• JUST IN: ADAMA BARROW flies out of GAMBIA as JAMMEH refuses to leave

    14/Jan/2017 // 1569 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 14, 2017: (DGW)   As the political imbroglio continues with the longstanding ruler, President Yahya Jammeh, holding on to the reins of power, the presidential poll winner, and President-elect Adama Barrow, has reportedly flown out of the country  late Friday to meet west African leaders attending a summit in Bamako with hopes of ending the country’s political crisis, Nigeria’s foreign minister said.

    According to The Independent Uganda, “The ECOWAS team has decided to depart Banjul tonight in the company of president-elect Barrow headed for Bamako, Mali,” Geoffrey Onyeama told journalists following crisis talks with Barrow and President Yahya Jammeh, who is refusing to leave power.

    The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), a 15-nation bloc, has repeatedly called on Jammeh to respect the result of the December 1 election that delivered Barrow to victory and step down after 22 years in power.

    A three-nation delegation led by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari landed in Banjul Friday for a second attempt at getting Jammeh to leave, five days before the Gambian strongman’s mandate expires.

    Onyeama expressed the bloc’s “determination to find a peaceful solution that accords with the Constitution of the Gambia and also reflects the will of the Gambian people.”

    This, he said, would be best served by Barrow meeting representatives from all ECOWAS member nations.

    West African heads of state are gathered in Bamako for the Africa-France summit which resumes Saturday.



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  • JAMMEH'S party seeks court injunction to block BARROW’s inauguration

    14/Jan/2017 // 768 Viewers

     

    The political party of Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh filed a request yesterday with the Supreme Court for an injunction blocking the swearing in of his rival and president-elect, Adama Barrow, according to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN).

    Barrow’s party has said the President would be honoured as a former head of state if he stepped down and suggested he might not face trial for alleged crimes during his 22 years in power.

    In an apparent bid to ease increasing tensions in the country by persuading Jammeh to step aside, a senior member of Barrow’s coalition, Mai Ahmad Fatty, said Jammeh would be entitled to the usual benefits afforded past heads of state, including an office of his choice, bodyguards and luxury vehicles.

    “We want to give him all the privileges of a former head of state,” Fatty said late on Thursday, adding that the party would like Jammeh to be someone it could call on for counsel.
    Barrow told the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) yesterday: “We want to keep Jammeh in the Gambia. I don’t think there is any need for him to go to another country.”

    Jammeh lost in last month’s presidential election, but has refused to accept defeat, despite earlier conceding defeat and congratulating Barrow on his victory.

    The question of whether the West African country would inaugurate Barrow as president is seen as a test case for African democracy and regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which has set up a committee to persuade Jammeh and ensure smooth transition in the country.

    Barrow, who is backed by the international community, has said he would go ahead with his inauguration on January 19, despite Jammeh’s rejection of the result.

    Supreme Court Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle confirmed receipt of the petition filed by Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), saying: “It is filed today with the court registrar.”

    But he did not say when a decision on the petition might be made.

    Aziz Bensouda, Secretary General of the Gambia Bar Association, said an injunction would be unconstitutional, adding: “The inauguration of the president-elect should be held when Jammeh’s term officially ends. The court does not have any mandate to put an inauguration on hold.”

    According to Reuters, Fatty said the opposition was not pursuing legal action against Jammeh, whose rule has been marred by the imprisonment and torture of opponents, despite calls for his immediate prosecution once Barrow takes over.

    “If there are any crimes against Jammeh, we cannot say so, because the crimes must be proven in a court of law. But at the moment, we are not talking about that,” he said.

    The election defeat of Jammeh, a former coup leader, after 22 years of increasingly authoritarian rule was celebrated across the tiny West African nation.

    The APRC had earlier challenged the poll results, but the Supreme Court was unable to hear the petition due to lack of enough Judges to hear the matter, making Fagbenle to adjourn the hearing until January 16.

    The Supreme Court, which rights campaigners say is heavily influenced by Jammeh, has not sat in over a year.

    Two chief justices have been dismissed since 2013 and one of them was jailed.

    The court hired four foreign Judges from Nigeria and Sierra Leone to hear Jammeh’s appeal, but it was not clear whether or when they would arrive the country.

    ECOWAS has sought to negotiate Jammeh’s peaceful departure and President Muhammadu Buhari is leading a mediation mission to Gambia this weekend.

    The House of Representatives has approved a motion to authorise an offer of asylum to Jammeh if he steps down.

    ECOWAS has also hinted at possible military action if he stays beyond the end of his term in office next week, raising the prospect of violence.
    The U.S. Department of State, which has already advised against travel to Gambia, warned American citizens to avoid the capital, Banjul’s, city centre, with Embassy staff required to be off the streets by 6 p.m. until further notice.

    Jammeh’s predecessor, Dawda Jawara, fled the country when he was deposed in a bloodless coup and lived in exile until Jammeh granted him amnesty in 2001.


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  • JUST IN: Heavy tension in West African sub-region as UN envoy reveals final plan to battle JAMMEH

    14/Jan/2017 // 12060 Viewers

     

    The 15-nation ECOWAS West African bloc will ask the UN Security Council to approve the deployment of troops to the Gambia if its longtime leader Yahya Jammeh refuses to step down, a UN envoy said Friday.

    Mohamed Ibn Chambas said a delegation of ECOWAS leaders to Banjul were to make clear to Jammeh that they were prepared to use force to ensure a handover of power to president-elect Adama Barrow.

    “They plan to leave no doubt about the determination of ECOWAS to use all necessary means, including force, to have the will of the Gambian people upheld,” Chambas told the Security Council.

    “Should this be deemed necessary, ECOWAS intends to seek the endorsement of the AU Peace and Security Commission and the formal approval of this council to deploy troops to the Gambia,” he added.

    The Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) has repeatedly called on Jammeh to respect the result of the December 1 election and step down after 22 years in power.

    The African Union has said it will no longer recognize Jammeh as head of state as of January 19.

    The ECOWAS delegation, led by Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, flew out of Banjul late Friday with Barrow and was to hold talks with other regional leaders in Mali.

    The council last month demanded in a unanimous statement that Jammeh recognize the outcome of the election and transfer power to Barrow.


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  • Again, BUHARI humiliated in BANJUL as JAMMEH refuses, BUHARI departs for Mali

    14/Jan/2017 // 13529 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 14, 2017: (DGW) PRESIDENT Muhammadu Buhari, the appointed mediator between Gambia's presidential poll winner Adam Barrow and outgoing President Yahya Jammeh reportedly flew out of the Gambia after efforts to reach deal with Jammeh hit the stone wall.

    According to fresh reports, a  defiant Jammeh curtly told Buhari that Gambia as a sovereign nation has its own laws and it's high time he stopped meddling in its internal affairs.

    Nigeria's foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama disclosed this to journalists after the meeting with President Jammeh on Saturday in Banjul.

    Gambia's long-standing ruler has refused to step aside after losing the presidential poll held in December last year where Adama Barrow defeated him to emerge winner.

    According to Geoffery Onyeama, “The ECOWAS team has decided to depart Banjul for Bamako, Mali, tonight in the company of President-elect Barrow''.

    Also to attend the 27th Africa-France summit with leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is Adama Barrow in their bid to prevent the political crisis brewing up in Gambia.

    The African Union (AU) has told Jammeh that it will cease to recognize him as the nation’s legitimate president from January 19 after the AU's peace and security council declaration in Addis Ababa, the Ethiopian capital and warned of  “serious consequences in the event that his action causes any crisis that could lead to political disorder, humanitarian and human rights disaster, including loss of innocent lives and destruction of properties”.



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  • Hunting Down Journalists in Gambia

    14/Mar/2016 // 325 Viewers

    By Philip Obaji Jr

    Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay is the latest journalist imprisoned and tortured by the Gambian government. Another has languished in state security’s black hole for a decade.

    First, Alagie Abdoulie Ceesay was bundled into a car by two men thought to be officers from the West African nation's feared National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and then moved between various locations while blindfolded. At the time no one knew exactly what crime he was supposed to have committed.  
    The incident on July 2, 2015 was condemned by a number of human rights groups who argued that the prolonged detention of Ceesay was an infringement of his constitutional right not to be detained beyond 72 hours. The journalist went missing for 11 days, and when he resurfaced on July 13, they were reports that he had bandages plastered on his forehead and neck.
    He had been tortured while in detention. A person who saw him after his release from the NIA told Human Rights Watch that Ceesay was “beaten until he fell unconscious and was forced to drink cooking oil like water on several occasions.”

    “We saw him, his face full of bruises and his back covered in marks and wounds. He could not walk properly because of the beatings,” the witness said.
    But that wasn’t the end of Ceesay’s ordeal. Four days later, on July 17, Ceesay—who is the managing director of the independent radio station Taranga FM—was rearrested and detained at the NIA headquarters. His crime, according to the NIA, was that he privately shared by phone a picture in which a gun was pointed toward a photograph of President Yahya Jammeh.
    Ceesay is well known in Gambia. His station, Taranga FM, which translates news from international media and local newspapers into local languages,  has been shut down three times in under five years by authorities and its staff have been interrogated several times at the NIA in relation to their work.
    Taranga FM was ordered off the air by Gambian authorities from January 1 to 4, 2015. Ceesay was arrested and questioned.
    The government gave no explanation for the clampdown, but it followed a failed coup attempt the previous month against President Jammeh, who has held onto power since a coup in 1994 and often targeted journalists and media organizations critical of his leadership. When Taranga FM was allowed back on air, it was ordered to play only music.
    Ceesay has faced difficult times since his most recent arrest. He was taken before the High Court on August 25 and charged with six counts of sedition and publication of false news with intent to cause fear and alarm among the public.
    The journalist was also facing the same charge at the lower Banjul Magistrates’ Court, but the court last October withdrew the charges against him, saying that he should not face the same charges in two separate courts, leaving him to continue to face trial on the same charges in the higher court.
    The NIA denied him visits from his family until the day of his arraignment in August, and then he was denied bail in a hearing on September 17, 2015. Last month, Ceesay was denied bail by the court for the fourth time.
    He is currently held at the notorious Mile 2 prison located on the outskirts of the capital, Banjul. Its mosquito-plagued cells are a common destination for critics of Jammeh’s brutal policies.
    At first, family members were allowed visits to Ceesay at Mile 2, until a hearing last November, when prison authorities—without giving any reason—told them they would not be allowed to visit again.
    Gambian authorities have a reputation for stifling the media. Dozens of journalists have fled Gambia in the last two decades and a number of reporters have been targeted.
    In June 2014, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) Court of Justice ruled that the Gambian government had failed to conduct a meaningful investigation into the murder 10 years earlier of respected journalist, Deyda Hydara.

    Hydara—who was the editor of the daily newapaperThe Point, and president of the Gambia Press Union—was killed by unidentified gunmen on his way home from work on December 16, 2004. He was an outspoken government critic and had received multiple death threats in the months leading up to his death.
    Suspicion of this murder fell on Jammeh's government, prompting a huge public outcry, but allegations against his officials weren’t seriously pursued and the murder remains unsolved.
    The Nigeria-based ECOWAS court also noted that the Gambian government had fostered a climate of impunity in the cases of two other journalists apparently abused by state security: "Chief" Ebrima Manneh and Musa Saidykhan.
    Manneh, a journalist for Daily Observer, a pro-government newspaper, was arrested for unclear reasons in July 2006 by men believed to be state security agents. Ten years on, Gambian authorities have deliberately not disclosed his whereabouts or legal status.
    Saidykhan, who worked as editor-in-chief of the now-banned The Independent, a private bi-weekly newspaper, was detained without charge by NIA agents for 22 days in 2006.
    He said he was tortured during his detention and filed a lawsuit in the ECOWAS court demanding compensation for illegal detention and torture. The court ruled in his favor, but the order to pay $200,000 as compensation to him is yet to be implemented by the Gambian government. He currently lives in exile.
    Ceesay, languishing in Mile 2, has yet to get any legal reprieve and his health has been deteriorating since the beginning of 2016. On January 13, he was admitted in hospital after complaining for weeks about stomach pains and difficulties in sleeping. He was then diagnosed with an enlarged liver and pain medication was prescribed for him. On February 29, he was readmitted to the same hospital for an asthma attack and returned to prison the next day.
    The journalist’s deteriorating health may be connected to poor diet at Mile 2. A Gambian journalist who has visited the facility tells The Daily Beast that inmates often are fed with cornmeal full of sand and water.
    “You can even see the sand in the food,” said the journalist, who did not want to be named for fear he would be put on the government’s hit list. “Unfortunately they can’t reject the food because there’s no other source of feeding. Even your family members can’t bring you food.”
    International rights organizations, who have consistently protested Ceesay’s arrest, last week urged Gambia's government to free the ailing journalist and drop all charges against him.
    “Alhagie Ceesay should not have been locked up in the first place,” said Corinne Dufka, West Africa director at Human Rights Watch (HRW). “The deterioration in his health only underscores the urgent need to release him.”
    HRW has asked that Gambia amend “several draconian laws that give authorities sweeping powers to arrest and detain critics and violate international and regional standards on the right to freedom of expression.”

    The organization said 78 out of the 171 recommendations at the UN’s Universal Periodic Review of human rights conditions were rejected by Gambia in April 2015. Removing restrictions on freedom of expression was one of the recommendations the West African nation rejected.
    “The use of archaic sedition laws to harass and lock up critics is a serious violation of the right to freedom of expression,” said Stephen Cockburn, Amnesty International’s deputy regional director for West and Central Africa. “Alagie Ceesay’s case is a further example of Gambia’s blatant disregard for freedom of the press, and he should be released immediately and unconditionally.”

    Philip Obaji Jr wrote from Warri, Nigeria.


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  • Botched Coup To Overthrow Jammeh: 4 Americans bag jail terms

    14/May/2016 // 1978 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 13, 2016: (DGW)- FOUR American citizens namely Papa Faal, Alagie Barrow, Cherno Njie and US-based Gambia social activist Banka Manneh have been convicted and sentenced to various terms in prison by a Minnesota judge for violating the Neutrality Act first time in 35 years for attempting to overthrow the government of President yahya Jammeh.

    The attempt to depose the Gambian strongman occurred on December 30, 2014 which the Minnesota judge saw as a none other than a violation of the Neutrality Act of 1974.

    The provisions of this Act forbids the United States from taking military action against friendly nations. 

    The convicted coup plotters  namely Papa Faal, Alagie Barrow and Cherno Njie have been sentenced to prison for illegal possession of firearms to commit a violent crime.

    Against the maximum penalties of 20 years in prison earlier faced by the coup plotters  Barrow is to spend the next six  and three years probation. Cherno Njie bagged one year and one day with three years probation while the third convict Faal was sentenced to time served over the last year. 

    Banka Manneh, US-based Gambian activist also  as an accessory after the fact of treason was also charged with violating the Neutrality Act although via conference calls and exchanging planning document geared towards violently overthrowing the government through ''extra-constitutional means''


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  • JUST IN: President Buhari furious, hosts ECOWAS leaders in Abuja to unseat JAMMEH

    15/Dec/2016 // 7276 Viewers

     

    President Muhammadu Buhari will on Saturday host leaders of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to a meeting in Abuja in continuation of talks on the current electoral impasse in The Gambia The Joint ECOWASAU- UN team, made up of President Buhari, President Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia (current Chairperson of ECOWAS), President Ernest Bai Koroma of Sierra Leone, outgoing President John Mahama of Ghana, and Dr Mohammed Ibn Chambas, (UN Special Representative for West Africa) met with Yahaya Jammeh on Tuesday.

    A source privy to the planned Abuja talks exclusively told DailyGlobeWatch in Abuja, Nigeria's capital city that many options would be considered in the meeting including the  use of military force to oust President Jammeh from office.

    Buhari's experience as a former military officer who rose to the post of a General in the Nigerian Army would help in this regard , one of the reasons why the meeting would be convened in Abuja, our source further revealed

    The team encouraged Jammeh to reconsider his rejection of the election results citing “tallying errors” and his call for new elections. Jammeh was also urged to hand over power “within constitutional deadlines, and in accordance with electoral laws of The Gambia.”

    “The coalition of seven political parties that produced Adama Barrow, President-elect of The Gambia, looks earnestly up to President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria to deploy his vast experience, alongside other African leaders, to resolve the political logjam in the tiny West African country.”


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  • JUST IN: Tension in The Gambia as UN finally reads JAMMEH the RIOT ACT on Thursday, reveals 'ACTION PLAN'

    15/Dec/2016 // 11098 Viewers

     

    PARIS, DECEMBER 15, 2016: (DGW) THE United Nations has finally taken a hard stance on outgoing President Jammeh of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia by reading him the Riot Act.

    This was disclosed on Thursday by the United Nations representative for West Africa, Mohammed Ibn Chambas. He said that the UN position on Jammeh is clear and would never change. President Jammeh, he said, would cease to be the President of The Gambia in January when his current term ends in January and under no circumstances or guise would he be allowed to remain in power.

     Recall, Mr. Jammeh rode to power in 1994 via a coup d'etat and has remained in power ever since until early December this year when he narrowly lost to his opponent, Mr. Adama Barrow.
    He initially agreed to hand over power but last week had a change of heart, saying the poll was not credible. His party is now challenging the outcome in Gambia's Supreme Court.

    Action Plan:

    UN envoy Mohammed Ibn Chambas warned the President would be strongly sanctioned if he clings to power.

    "For Mr Jammeh, the end is here and under no circumstances can he continue to be President," he said.

    "By that time, his mandate is up and he will be required to hand over to Mr Barrow."

     


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  • GAMBIA: UK, Commonwealth break silence on decision by ADAMA BARROW to return GAMBIA to the Commonwealth

    15/Feb/2017 // 3224 Viewers

     

    PARIS, FEBRUARY 14, 2017:(DGW) The UK has broken silence on the return of The Gambia to the Commonwealth of Nations after former country's long-standing ruler, Yahya Jammeh, pulled the country out of the organization about three years ago.

    British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson, who is in The Gambia, said he is his country is very pleased at the decision of the West African state to rejoin the Commonwealth.

    Recall, Mr. Jammeh pulled the country of the Commonwealth in 2013 to be precise after labeling the Commonwealth a neo-colonial institution.

    However speaking in Banjul before departing for UK Mr Johnson said reportedly said: "We will ensure this happens in the coming months.
    "The strength of our partnerships show that Global Britain is growing in influence and activity around the world."

    Reacting also was the Commonwealth secretariat which said it welcomed the news adding that the process of rejoining the union must meet the agreement of the 52 member states and their head of governments.

    According to the Commonwealth spokesman, "When The Gambia left the Commonwealth in 2013, the heads of government... noted its decision with regret. We looked forward to the country's eventual return because it was part of our very close knit family and our doors have always remained open."


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  • JUST IN: JAMMEH battle ready as ECOWAS briefs UN office, ready to enforce presidential poll results, swears in BARROW on JANUARY 19

    15/Jan/2017 // 4401 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 15, 2016: (DGW) REPORTS reaching our news desk tonight here in the French capital of Paris say all is now set to enforce the results of the presidential poll held on December 1, 2016 won by Adama Barrow.

    This was contained in a statement by Mohamed Chambas Head of UNOWAS,  while briefing the UN Security Council on the political and security situation in the region.

    According to the report, ''ECOWAS has decided to take all necessary actions to enforce the results of the Dec. 1, 2016 presidential election in the Gambia.''


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