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

    05/Jan/2017 // 4726 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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  • LIBERIA: Mapping opportunities for the consolidation of peace in Liberia “Voices from the countryside”

    05/May/2017 // 227 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 5, 2017: (DGW) There is documented evidence which shows that most post-conflict countries are likely to relapse into violence after reaching peace agreements, and when United Nations (UN) peacekeepers exit the country. 

    As Liberia continues on a path to peace and stability, 14 years after the signing of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) in 2003, peacebuilding and reconciliation activities remain essential components of development goals and policies. Many studies have been carried out to support evidence-based decision-making in peacebuilding policy formulation and programme design. 

    However, the majority of conflict literature and peacebuilding strategies in Liberia share a common critique – various conflict issues are discussed generally, efforts designed to help address and mitigate them are rarely informed by rigorous analyses, and the scope of these studies is usually limited in geography and extent of consultation with stakeholders.

    Source: African Centre For The Constructive Resolution Of Disputes (ACCORD)


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  • GAMBIA: Gambia moves, launches major campaign as the elements threaten to erase country's dark history

    05/May/2017 // 2143 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 5, 2017: (DGW)  The Gambia has taken a major step by launching a campaign as unforgiving climate threatens to erase country's dark history, CNN reports.

    This move borders on efforts to stop the popular Kunta Kinte Island formerly known as James Island a speck of land at the mouth of the Gambia river which was once a major waypoint of the transatlantic slave trade where African abductees were brutally imprisoned before being forcibly transported to the US.

    A Gambian historian, Hassoun Ceesay reportedly told CNN "It was the departure point for hundreds of thousands of blacks captured in the Gambia River area from 1588 to 1807'' among who is the famous rebel Kunta Kinte who the James Island was later named after in history in 2011 by the Gambian authorities.

    However, what made this island in question an attraction for tourists and historians is the growing public awareness of Kinte's story and the horrors of slavery.

    CNN further reports that sometimes in 2003, James Island was certified a UNESCO World Heritage Site as a "unique memorial to the Atlantic Slave Trade." Fortunately or unfortunately, the site one of Gambia's most popular visitor attractions is slowly disappearing as climate threatens to erase its dark history as the famous island shrinks due to coastal erosion which the new Gambian government under President Adama Barrow acknowledges and set to urgently address.

    "Most of the island was reclaimed from the river, and with time and global warming it has drifted back to the river," says Ceesay.

    The seaward side of Fort Bullen, constructed by British soldiers, has suffered erosion and collapsed in places, according to UNESCO.

    "Gambia is a low-lying country with erosion in many parts of the coastline," says Bubacar Jallow, climate change officer at the Ministry of Environment. "We have interventions in various areas but limited resources."

    The site is also affected by tropical storms, which have damaged fragile ruins including a French colonial warehouse named the Compagnie Francaise d'Afrique Occidentale (CFAO).

    "Heavy rains and windstorms in August 2016 affected local communities, historic buildings and the villages of Albreda and Juffureh," says UNESCO Africa programme specialist David Stehl. "The storms caused the destruction of property, including the loss of part of the roof of the CFAO building on the Albreda waterfront."

    UNESCO is planning to restore the CFAO roof, the latest in a series of measures to protect the site.

    Seventy meters of sea defences have been installed off vulnerable parts of the island. Gambia's government has implemented a public education campaign to emphasise the importance of conservation.



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  • GAMBIA: More trouble for JAMMEH as new GOVERNMENT in The Gambia vows to give JAMMEH & secret agents raw deal

    05/May/2017 // 4769 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 5, 2017: (DGW) THE new government of President Adama Barrow has ruled out amnesty for Jammeh and his secret agents that were fingered or involved in secret killings and all other forms of extra-judicial killings in the country.

    The disclosure was made by the country's minister of Information, Communication and Infrastructure Demba Ali Jawo while decrying the atrocities committed against the people while exiled Yahya Jammeh held sway.

    According to him, "Reconciliation certainly is a priority of the government, but I can assure you it will not happen at the expense of justice for our colleagues who were victims during the former regime''

    Speaking on media clampdown during Jammeh 22 years' reign of terror characterized by summary executions of perceived enemies and dissenting voices which include the late Dayda Hydara, Chief Manneh and Omar Barrow and all journalists who were subjected to torture in the hand of agents of the former regime, he vowed that the new government will take punitive measures to right the wrongs of the past perpetuated by the exiled dictator and his agents.


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  • GAMBIA: Regional Intervention Force to remain in The Gambia as mandate extended

    05/May/2017 // 3464 Viewers

     

    PARIS, MAY 5, 2017: (DGW)The regional intervention force deployed in The Gambia in wake of the political imbroglio that followed the December 2016 presidential election has been extended, sources privy to the mandate revealed to our reporter in Banjul.

    Gambia, the report says, is struggling to rebuild its armed forces whose strength has been decimated by improper funding and training during the dark days of its exiled leader Mr Yahya Jammeh.

    Mass graves, reports have it, were discovered in march this year whose victims were largely believed to have been slaughtered by Jammeh's secret agents.

    The discovery of the mass graves has sparked off outrage through out the country and beyond.


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  • Court validates referendum on new constitution

    05/Nov/2016 // 1171 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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  • GAMBIA: Aftermath of political imbroglio bites harder, GAMBIANS send distress call to President ADAMA BARROW

    06/Apr/2017 // 1879 Viewers

     

    PARIS, APRIL 6, 2017: (DGW) A good number of Gambians are  writhing in the aftermath of political imbroglio in the tiny West African that saw the removal of their exiled former leader Yahya Jammeh by a coalition of the West African regional force.

    President Adama Barrow is under serious pressure to revive the tourism sector from where the bulk of her revenue comes as many Gambians complain about the hard times the political imbroglio that saw the eventual removal of Yahya has caused.

    One of such Gambians according to a columnist, Hamza Mohamed a Qatar-based Al Jazeera English, covering Sub-Saharan Africa, wrote on how Pap Sidibe grieved at the hard times occasioned by the hard times.

    Businesses, he said, have been killed and charged President Adama Barrow to be up and doing to save a people and a nation under distress.

    Speaking further, he said business is on the down grade as earnings have fallen abysmally as his weekly income has fallen from $300 to less than &20 in a country which relies solely on tourism as its main source of foreign exchange.

    Read full article below:


    ''With his legs crossed and his gaze fixed firmly on the tarmacked road in front of his small shop, Pap Sidibe looks worried. His business depends on tourists, but no matter how hard he wills it, none appear.

    The 49-year-old father-of-three longs for the old days, when he could make $300 a week selling his sculptures as souvenirs. But these are lean times and now he's lucky if he takes home $20 a week. 

    "It is very slow," he says as he adds the delicate finishing touches to a traditional drum made of wood and cattle hide. "I don't remember, ever, it being like this."

    Things were nice before the election," he continues, referring to the vote in December when the country's opposition candidate beat the incumbent, Yahya Jammeh, who had been in power since leading a military coup in 1994. Jammeh responded by rejecting the result, although his attempts to hold on to power were thwarted by the regional bloc ECOWAS.

    "A day, I used to sell more than 10 sculptures," Sidibe explains. "[But] I haven't sold anything the last five days. At most I sell one sculpture a week now. It is very stressful and hard."

    Too low for the high season

    February and March are typically the high season for tourism in this tiny sun-soaked West African country, as European tourists flee the cold winters of the northern hemisphere. But that changed when the elections were scheduled for December.

    The country witnessed a hard fought campaign as, in an effort to unseat Jammeh, the opposition formed a coalition behind Adama Barrow. Western embassies in the capital Banjul started issuing statements advising their citizens who wished to visit the country to exercise caution.

    When, after the electoral commission declared Barrow the winner, Jammeh refused to step down, those embassies warned their citizens to stay away.

    As the political deadlock dragged on and ECOWAS threatened to send in troops, the embassies evacuated their people.

    "A total of 30 flights [a week] from Europe used to land at Banjul bringing in foreign tourists," explains Adama Njie, the director of marketing at The Gambia's tourism board. He is trying to find ways to bring those flights - and their passengers - back.

    "After the political impasses, all the flights stopped," says Njie, raising his index finger to emphasise the point. "Hotel occupancy went from 98 percent to zero. Absolute zero. That was beyond shocking to everyone."

    Bringing tourist back

    A short drive from Banjul, Djemba hotel sits in a prime location - the blue and white one storey building hugs the sandy beach of the Atlantic Ocean on one side and faces the restaurants and the main road on the other.

    It used to be a tourist magnet and in normal circumstances would have been fully booked at this time of year.

    But these are unusual times, and Malleh Sallah, a broad-shouldered, clean-shaven man in a grey suit, is pacing up and down the marble-floored lobby, talking on his phone. On the other end of the line are European tour operators whom he's trying to persuade that his country is safe. He wants them to start sending their tourists back.

    "We are down by more than 60 percent on where we should be in terms of the numbers of tourists that we should be seeing at this time of the year," says Malleh, who is the hotel's manager in addition to being the chairman of The Gambia's hotel association.

    He has been in the industry since 2000 and says he has witnessed many setbacks before, but none of this magnitude.

    "We have had elections before in our country. All previous elections were very peaceful. It is true [an] election is a nervous time for the industry and some tourists stay away. But the last one was nothing short of a disaster," he reflects as he takes a seat on a leather sofa in the hotel lobby.

    "We have 250 rooms. Only four were not occupied. Then two days after the election, all 250 rooms were empty and all the tourists were gone."

    Malleh employs 275 people in the three hotel he runs. So far, he says, he has decided against laying off any of his staff.

    "As hoteliers, we decided to keep all our staff. The government is trying its best to help us in terms of giving us concessions and has promised to lower the fees and taxes we pay."

    Good times ahead
    The tourism sector is one of the country's main revenue generators, contributing 20 percent of its budget. It also employs thousands of people.

    In the town of Bakau, a group of young men are sitting beneath a mango tree near a stagnant body of green water. They are the employees of Kachikally Crocodile Pool. It's a popular tourist attraction with more than 100 crocodiles, some as old as 74.

    "Tourists come to see us feed the crocodiles," explains Kemp Jadama, a 27-year-old guide who has worked at the pool for seven years.

    "These crocodiles only eat fish, so tourists can touch and take photographs with them," he adds.

    "Before this political problem, we used to get 600 or more tourists a day. Now we are very lucky if we get 30 a day."

    Peter Omtzigt and Diny Koekoen, a couple from the Netherlands, are among the few tourists visiting the pool. They say they are glad to have finally made it to The Gambia.

    "We were meant to come at the end of January, but we postponed it because of the political situation in the country," Koeken explains. "We were advised against visiting Gambia."

    "We have been here for nine days and we have absolutely loved it," adds Omtzigt. "We will absolutely recommend to anyone to visit Gambia. Beautiful country."

    The country's tourism board says that the worst of the storm has passed and they expect record numbers of visitors now that there is a new government.

    "Last year, 116,000 tourists came to our country. This year, we expected 190,000 tourists to come to our country," says Njie, from the tourism board. "Travel warnings have been lifted. Flights are slowly coming back. We are back in the Commonwealth. Gambians living abroad will also be visiting the country now that the former president is gone. We are at the beginning of the good times."

    It is an optimism shared by Sidibe, the sculptor. "The new government will bring them back," he says, taking a wet cloth to remove the dust from the sculptures lined up in front of his shop. "I'm sure. Very sure."

    Source: Al Jazeera News


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  • Swiss arrest Gambian suspected of killing au pair

    06/Feb/2016 // 410 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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  • GAMBIA: Buhari lauded over role in resolving Gambia's imbroglio

    06/Feb/2017 // 1276 Viewers

     

    A CHIEFTAIN of the All Progressives Congress (APC)in Lagos, Chief Emmanuel Remi-williams has praised President Muhammadu Buhari for his role in resolving the political crisis in The Gambia.

    He said but for the President Buhari’s role, the crisis could have snowballed into a major regional problem.

    Remi-Williams, an octogenarian, said: “President Buhari stood firmly during the period. He led the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) in peace-making as a panacea to the problem in The Gambia. As a big brother in the ECOWAS region, he and his fellow heads of state agreed that a military option was the best option to remove the then Gambia president Yahya Jammeh, who did not want to go, after 22 years in office and after losing an election.

    ‘’Buhari matched his words with action by dispatching a military peace contigent to The Gambia. And soon, other countries in the region followed suit. It was then clear to Jammeh that the game was over. His boast and confidence collapsed like a pack of cards. No wonder he had to leave town as quickly as possible few days after our soldiers landed Senegal, in preparation for showdown with Jammeh and installation of his successor Adama Barrow.”

    Pa Remi-Williams warned sight-tight African leaders that the era of ruling forever was gone. He urged them to follow what is happening abroad where transition of power is peaceful and rancour-free. He urged them to abide by their constitutional role and leave when the ovation is loudest


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