper information coming from news sources.We urge calm in the diaspora and let’s join hands together during these hard times.We will be working with international organizations and governments to closely monitor the activities of the current regime and their current mandate by the National Assembly to maintain peace and order.

We want to assure every Gambian that we shall all rise again. The future is bright and what was insurmountable was done on December 1st. We spoke loudly and clearly and rejected despotism and monarchical rule.We have one of the youngest population in the Western Africa and can therefore definitively declare that the our country shall rise again with tenacious resolution for freedom, democracy and rule of law. Gone are the days where a Gambian will not speak freely and responsibly about the affairs of the state. We were never represented fairly and equally as the ones we trusted to steer The Gambia were devoid of character and morality. We have elected a new president and soon we shall join him in rebuilding constitutional, electoral, governmental reforms. A birth of a new nation is here and we are thanking every member state of ECOWAS for such altruistic endeavor as one could have easily concluded that it was a sovereign matter and stayed away but the respect for the Gambian people and their decision is what prompted good ambassadors of justice to put soldiers in harms way to preserve African democracy. We thank the AU, UN, EU and especially Senegal for not only hosting others militarily, opening their borders, transporting refugees and opening their homes but giving the Gambians platforms to talk to the world. We shall rise again. Thank you.

Yours Sincerely,
DCC Chairperson.

Gambia: President Jammeh declares a state of emergency, as he refuses to step down (17.01.2017)

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A look into the Coup d’état in Gambia in 1994 and President Jammeh will linger in power!

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When you look into how a man gets into power and then keeps it. Then that story might show why the person doesn’t leave the Executive, the reign or the Presidency. I am today looking into Yayah Jammeh who made a coup d’état in the Islamic Republic of Gambia. Since of today the President-Elect of Gambia are living in Exile in Senegal. Therefore I have to address the man who is ceasing the power and control of a nation. A nation he did run, but lost an election and the result we’re announced on the 2nd December 2016. President Jammeh even called President-Elect Adama Barrow who won on an Opposition-Coalition ticket. After that the Army has pledged alliance with the incumbent, the Electoral Commission head has fled to Senegal and radios has been switched off. Just as the days before the polls the borders we’re closed and the internet we’re turned out. The Museveni-Blackout session was all in fashion in November 2016. So let’s take a brief look into the reports of 1994 coup d’état and how long he has said earlier he wanted to rule!

Yayah Jammeh pledges difference after 1994:

“BANJUL, Gambia, Aug. 26— When Lieut. Yahya Jammeh seized power in this West African country in a bloodless coup last month, breaking one of the continent’s longest traditions of electoral democracy, he joined the increasingly crowded ranks of soldiers who have risen to power in Africa” (…) “But even as he pledges to announce a timetable for a transition to democracy by the end of September, Lieutenant Jammeh, a child of the rural upcountry whose formal education ended in the 10th grade, complains that suspensions of vital donor aid in the meantime amount to “neocolonialism.” (…) “We are here for reasons that are peculiar only to Gambia, and what has happened in other parts of the continent, that does not concern us,” Lieutenant Jammeh said in an interview in a crimson-carpeted salon of State House. Political Activity Banned” (French, 1994).

More on the Coup in 1994:

“Weak borders and weak governments still characterize much of West Africa, and the coup d’état brewing in the graveyard would not be the Gambia’s first. Sanneh was on summer break from middle school in 1994 when, one morning, a group of junior army officers angry about their low salaries seized the national radio station, the airport, and government buildings in Banjul. The incumbent president, Dawda Jawara, who had led the country since independence, found safety on a docked U.S. warship while his guards evacuated the State House. When the disgruntled officers arrived, Andrew Winter, then the U.S. ambassador to the Gambia, told me, “I think much to their surprise, it was theirs.” At about 6 o’clock that evening, an announcement came on the radio: A four-member group called the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council, or AFPRC, had taken over. Its chair was Yahya Jammeh, then a 29-year-old army lieutenant who was little known outside the barracks” (Reid, 2016).

Real acts of Jammeh:

“Atrocious stories such as that of Imam Baba Leigh succeed one another, always more violent. As the day the authorities locked up 1,000 people in a stadium and made them drink hallucinogenic drinks. This surreal act is in the image of President Yahya Jammeh who claims to be able to cure AIDS, sterility or epilepsy using traditional plants and mystical incantations, hence his nickname “Fou de Kanilaï” his birth place. In 1993, Democrat Dawda Jawara, whom Jammeh overthrew, abolished the death penalty. In 1994, as soon as he took power, the master of Banjul, the Gambian capital, restored it and incorporated it into the Constitution in 1997” (Serieys, 2017).

What the President Jammeh says about the coup:

“I have seen banners saying no to coup, but the reality is that people will say how then did he become head of state because he overthrew somebody’s government? Yes, I came through a coup d’etat, because what was happening in this country is unacceptable. On 22 July 1994, not even a frog died, much more a human being. When we came that day, in broad day-light, which Imam missed a Friday prayer?” (…) “Let me also ask you this question. On July 22,1994, who among you missed his lunch because of the coup? In fact, July 22, 1994, our coup d’etat was more peaceful than any general election that was held in this country. When we came, we told you that we were soldiers with a difference. We were not power hungry, greedy soldiers that are looking for wealth and power to subjugate Gambians. We were development hungry. We want this country to move forward and be a beacon of hope for all of Africa, because what is happening in Africa is a sad story” (Jammeh, 2006).

How long did he want to rule:

“On the final day of campaigning, President Yahya Jammeh vowed to rule for the next 40 years. Mr. Jammeh, who seized power in 1994 as a 29-year-old army lieutenant and went on to win elections in 1996 and 2001, told supporters that he ruled through God and that ”no coup d’?t or elections can remove me.” He faces two challengers but warned at the rally in Serekunda, east of the capital, Banju, ”I will develop the areas that vote for me, but if you don’t vote for me, don’t expect anything.” (NYT, 2009).

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So the man who conceded did the phone-call in December 2016 and then went back on it. Therefore we know today that the President-Elect of Gambia is exile, because of one totalitarian leader didn’t want to stepdown or give way to new leadership in the Republic. As he said in 2009 before another election he proclaimed that no election could beat him. Certainly the recent did, as even the Electoral Commission did rig the tally, which must hurt the pride of the former soldier and lieutenant. He will not bow down to pressure, even the ECOWAS and African Union haven’t sanctioned anything of pressure, have made some arrangements and mediation, but not substantial. That with the knowledge that the man all of sudden didn’t want to step down and become an President Emeritus, instead now he is yet another lingering President in power.

Adama Barrow is the one that is supposed to rule, but Yahya Jammeh isn’t supposed to reign anymore. His time is up, his time in the executive and in power. Therefore now that the President-Elect is now in exile and will be there until Jammeh leaves. By my reckoning will not be quickly or swift. He will linger until somebody coup d’état him now. Since he isn’t stepping down for the one who won the Presidential Election in 2016! Peace.

Reference:

French, Howard W. – ‘In Gambia, New Coup Follows Old Pattern’ (28.08.1994) link: http://www.nytimes.com/1994/08/28/world/in-gambia-new-coup-follows-old-pattern.html

Jammeh, Yahya – ‘PRESIDENT JAMMEH’S ADDRESS ON THE 10,000 MAN MARCH’ (15.04.2006) link: http://qanet.gm/statehouse/peace-march_address_150406.htm

The New York Times (NYT) – ‘World Briefing | Africa: Gambia: Leader Vows To Rule For Next 40 Years’ (22.09.2009) link: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9B00EEDF1E31F931A1575AC0A9609C8B63&rref=collection%2Ftimestopic%2FJammeh%2C%20Yahya&action=click&contentCollection=timestopics&region=stream&module=stream_unit&version=latest&contentPlacement=14&pgtype=collection

Reid, Stuart A. – ‘’Let’s Go Take Back Our Country’ (28.03.2016) link: http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2016/03/lets-take-back-our-country/426852/

Serieys, Jaques – ‘Gambie : Yahya Jammeh au pouvoir par un coup d’état militaire’ (02.01.2017) link: http://www.gauchemip.org/spip.php?article23135