• Heavy SANCTIONS on JAMMEH begins as UN 'cancels Gambia army chief visit' - BBC reports

    16/Dec/2016 // 12255 Viewers

             Gen Badjie has been seen sporting a badge with a photo of Mr Jammeh

    A diplomatic source has told the BBC that the UN has cancelled the head of the Gambian army's visit to Gambian peacekeepers serving with the UN mission in the Darfur region of Sudan. 

    Gambian soldiers this week occupied the Gambian election commission's headquarters in an apparent show of loyalty to the outgoing president, Yahya Jammeh, who has reneged on his initial promise to accept the result of this month's election. 

    BBC World Service Africa editor James Copnall says that by cancelling General Ousman Badjie's visit to Sudan, the UN is putting pressure on the military to not side with President Jammeh and to allow the man announced as the winner, Adama Barrow, to be sworn in as president. 

    Mr Jammeh is believed to retain the support of key members of the security forces, apparently including Gen Badjie, who arrived at a meeting with West African leaders on Tuesday wearing a badge bearing Mr Jammeh's face.

    Human Rights Watch has urged the army not to launch a crackdown on the opposition and its supporters, saying the military must put human rights above loyalty to Mr Jammeh.

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  • JUST IN: JAMMEH under intense pressure as UN, US reiterate position on HIM, The Gambia (VIDEO)

    16/Dec/2016 // 4930 Viewers


    PARIS, DECEMBER 16, 2016: (DGW) As international pressure continues to mount, fresh reports reaching our Paris newsdesk from the United Nations top official in the West African subregion say outgoing President Jammeh would be frustrated out power if he fails to heed the voices of reason, respect the wishes of the Gambian people and peacefully step aside.

    The report further added that Jammeh-led government would be heavily sanctioned and no detail about the impending sanction on the tiny West African State was given.

    Earlier, the United States together with the UN had also asked the Gambian security forces to leave the capital city for the commission office which they reportedly seized on Tuesday this week.

    However, the Gambia's President-elect, Adama Barrow, has told the BBC he will declare himself president on 18 January despite incumbent Yahya Jammeh's rejection of the election result.

    He said his team was preparing for his inauguration and he urged Mr Jammeh to respect the will of the electorate.

    The election commission declared Mr Barrow winner of the 1 December poll.

    Mr Jammeh has launched court action to annul the result after initially accepting defeat.

    Watch video:

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  • JUST IN: UN team visits GAMBIA on POST-JAMMEH assessment

    16/Feb/2017 // 2501 Viewers


    A UN team led by officials from the Department of Political Affairs and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) arrived in The Gambia to assess post-Yahya Jammeh situation, following successful takeover of power by President Adama Barrow.

    Mr Farhan Haq, the Deputy Spokesperson for the UN Secretary-General, told UN correspondents at a news conference on Wednesday that the mission arrived the country on Tuesday.

    Haq said the UN team would “assess the situation with regard to peace and security and analyse the new government’s priorities going forward.

    “It will also assess governance and institutional capacities in the country and map out support strategies by international stakeholders engaging in peace-building.

    “The mission will identify areas of enhanced UN support to national authorities and
    civil society organisations.

    “The mission met today with President Barrow, after meeting with the vice-president, the Foreign Minister, the Country Team working in The Gambia, and representatives of the diplomatic community in the country,” Haq said.

    Jammeh, who was defeated in the country’s Dec. 1 presidential election by Barrow after 22 years in power, reneged on his concession of defeat and refused to peacefully handover to his successor.

    The former president only accepted to leave after a UN-backed mediation by ECOWAS and AU, which had UN Security Council mandate to use every possible way to remove him, broke a deal to avoid the use of force.

    Jammeh finally left Banjul on Jan. 21 for exile in Equatorial Guinea after a protracted political crisis in the country. (NAN)

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    16/Jan/2017 // 1186 Viewers


    It is three days to curtains call for Yahya Jammeh’s tenure as president of The Gambia, but he just doesn’t get the message his time is up. Seven weeks after he was defeated at the poll by opposition challenger, Adama Barrow, this title-tripping ruler insists on tossing off the electoral verdict, thumbs his nose at international opinion and digs his heels deeper into power. But his legitimacy is invariably terminating.

    By this week-out, he would have fully mitosised from the chief law-keeper of The Gambia to the chief outlaw. Unfortunately, his illicit and desperate hold on the levers of power would continue to stash up casualties.

    For the length of time that Jammeh manages to hold out in his political brigandage beyond the January 19 expiration of his tenure, The Gambia would inevitably be on the boil. Besides, his example is bad news for the culture of democracy – particularly in the West African sub-region, but also in all of Africa. He has to be kicked out soonest.

    It is a shame that Mr. Jammeh can’t muster sufficient literacy of mind to read the writing on the wall. Every straw he is clutching unto to justify his coup against electoral democracy isn’t serving his purpose. For instance, Jammeh said his country’s constitutional order is that only the Supreme Court could validly pronounce on who should be president, and he would thus not let go on power until such a pronouncement is made. Fact-check his assertion and you would find there is neither a constituted Supreme Court presently in The Gambia to render the important service Mr. Jammeh craves, nor is there any particular provision in the country’s Constitution to sustain his thesis.

    The Gambia’s Supreme Court that was billed to hear the petition brought by the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) against the outcome of the December 1 election, in which Barrow triumphed, could not sit as scheduled on January 10 because there were no justices. The country relies on foreign judges to staff its Supreme Court owing to lack of local skill, and Jammeh’s election challenge was slated to be heard by five judges, among them Chief Justice Emmanuel Fagbenle who is a Nigerian. But the judges drawn from Nigeria and Sierra Leone were absent last Tuesday. Fagbenle told Jammeh’s lawyers who were in court that he needed a full panel to hear the petition, and that the outsourced judges were unlikely to be available until either May or November. Put in other words, the awaited decision on the election challenge is effectively down in the long grass.

    Following that judicial false start, Jammeh returned to his country’s airwaves, requesting Gambians to await the Supreme Court verdict pending which he would not step down. Even though the Chief Justice had openly advised that mediation is the best way forward, he said his cabinet and the National Assembly would remain in place until the court decides on his petition so to ensure that the rule of law is upheld. “(Under the Constitution), only the Supreme Court can review our challenge, and only the Supreme Court can declare anyone president,” he added.

    I bothered to check The Gambia’s 1997 Constitution, and it is unclear with what specific provision Mr. Jammeh was making his case. Section 63 of that law stipulates the terms for an elected president’s tenure, including that the electee must assume office for five years after taking prescribed oaths. Sub-section 2 of the section states inter alia: “The person elected President shall assume office sixty days following the day of his or her election.” This, obviously, is the clause that confers Barrow with legitimacy as president from January 19.

    The constitutional provision for possible extension of a president’s tenure (in the present case, that of Jammeh) is in sub-section 6, which states: “Where the life of the National Assembly is extended for any period in accordance with section 99 (2), the term of office of the President shall be extended for the same period.” The referenced section 99 (2) stipulates: “At any time when The Gambia is at war or a state of emergency is declared, the National Assembly may, by resolution supported by the votes of not less than two-thirds of all the members, extend the life of the National Assembly for not more than three months at a time, but the life of the National Assembly shall not be extended under this subsection for more than a total period of one year.”

    But The Gambia could not be said to be at war or in emergency in the present case. In any event, the country’s National Assembly has made no resolution to such effect. And so, Jammeh’s appropriation of the National Assembly’s tenure along with his own in awaiting the Supreme Court verdict seems an untidy bid to invoke the stated clause. However, election petitions are private processes on which the country’s Constitution has not made presidential tenure contingent.

    Added to his judicial adventure, Mr. Jammeh has been railing at the international community for what he considered foreign interference in his country’s domestic affairs. Against the backdrop of a threat by sub-regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) to deploy troops for his ouster that has been endorsed by the United Nations (UN) and African Union (AU), the embattled ruler last week pilloried the world bodies for their “hasty resolutions,” which he said were at variance with the “peaceful nature” of the election dispute so far. “Our review and investigation have revealed an unprecedented level of foreign interference in our elections and internal affairs. And also, a sustained smear campaign, propaganda and misinformation,” he said, vowing The Gambia would not allow any organisation, treaty or law to supersede its Constitution.

    It is uncertain though how much longer Jammeh’s illusion of “peaceful nature” of The Gambia’s election crisis would be sustained. Adama Barrow has vowed to take oath as president come Thursday, and indications are the new president would brave the odds to assume legitimacy on January 19, while Jammeh would go all out to stop him. That isn’t a scenario that portends much peace for the country, or indeed for the entire sub-region. More important, someone needs to tell Jammeh that elections have gone from being private affairs of individual countries to an internationally benchmarked universal project. That is why foreign observers are always on hand in all countries where elections hold, added to domestic ones. Otherwise, despots would freely deploy the charade of elections to legitimize their perpetuity in office before the world.

    It is time for Jammeh to go. President Muhammadu Buhari led ECOWAS mediators on another mission to Banjul at the weekend, but it seems not much headway was made with negotiating the man out of power. Meanwhile, The Gambia has been on steady descent into chaos. Since Jammeh’s volte-face on the December 1 poll, Gambians have mounted civil actions to force his exit. A string of high profile defections from the tiny country hallmarks a bourgeoning refugee crisis. 

    Envoys of The Gambia have spoken up from their duty stations and were summarily fired, and by implication exiled, by Jammeh. On Monday, last week, Jammeh’s Communication Minister Sheriff Bojang stepped down and fled the country; so also has Alieu Momarr Njai, chairman of the country’s Independent Electoral Commission, who has fled to Senegal. Private radio stations sympathetic to Barrow’s narrative have been shut down, while local new sites said agents of government have arrested people wearing t-shirts bearing the inscription ‘Gambia Has Decided,’ which is a known slogan of Barrow supporters.

    ECOWAS has signified it would deploy multinational forces against Jammeh if he can’t be persuaded to honour electoral verdict within his country’s constitutional framework. Now is the time to act, as further delay portends bigger crises. Kick Jammeh out now!

    *The post 'Jammeh mitosis' appeared first on THE NATION NIGERIA

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  • JUST IN: JAMMEH battle ready for final showdown, more people flee BANJUL as military hardware moved into streets

    16/Jan/2017 // 3559 Viewers


     A Gambian, Mrs Fatou Abdoulaye who has arrived Calabar in Nigeria has said there has been build up of military hardware all over the streets of Banjul, the national capital, and other parts of the tiny country on the orders of President Yayha Jammeh who lost the December 1, 2016 presidential election.

    Though he initially conceded defeat, a week after he refused to accept the result of the election leading ECOWAS to send a mediation read headed by Nigeria's President Muhammadu Buhari.

    Fatou, in her 50s and a private citizen, said a good number of Gambians and foreigners including Nigerians resident in the country have fled out of fear that there could be military action either by ECOWAS against the beleaguered regime of Jammeh, or Jammeh himself could decide to attack ECOWAS citizens and interests.
    She appealed to Nigeria and other countries to help her country urgently.

    "We appeal to Nigeria and other friendly countries to kindly help u our country.  Jammeh is clinging to power by force....  Half of the country's population have left the country for fear of blood shed .

    "We are on our knees begging for God's early intervention because the guy has decorated the streets with military tankers and weapons of mass destruction never b4 seen in these parts of Africa"!
    According to her, there have been reports of missing persons in Gambia in recent times, and because of fear the press and people are afraid to speak out.


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  • Tears as DOG reportedly kills 8-year-old son of BARROW, Gambia's poll winner

    16/Jan/2017 // 1919 Viewers


    PARIS, JANUARY 16, 2017: (DGW) IT is  sorrow and trying times for Adama Barrow, Gambia's presidential poll winner as Habibou Barrow, his eight-year-old died today after being bitten by a dog, Freedom Newspaper, a Gambian online publication has just reported.

    According to the report,  the dog attacked the younger Barrow in Manjie-Kunda, near the Gambian capital of Banjul.

    “I can confirm to you that the president-elect Barrow’s son has been killed by a dog at Manjie,” the source was quoted as saying.

    “I am just from the death house in Banjul. Hamat Bah and the coalition team are there.

    “The boy is eight years old. Barrow’s sister was also at the death house. She said the president’s son passed away.”

    The newspaper said the media team of Gambia’s incoming president could not say whether the incident was planned or not.

    “Honestly, the media team is not aware. The boy was not staying in Barrow’s house in Brufut,” the team said.

    The funeral of the deceased, who was the child of Barrow’s second wife, has already taken place.

    Quoting local newspapers, the BBC said Barrow has two wives and four other children.

    The president-elect is currently in Senegal ahead of his planned inauguration.

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  • GAMBIA: Hope for peaceful resolution in sight as JAMMEH sends powerful message to ECOWAS leaders, to make STATEMENT soon

    16/Jan/2017 // 3113 Viewers


    Gambian president Yahya Jammeh on Sunday placed a call to Liberian president and chairperson of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, to help facilitate the release of judges to sit on the election petition filed by his party.

    The four-minute video that showed Jammeh appealing to Sirleaf to help Gambians to use the courts to peacefully resolve the political impasse arising from the December 1 polls.

    Transcript of Jammeh’s call to Sirleaf

    Sirleaf: Yeah, you wanted to talk to me again.
    Jammeh: With regards to our last meeting when you came here, I want to request your assistance as the chairperson of the ECOWAS authority of Heads of State. To help us resolve this impasse peacefully through the courts.

    I hereby request you for ECOWAS to facilitate the release of the judges so that they can come and help us resolve constitutionally (through the constitution of the Gambia). As I said, the only peaceful resolution of this impasse is through the courts.

    Everything that we are doing is based on the constitution of the Republic of the Gambia and an application has also been filed at the Supreme Court of the Gambia for an injunction to restrain Adama Barrow from being sworn-in, as well as restrain the Chief Justice and any other party from swearing-in Adama Barrow into office until this application is decided either way or the status quo must remain.

    That is until such a time that the Supreme Court has made a decision on this, the status quo cannot change. But under the constitution of the Gambia, the so-called 19 of January is not cast in stone as we have an injunction in the court and we have a problem with our election.

    All parties should await the outcome of the Supreme Court which will be the only legal entity to thrash out this case, once and for all. I want to assure you that whatever we want to do will be based on the constitution of the Gambia.

    And as we discussed that all must pass through the constitution of the Gambia which is the supreme authority. So I once again renew my request for you as the chair to request for the ECOWAS to facilitate the coming of the judges so that they can hear this case as soon as possible.

    Sirleaf: Okay Mr President, so like I told you when we talk before, I am going to work on this right away. I am going to consult with all the mediating teams and tell them what you have said. Like I told you before, it will be a good idea if you just put out a statement. 
    Jammeh: Yes

    Sirleaf: As we agreed before, just a short statement coming from you, that will be very important to the mediation team, coming from you making a request to the ECOWAS body that you only want peace and you are going to follow the constitution.

    There is an infraction, the will please find and get the judges for you and a court decision must be the way to go. A small statement like that will make everybody comfortable. Then we can move on and encourage Nigeria and other people to get the justices to come there.
    Jammeh: I promise you I’m going to do it today, and I am going to do it today my sister.

    Sirleaf: Alright
    Jammeh: You have my word for it.

    Sirleaf: Thank you so much
    Jammeh: Thank you so much, all the best

    Sirleaf: Thank you, thank you for helping us to all find peace, Gambia needs peace, ECOWAS wants peace. 
    Jammeh: Insha Allah, I guarantee you that by the grace of Allah we will work for a peaceful resolution.

    The Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) declared Adama Barrow – an opposition coalition candidate as winner of the polls. Barrow is currently in Senegal and will fly in on Thursday january 19 to be sworn-in as president.

    Jammeh has applied for an injunction to be placed on the swearing in. An earlier court case on the validity of the polls could not be heard because of lack of judges.

    Gambia often imports judges from fellow West African countries especially from Nigeria and Sierra Leone. Its current Chief Justice is a Nigerian, Emmanuel Fagbenle

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  • Gambia: President ADAMA BARROW's major overhaul of country’s political system suffers setback ahead of April poll

    16/Mar/2017 // 1106 Viewers


    The Gambia’s ruling coalition has broken apart ahead of a parliamentary poll next month, dealing a blow to new President Adama Barrow as he overhauls the country’s political system following his shock election victory.

    Nine political parties will run separately in the April 6 election, seven of which had united last December to oust veteran leader Yahya Jammeh, who ruled the tiny west African nation with an iron fist for 22 years.

    Barrow had promised in January following his surprise defeat of Jammeh that the coalition would “continue as a family”.
    But documents issued by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on Monday showed that 239 candidates will stand in April, representing nine separate organisations, with some running as independents.

    The national assembly was long seen as a rubber stamp for Jammeh’s executive decrees, but the new president has promised to work in tandem with lawmakers, notably on constitutional reform in the former British colony.

    The coalition split is likely to embolden Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC), which remains a major force in Gambian politics although the former president is now in exile in Equatorial Guinea.

    The APRC took 43 of the 48 seats contested during the last parliamentary election in 2012, which was boycotted by the vast majority of opposition parties.

    Five seats are also appointed by the president to give an overall 53 seats.

    Barrow had barely finished putting his cabinet together before disagreements broke out last week over the poll, with one senior government source warning at the time that talks for an ongoing alliance were close to collapse.

    Disagreements over representation and allocation of seats had caused tensions, the source said.

    Barrow was formerly a member of the United Democratic Party (UDP), the largest opposition grouping in the Jammeh era, but resigned to run as the coalition candidate.

    Campaign for the poll begins on Wednesday and ends on April 4.

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  • “Angel’ shows up in church

    16/Oct/2016 // 876 Viewers


    A strange image of a perceived supernatural being believed to be an angel has been captured on camera during a church service by the Arjarquah Ministries in the Eastern region.

    The picture has subsequently gone viral on social media in particular, on the walls of some powerful men of God including Prophet Kofi Danso, a Canadian-based Ghanaian Prophet, who ministered at the interdenominational service when the incident took place, at the Koforidua Center for National Culture .

    Starr News understands several miracles were recorded during the revival program.

    According to reports, a female church member who was supposedly filled by the Holy Spirit during the service, saw the strange image on the walls of the auditorium at the time the service had closed around 12:30am and took the pictures after zooming in with her phone.

    Angel in ghana

    The strange being was captured on phone after the church service
    The image then disappeared before she could prompt the ushers who were praying nearby after the service.

    The leader of the church reportedly announced the wonderful sighting to the congregation in church the following day.

    Scores of politicians, musicians and radio personalities including Black Rasta have been attending the program for spiritual impartation.


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  • Danger Alert! Swiss firms dump dirty fuel in Nigeria, other West African countries

    16/Sep/2016 // 898 Viewers


    Swiss trading companies are blending and dumping dirty fuel in Nigeria and other West African countries with more than 100 per cent toxic (sulphur) levels allowed in Europe, causing health and environmental hazards, according to a report.

    The report, “Dirty Diesel” from Swiss, watchdog group, Public Eye, said the companies are taking advantage of weak African regulatory standards to use cheap and dirty additives to create what’s called “African Quality” fuels.

    Senegal and Ghana are the other countries mentioned in the report. Vitol, Trafigura, Addax & Oryx and Lynx Energy have been named because they are shareholders of the fuel retailers. The practice is not illegal. The report quotes Swiss trading giants, Oryx, Trafigura and Vitol as noting that the blends met standards in the importing countries, with the largest amounts going to Nigeria, Senegal and Ghana. They said they have no vested interest in keeping sulphur levels higher than they need to be.

    But Public Eye accused the companies of lowering a fuel’s quality to just above a country’s legal limits to maximise profits by adding toxic products known to cause respiratory diseases.

    Although this is within the limits set by national governments, the sulphur contained in the fumes from the diesel fuel could increase respiratory illnesses like asthma and bronchitis in affected countries, health experts said.

    The picture is changing but there are still several African countries that allow diesel to have a sulphur content of more than 2,000 parts per million (ppm), with some allowing more than 5,000ppm, whereas the European standard is less than 10ppm.

    Rob de Jong from the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) told the BBC that there was a lack of awareness among some policy makers about the significance of the sulphur content. For a long time, countries relied on colonial-era standards, which have only been revised in recent years.

    Another issue is that in the countries where there are refineries, these are unable, for technical reasons, to reduce the sulphur levels to the standard acceptable in Europe. This means that the regulatory standard is kept at the level the refineries can operate at.

    Some governments are also worried that cleaner diesel would be more expensive, therefore, pushing up the price of transport. But De Jong argued that the difference was minimal and oil price fluctuations were much more significant in determining the diesel price.

    The sulphur particles emitted by a diesel engine are considered to be a major contributor to air pollution, which the World Health Organisation (WHO) ranks as one of the top global health risks.
    It is associated with heart disease, lung cancer and respiratory problems.

    WHO said that pollution is particularly bad in low and middle income countries. Reducing the sulphur content in diesel would go some way to reducing the risk that air pollution poses.

    Meanwhile, Deputy Director, Public Affairs, at the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR), Dorothy Bassey told Daily Sun in a telephone interview that there is no cause for alarm as all petroleum products are tested before entering the shores of the country. According to her, any product or products that fail the specification test are sent back to the country of origin.

    ‘’But if by error of omission or commission any product/s that fall short of the required specification find their way into the country, the importer of such products will be severely sanctioned,’’ she said.
    On his part, the  NNPC spokesman, Mr. Mohammed Garbadeen, said that, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) will not deliberately import toxic fuel into the country.

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