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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

Opinion: Polarization will be the key protocol to follow in 2017!

History Immigration

No matter if it is local politics, if it international or trade, the most important backbone to policies in the next year will be polarization. That is not Polar Bears dancing on the dwindling ice, if so the U.S. TV station would have better ratings. No, this is the importance of local and national industries, while stressing ignorance towards immigration and imports to add more GDP value and also stop inflation. A balance that is hard to carry as the trust in local currency and local production doesn’t change overnight. That has to happen with steady policies and ability to trade products and create market for the ones that we’re in the past produced far away.

Definition of polarization

1:  the action of polarizing or state of being or becoming polarized: as

a (1) :  the action or process of affecting radiation and especially light so that the vibrations of the wave assume a definite form (2) :  the state of radiation affected by this process

b :  an increase in the resistance of an electrolytic cell often caused by the deposition of gas on one or both electrodes” (…) “2 a :  division into two opposites b :  concentration about opposing extremes of groups or interests formerly ranged on a continuum” (Merriam-Webster – Polarization, link: https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/polarization).

We are dividing ourselves while the world is into more conflicts that need assistance and securities to secure peace. There internal conflicts in Burundi, Democratic Republic of Congo, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somalia, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria. Where the conflict is bloody, where people are detained for the political affiliation, where innocent dies in the streets and where guns are imported to silence the ones who is not succumbing to the regimes who hold power.

We are living in a time where opposition victors doesn’t get into power, because the leaders of old are not allowing and keeping power by the gun, are using the police force and army to monitor the opposition and even rigs the election to secure the “validation” of their rule. This has happen in many Republics and Nations this year and proves that progress of governance and accountability is dying, like innocence and justice is impartial and only for the elites. The rest of us just have to be lucky to see just systems and laws for the common folk.

Like Adama Barrow is the President-Elect in Gambia, Jean Ping should have become the President in Gabon, Dr. Kizza Besigye in Uganda and Moise Katumbi should have risen to power in DRC if there we’re any justice and transition of Power in the Republic. But the big-man and long ruling Presidents of these nations doesn’t give-in or leave office. They continue to stay without any fear or without any mercy as the monarchs they acts of. Instead keep polarising the political elites and societies with paying the elites and silencing the ones who stand in their path. Also, by forging alliances with nations to make sure justice doesn’t prevail in their path.

While these tragedies are appearing in front of our eyes in our times, the borders and the helping hands are not appearing, the funds and allocations of necessary funds to the refugee camps, the direct food aid and agents of humanitarian actions are not sufficient. The reality of these missing steps should boggle our mind and should freeze our hearts out, as the news of burning convoys into Aleppo, lack of food into refugee camps in Adjumani in Uganda and the lacking rations of food in refugee camps in Tanzania. These should all be a reminder of the fate we have put our world in. The steps of lost grace and mercy on the weakest of humanity, where hospitals and humanitarians are put in the lines of bullets and grenades in between the battlefield as the soldiers fight for keeping merciless tyrants to stay in power.

While the superpowers are claiming the fight for justice, the innocent dies, the towns are battlefields and turns into dust, the graves are not cleared and the lives are lost in vain. This while UN cannot impose arms-embargoes or create a possible cease-fire to get civilians into safety, this while Italian and Greece authorities are working and trying to find ways to impose fleeing civilians on Turkey, because the rich European states fears that fleeing civilians could be terrorists. The humanity and just behaviour is dying while the states are flogging their responsibility to the ones in need.

We can question ourselves if this is right, if we can sleep knowing the indebtedness we have in riches. In the time of peace in our states, where we have possible houses and shelter for the ones fleeing possible genocides and acts against humanity; Europe impose stricter rules on immigration and Brexit proves the fear of Polish and other ethnic groups as they want to secure their borders as key argument to stop being an EU Member State.

We can wonder why the world has come to this that polarization of between ourselves the ones who see the innocent die and the ones who want to keep their own by any means. That the own nationals are going against each other and seeing it as only fit, instead of thinking for instance for a hot minute, what if the war came to our shores and to our homes, wouldn’t we flee? Wouldn’t we do what we could to leave our wealth, our riches to save our own?

Why shouldn’t the Syrians and all other who are in conflicts leave grenades, tanks and bombs, would we live on the streets with daily shooting and killing if we had an option to flee? Would we stay and risk everyday our lives to get a loaf of bread? I doubt that. We would travel to safety and to places where we could resettle and rehash the future of ourselves and our kids. If not we would be risking ourselves and the future of our kin. That is because it’s natural.

Still, the Europeans and citizens of fellow states don’t see it this way with fear-mongering politics and internal polarization of demagoguery, which is out of proportion. This will continue as these conflicts leads to more hurt and damage of lives, where more shelter and more merciless killings to stay in power, where more rigging of elections and more police-states are controlling the civil society. Where the states are more totalitarian and the power controlled by a little elite, while the average citizens are struggling, they will seek fortunes other places instead of in their birth-nations. Just as we would do if our destiny we’re in the limbo, if our homes were shacks and our sockets could electrocute us.

So the world of 2017, will be inflicted with the unfinished business of past, like all years has been, with as much uncertainty as the start of 2016, but with new issues and new struggles, with new people behind bars because of political affiliation, more families lost loved ones because of demonstrations, more people fleeing as the machetes and burning villages for land-grabbing, foreign investors taking land while locals cannot get deeds, as the central government are getting needed funds to supply the army with equipment and salaries, civil servants are left behind with reunification and it is happening so many places. Nobody confess nobody impose on it or even sanction this. We should question the economic challenges and the way they allocate funds, especially when many of these states get based government loans from the IMF and World Bank to basically could function; together with the reasonable taxation they can be able get from their citizens.

We shouldn’t silent on the merciless acts of men, we shouldn’t be ignorant of the world of oppression and fear, as the grand masters of our times are destroying and depleting lands for fortunes, as the multi-national companies see only profits and not see the populations they are forcing into unjust working conditions to trade resources into high profits abroad. These acts shouldn’t be forgotten, as industries and the trade are made for the international companies to gain and not all locals, therefore the polarization are created in these, create more havoc and even more injustice, as the unfair world we live in doesn’t give hands to ones in need. The rich can get it all, while the poor is lucky if they have enough for a jerry-can to buy water. That isn’t justice, that isn’t right when others are only drinking imported expensive French Water.         

We should questions the systems and revise them for more balanced between the rich and poor, for more functioning United Nations, for more diplomatic efforts and for stronger laws that cannot make Presidents into Emperors! The reality is that 2017 will start where 2016 and that is not in positive looks into the future, because the powers we have, the armies and police are targeting fellow citizens who deserves better. We all deserve better and we all should know better. Peace.

Gambian leaders must ensure peaceful transfer of power to President-elect, says Security Council (22.12.2016)

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“The Security Council reiterates its request to outgoing President Jammeh and the relevant Gambian Authorities to fully respect the results of the presidential election of 1 December 2016”.

NEW YORK, United States of America, December 22, 2016 – Welcoming the African Union’s decision to recognize Adama Barrow as President-Elect of Gambia, the United Nations Security Council reiterated its call on outgoing President Yayha Jammeh to transfer power to the President-Elect in peaceful and orderly manner.

“The Security Council reiterates its request to outgoing President Jammeh and the relevant Gambian Authorities to fully respect the results of the presidential election of 1 December 2016, to respect the will of the Gambian people and to carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process, and to transfer power to President-elect Adama Barrow by 19 January 2017 in accordance with the Gambian constitution,” said a Presidential Statement read out at a formal meeting of the 15-member body today.

“[The Council] further welcomes the decision of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Heads of State to attend the 19 January inauguration of President-elect Barrow in Banjul (Gambia’s capital),” it added.

In the statement, the Council also underlined the need to ensure the security of President-elect Barrow and that of all Gambians, and called on the country’s defence and security forces to demonstrate maximum restraint and maintain an atmosphere of calm in Banjul.

Further, commending ECOWAS efforts aimed at diffusing the situation in the west African country, the Council welcomed the appointment of Muhammadu Buhari, President of Nigeria as the Mediator in Gambia and that of John Dramani Mahama, President of Ghana as Co-chair.

Last week, an ECOWAS/UN high level delegation, led by the President of the Liberia and Chairperson of the ECOWAS Authority, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, visited Banjul and undertook discussions aimed at ensuring a peaceful and orderly transition.

Senior UN officials, including Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon and High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hussein have spoken out on the situation in Gambia, urging outgoing President Jammeh to respect the outcome of the results and to transfer power to the incoming President.

Joint Communique on the occasion of the state visit to Kenya by H.E. John Dramani Mahama, President of the Republic of Ghana – 11th to 14th December, 2014.

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UK & U.S., CSO’s and Multilateral Organizations statements and press releases on the events in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

If you haven’t heard what has happen in Burkina Faso. If so, then these pieces will give you some notion on what has happen in Burkina Faso and also how it’s been and also what has happen in the last 48 hours.

Ban Ki-Moon statement:

“The Secretary-General is following with great concern the deteriorating security situation in Burkina Faso.  He calls on all parties to end the use of violence, exercise calm and restraint and use dialogue to resolve all outstanding issues”(…)”The Secretary-General is saddened over the loss of life resulting from recent events.  He has requested his Special Representative for West Africa, Mohammed ibn Chambas, to visit Burkina Faso tomorrow and welcomes that this mission will be undertaken jointly with the African Union and ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States]” (UN, 30.10.2014).

AU:

“Addis Ababa, 30 October 2014: The Chairperson of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, has expressed deep concern about the unfolding situation in Burkina Faso and is following its evolution very closely. She has called for calm and utmost restraint from all the parties concerned” (…)”has urgently dispatched a High-Level Team that will form part of a Joint Delegation comprising the AU, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations (UN) to Burkina Faso to consult with all the Burkinabe stakeholders. In this regard, the Chairperson appeals to the Burkinabe authorities to facilitate the visit of the Joint Delegation” (…)”assures the people of Burkina Faso of the unflinching support of the AU, as they look for political solutions to the current difficulties facing their country” (AU, 30.10.2014)

U.S:

“The United States welcomes President Compaore’s decision to withdraw a National Assembly bill which would have amended the constitution and allowed him to run for an additional term of office. We also welcome his decision to form a government of national unity to prepare for national elections and to transfer power to a democratically elected successor. We look forward to that transition taking place in 2015. We regret the violence and the loss of life today in Burkina Faso, and call on all parties to avoid further violence. We underscore our commitment to peaceful transitions of power through democratic elections and emphasize neither side should attempt to change the situation through extra-constitutional means” (Psaki, 30.10.2014).

EU:

“We are following very closely the ongoing events in Burkina Faso. The European Union is very concerned about the current situation, with reports on casualties following the violent demonstrations that took place today. Now that the law proposal on the revision of the

Constitution has been withdrawn, the European Union calls upon all parties to refrain from the use of violence and engage rapidly in a constructive dialogue. The European Union stands ready to step in to facilitate this process” (EU, 30.10.2014)

WANEP:

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Amnesty:

“Authorities in Burkina Faso must rein in security forces that have used excessive force to crack down on peaceful anti-government protests, Amnesty International said today” (…)”he use of excessive force to crack down on peaceful protesters is unacceptable and the transition authorities must act urgently to rein in security forces,” said Gaëtan Mootoo, Amnesty International’s Researcher for West Africa” (…)”It is crucial that those responsible for the killings and beatings of protesters, journalists and other civilians are identified and held accountable. Officials at the highest level should publicly make it clear that excessive use of force will not be tolerated,” said Gaëtan Mootoo” (…)”People took to the streets of Ouagadougou and other cities yesterday to protest against an attempt by President Blaise Compaore – who has since resigned – to amend the constitution to extend his long stay in power” (…)”They began beating them with cords, then they shot live bullets. I saw three protesters fall down in front of me. One protestor was shot dead. I was able to take a photo showing the bullets that killed him when he was shot in the chest,” he said” (…)”Protesters should not be detained and charged for peacefully exercising their right to freedom of expression and assembly, as guaranteed by the constitution and international and regional treaties ratified by Burkina Faso” (31.10.2014, Amnesty).

ACHPR:

“The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (the African Commission) is closely monitoring the political and human rights situation in Burkina Faso, in particular since the first demonstration that took place on Tuesday, 28 October 2014 to protest against the bill to amend the Constitution” (…)”is concerned about the worsening political crisis and its disastrous consequences for the stability of the country” (…)”is deeply concerned about the acts of violence and vandalism which led to the burning of the National Assembly building and destruction of the property of the national television station leading to an end to its broadcasting activities”(…)”is concerned about the death of several people during clashes between the population and security forces”(…)”is concerned that the violence is inconsistent with the ideals of democracy which is the goal of the demonstrations”(…)”The African Commission strongly condemns the violence and urgently appeals for a return to calm and a restoration of order. The African Commission reiterates the need for all the parties concerned to work towards restoring peace and security, and calls on the political stakeholders to engage in dialogue towards maintaining stability in the country. The African Commission seizes this opportunity to urge all the parties to comply with the principles of international humanitarian law and to respect and protect the human rights of all persons in Burkina Faso” (ACHPR, 31.10.2014).

ECOWAS:

“Has followed with grave attention the events unfolding in Burkina Faso and the tension around the process leading to the consideration of the draft bill on constitutional amendment” (…)”takes note of the decision by the government to withdraw the passing of this draft bill” (…)”To this end, it reiterates the need for compliance with the principle of democracy and constitutional governance as stipulated in the ECOWAS protocol on democracy and good governance” (…)”ECOWAS calls on all the people to remain calm and law abiding, and the security forces to respect and act in accordance with the constitution of the Republic. It also calls on all the parties involved, notably the entire political class to embrace dialogue with a view to arriving at a political consensus that will lead to free, fair and credible election consistent with constitutional provisions. ECOWAS, in line with its principle, will not recognize any ascension to power through non-constitutional means” (…)”H.E. John Dramani Mahama, Chairman of the Authority of Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS” (31.10.2014, ECOWAS).

UK:

Tobias Ellwood the Minister for Africa said: “We are deeply concerned by the violence which has taken place in Ouagadougou, seemingly as a result of government plans to amend the Constitution of Burkina Faso so that the incumbent President can seek another term after 27 years in office” (…)”The UK reiterates its support for the African Union Charter and for peaceful and democratic transfers of power. We urge all parties to exercise restraint, to adhere to non-violence and to return to dialogue to resolve this issue” (31.10.2014, UK).

Links:

ACHPR – ‘Press Release on the Deterioration of the Political and Human Rights Situation in Burkina Faso’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://www.achpr.org/press/2014/10/d232/

Amnesty – ‘Burkina Faso must end excessive use of force against protesters’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://reliefweb.int/report/burkina-faso/burkina-faso-must-end-excessive-use-force-against-protesters

AU – ‘AU deeply concerned by the unfolding situation in Burkina Faso’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://www.peaceau.org/en/article/au-deeply-concerned-by-the-unfolding-situation-in-burkina-faso#sthash.W4IGuW3n.Zo3a9RQY.dpuf

ECOWAS – ‘ECOWAS speaks on Burkina Faso’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://www.presidency.gov.gh/node/723

EU – ‘Statement by the Spokesperson on the situation in Burkina Faso’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://eeas.europa.eu/statements/docs/2014/141030_01_en.pdf

UN – Secretary-General: SG/SM/16298-AFR/3002 -‘Saddened by Recent Deaths in Burkina Faso, Secretary-General Calls for Restraint, End of Violence’ (30.10.2014) Link:  http://www.un.org/press/en/2014/sgsm16298.doc.htm

UK – ‘UK concerned by violence in Burkina Faso’ (31.10.2014) Link: http://www.wired-gov.net/wg/news.nsf/articles/UK+concerned+by+violence+in+Burkina+Faso+31102014141530?open

U.S – Jon Psaki: ‘Welcoming President Compaore’s Commitment to a Democratic Transition’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://www.state.gov/r/pa/prs/ps/2014/10/233567.htm

WANEP – ‘PRESS RELEASE ON POLITICAL SITUATION IN BURKINA FASO’ (30.10.2014) Link: http://www.wanep.org/wanep/files/2014/oct/pr_2014_oct30_burkina_faso.pdf

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