• Gambia opposition leader Ousainou Darboe freed on bail

    05/Dec/2016 // 739 Viewers

     

    A Gambian opposition leader, who had been thrown in jail for taking part in a protest, has been released on bail.

    Ousainou Darboe has been freed along with 18 other detainees, just days after president Yahya Jammeh lost Thursday's presidential election to property developer Adama Barrow.

    The men were arrested in April at a demonstration over the alleged death in custody of an activist.

    They were each later sentenced to a three-year prison term.
    Mr Darboe, leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), had been due to stand in the presidential election.

    However, the Gambian opposition was left without leadership after the April mass-arrest.

    A coalition of political parties, including the UDP, then picked Adama Barrow as their single candidate to run against President Jammeh.

    Following his shock win on Friday, Mr Barrow heralded a new hope for The Gambia, which is the smallest country on mainland Africa, with a population of fewer than two million.

    With the move to free the high-profile prisoners, change in the country seems to be happening at a fast speed.

    Amnesty International had been vocal in its criticism of President Jammeh over his human rights record.

    Sabrina Mahtani, Amnesty's West Africa Researcher, hailed the release of the 19 political prisoners and called for the charges against them to be dropped altogether.

    "The release of the [18 other peaceful protestors] on bail is a big moment for them and their families," Ms Mahtani said.

    "We hope that this positive step indicates that they will be fully acquitted in due course."

    The prisoners have been released pending an appeal of their jail sentence for "unlawful assembly".

    It is unlikely that they would ever be returned to prison as Mr Barrow has vowed to free all political prisoners.


    Credit: Syndicated from BBC


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  • NIGERIA will make sure JAMMEH hands over

    05/Jan/2017 // 5193 Viewers

     

    ABUJA, NIGERIA: Foreign Affairs Minister Geoffrey Onyeama says Nigeria will do everything possible to help the Gambia have a peaceful resolution to its political crisis.

    Onyeama stated this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Abuja.

    The minister expressed optimism that the Gambian President Yahya Jammeh would listen to the voice of his people to resolve the political impasse in his country.

    NAN reports that the Gambian leader had accused West African regional body, ECOWAS of declaring war against his country, when he was asked to step down for a democratically elected president.

    Jammeh, who accused ECOWAS of putting forces on alert in case he refused to step down, has vowed to stay in power in spite of losing a Dec. 1, 2016 election to rival Adama Barrow.

    He also promised to defend Gambia against any outside aggression in a New Year speech broadcast on state TV.

    The Gambian president initially conceded defeat in the vote, then changed his mind days later – raising fears that regional powers might have to intervene to oust him.

    Onyeama, in spite of the Gambian leader’s stands, expressed the belief that Jammeh would honour the call of the ECOWAS leaders to bow out of office at the end of his mandate on Jan. 19.

    “We will like to believe that he will listen to the voice of his peers in the sub region ECOWAS.

    “And that he will also listen to the voice of his people but above all he will follow the democratic path. So, we will do everything possible to bring that about.

    “Essentially, we want a peaceful resolution to the issue, you know we have experienced conflict in our country and we know how far back in development conflict can take a country to.

    “So we will do everything possible to help Gambia have a peaceful resolution to this political crisis,” the minister said.

    NAN reports that President Muhammadu Buhari, who is heading a mediation committee on the Gambia’s political impasse, had led other West African leaders to meet with Jammeh and Barrow on the issue.

    Other leaders in the ECOWAS delegation were Presidents Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf of Liberia, Ernest Koroma of Sierra Leone, and John Mahama of Ghana.

    The leaders appealed to Jammeh to leave office and also reportedly sought a ‘honourable exit’ for him.

    The exit would ensure that he is not tried for various human rights crimes he is alleged to have committed while in office.

    However, in spite of the visit, Jammeh remained defiant.

    Marcel de Souza ECOWAS Commission President, said last week that the body had put standby forces on alert.

    In his speech on New Year Day, Jammeh decried the resolution of ECOWAS on the current situation to implement the results of Dec. 1, 2016 presidential election by whatever means possible.

    “It is in effect a declaration of war and an insult to our constitution.

    “Let me make it very clear that we are ready to defend this country against any aggression,” he said

     


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  • Enugu APC To Buhari: Disregard Dep. Senate President's ranting, remove JAMMEH now to save Gambia!

    05/Jan/2017 // 4565 Viewers

     

    THE Enugu State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC) has called on President Muhammadu Buhari and his colleagues Heads of State, to disregard the ranting of mercenaries like Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu and save Gambians from the clutches of unbridled and brutish Yahaya Jammeh’s dictatorship.

    Making the call in Enugu on Wednesday, the State Publicity Secretary of APC, Kate Offor said, Instead of adopting military action to remove the brutal dictator, who stained his hands with the blood of innocent Gambians, Ekweremadu called for sanctions in line with the traditions and relevant protocols of Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Jammeh who has been in power for 22 years had lost the December 1, 2016 presidential election, but vowed not to hand over to the winner, Adama Barrow.
     
    Reacting to the statement by Mrs Offor; Enugu’s APC condemned in its entirety the anti-democratic, unconstitutional and ‘unstatemanlike’ mercenary statement of Distinguished Senator Ike Ekweremadu, Deputy Senate President and former Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament to the effect that military option should be shelved in an effort to save the good people of Gambia from the bondage-shackles of Yahaya Jammeh’s dictatorship.

    Offor said: “We are making this statement because we are witnesses to how the anti-democratic unconstitutional and self serving advice of Senator Ekweremadu contributed in no small measure to the less than glorious regimes of His Excellencies, Dr Chimaroke Nnamani and Dr Goodluck Jonathan.

    “Otherwise, how can Ekweremadu in one breathe admit that, ‘I am aware that several high level meetings have been held and several missions undertaken to the Gambia as a way of finding solution to the problem’ and on the other hand be fully aware that Jammeh, who is not only defiant but takes himself as the sole owner of Gambia, will never vacate office without force?

    “Is Ekweremadu as a former Speaker of ECOWAS Parliament not aware that up to this moment that Jammeh’s hand is stained with blood of innocent Gambians? Or that at this moment people are in droves fleeing Gambia and if the country is not saved by ECOWAS Authority Heads of States under the genuine Protocols which in no way violates the sovereignty of Gambia, the country will finally slide into a failed state. Which Rule of Law is he talking about when the Supreme Court of Gambia under Jammeh has only one justice?”

    Offor therefore called on President Muhammadu Buhari and his colleagues Heads of State to disregard the ranting of mercenaries like Ekweremadu and save Gambians from the clutches of unbridled and brutish Jammeh’s dictatorship.


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  • Court validates referendum on new constitution

    05/Nov/2016 // 1099 Viewers

     

    (Reuters) After a long period of political turmoil,  a top court on Friday validated the agitation and validated the results of a referendum backing a new constitution that will help turn the country turn the page in the world's largest cocoa producer, President Alassane Ouattara of Ivory Coast has said.

    "The constitutional project is adopted," said Mamadou Kone, president of the constitutional court. He rejected a request to annul the referendum from several political parties who boycotted the vote, including that of former president Laurent Gbagbo.

    An overwhelming majority of voters in Sunday's vote supported the constitution, which institutes a new post of vice president among other changes. Turnout was around 42 percent.

    The issue of the constitution, drafted under military rule after a 1999 coup, was at the heart of Ivory Coast's upheaval.

    Its most controversial clause said that both parents of presidential candidates must be natural-born Ivorians, a swipe at northerners, many of whom, like Ouattara, have family ties that straddle the borders with Burkina Faso and Mali.

    The new constitution scraps that provision, which was used to disqualify Ouattara from an election in 2000, and now only one parent must be Ivorian.

    Ivory Coast, the world's top producer of cocoa, has become one of Africa's rising economic stars since 2011 when a civil war ended.


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  • Swiss arrest Gambian suspected of killing au pair

    06/Feb/2016 // 331 Viewers

     

    Geneva - Swiss authorities said on Friday they have arrested a Gambian man suspected of murdering a 25-year-old American woman working as an au pair in Vienna.
     
    The Swiss justice ministry told AFP the Gambian man had been arrested at a centre for asylum seekers in the northeastern town of Kreuzlingen, not far from the Austrian border.
     
    The man, who was not identified, "is suspected of having murdered a woman in Vienna", the ministry said in an e-mail, adding that he was being held pending extradition to Austria.
     
    The arrest comes after a woman from Colorado was found dead last week in her Vienna apartment lying face-down on a mattress with splatters of blood on the floor.
     
    Her half-undressed body had been surrounded by a sea of burning candles, according to the APA news agency.
     
    Swiss authorities said the suspect "will be questioned today by the prosecutor in the canton of Thurgau on behalf of the justice ministry", stressing that if he agreed to be sent to Austria, he could be extradited "immediately".
     
    If he opposes the move, however, Swiss authorities will need a formal extradition request from Austria before determining if he can be sent out of the country, the ministry said.
     
    The office of Austria's state prosecutor meanwhile said it had already filed a formal extradition request for the suspect on Friday, although Swiss authorities said they had not yet received it.
     
    The victim was first reported missing by her employers, who described her as "very reliable", after she had failed to pick up their child from kindergarten.
     
    Firemen then went to the American's one-bedroom flat and broke down the entrance door, leading to the gruesome discovery.
     
    The woman had been living in Austria for several years and was a German language student. - AFP


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  • Presidential fiat orders female workers to cover hair

    06/Jan/2016 // 447 Viewers

                 Yahya Jammeh, President of the Islamic Republic of Gambia


    PARIS, JANUARY 6, 2016: (DGW) In what appears like a swift departure from an earlier pronouncement that Muslims in the country will not have special dressing pattern embracing Muslim identity, the Islamic Republic of Gambia  has in a presidential fiat made it mandatory for all female government employees to  have their heads covered in headscarves.

    The President, Yahya Jammeh declared country Islamic Republic about one month ago  thus making the country the second in Africa to be so called after Mauritania.

    This directive was contained in a memo circulated to all ministries and department and no reason was given for the sudden reversal of his earlier stance. Efforts made by our reporter in Banjul to reach officials for comment did not yield any result.

    Gambia's estimated population is 1.8 million with a Muslim majority standing at 95%. Relations with Britain has deteriorated over the years and the declaration of the country  Islamic Republic, reports say, is none other than to distance itself from her former colonial masters and the West. 

    Gambia has recently come under fire for its poor Human Rights records - one of the reasons why monetary aid to the country has been temporarily held, DailyGlobeWatch reliably gathered at the European Union, (EU) headquarters in Brussels.

     

     


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  • GAMBIA: Surprise as BUHARI backpedals, says NIGERIA won't use force on JAMMEH but supports peaceful resolution

    06/Jan/2017 // 14179 Viewers

     

    PARIS, JANUARY 6, 2017: (DGW) IN what appears as a reversal of Nigeria's earlier position to use military force to oust outgoing President Yayah Jammeh, President Muhammadu Buhari says Nigeria supports a peaceful resolution to the current political crisis in the Gambia.

    Recall Nigeria's Deputy Senate President, Dr. Ike Ekweremadu, had earlier called for a peaceful resolution of the crisis adding that the sovereignty of the Republic of Gambia ought to be respected.

    Buhari while speaking through Nigeria’s Foreign Affairs minister, Geoffery Onyeama, said Nigeria will not use force to prevail on President Yayah Jammeh but still believes that outgoing Jammeh will heed the call to step down. 

    His words: ‘‘We would like to believe that he would listen to the voice of his peers in the sub-region.

    ''And that he will also listen to the voice of his people, but above all he will follow the democratic path. So we are doing everything possible to bring that about,’‘ Onyeama told the News Agency of Nigeria.''

    Jammeh, on his part, has described the resolution of ECOWAS to enforce the results of the last elections as an act of interference in the internal affairs of the group – which is a breach of protocol. He has also dismissed the ECOWAS as being a partial mediator with a one-dimensional position. The group is on record to have said they will send troops into the tiny West African country if the need arises.

     


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  • Breaking News: US advises its citizens to leave The Gambia - BBC reports

    06/Jan/2017 // 2426 Viewers

     

    The US embassy in The Gambia has advised US citizens to leave the country amid tension over whether President Yahya Jammeh will step down later this month, the BBC has been told.
     
    Jeffrey Smith, a Gambia-focused analyst, says the advice was given during a town hall-style meeting with the ambassador earlier today: 
     

     
     
    The Gambia is tense and heading towards a constitutional crisis following the refusal of President Yayha Jammeh to step down after he was defeated in the 1 December election by opposition candidate Amana Barrow. 
     
    Mr Jammeh had initially conceded and congratulated Mr Barrow but he went back on his word by claiming there had been fraud in the election.
     
    His party has since submitted a challenge of the results at the Supreme Court. 
     
    The west African regional body Ecowas has warned that it would use force if Mr Jammeh does not leave office at the end of his term on 18 January. 


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  • ATTEMPTED COUP! State House deserted, President summons military chiefs!

    06/Jan/2017 // 5675 Viewers

     


    There has been a heavy gunfire following a mutiny by soldiers over pay who out of frustration and anger reportedly seized weapons raising serious tension and fear thus forcing people to flee for safety in three cities in Ivory Coast, the BBC reports.

    According to the report, the mutineers seized weapons from two police stations in the country's second city, Bouake, and took up positions at its entry points, according to reports.

    Shooting has also been reported in the cities of Daloa and Korogho.
    President Alassane Ouattara convened a crisis meeting of his military chiefs, as the government entered into talks with the mutineers.

    Defence Minister Alain-Richard Donwah called on troops to return to barracks so that "lasting solutions" could be found, state media reported.
    Mr Ouattara took power in 2011, ending a civil war which lasted for almost a decade.

    Bouake was at the centre of the rebellion to oust Mr Ouattara's predecessor, Laurent Gbagbo, who is on trial at the International Criminal Court on charges of war crimes.

    Soldiers armed with AK-47 fired at the offices of the state broadcaster in the city, and had seized control of Bouake's western entrance, a resident, who asked not to be identified, told the BBC.
    A teacher in Bouake, Ami Soro, said the city was deserted, Reuters news agency reports.

    "Men in balaclavas are patrolling the city on motorcycles or in cars. They aren't attacking residents... They told us to stay at home," she is quoted as saying.

    The mutineers have not yet issued an official statement, but the government said their grievances focused on pay, bonuses and promotion prospects.

    "It's a mutiny by former fighters integrated into the army who are demanding bonuses of 5 million CFA francs ($8,000; £6,500) each plus a house," a soldier who asked to remain anonymous told AFP news agency


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