Thursday, August 30, 2012

Senegal galled by Gambia executions, recalls ambassador

Gambian president Yahya Jammeh wants to carry out all executions by the end of September. Photograph: Seyllou/AFP/Getty Images
Reports say Senegal President Macky Sall who is angered by the execution of two Senegalese death row inmates by the Gambia, had asked his ambassador in Banjul to return home on Wednesday.

Imam Bakawsu Fofana reportedly flee Gambia

Gambian Muslim cleric, Imam Bakawsu Fofana was detained in June 2012
A popular Gambian Muslim cleric, Imam Bakawsu Fofana is reported to have fled the country.
A neighbor who wished not to be named told The Voice on Monday August 27 “the Imam crossed the Gambian border on Sunday into the Southern Senegal region of Casamance to seek for refuge.” 

While on a routine reporting to the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) almost on a weekly basis since June 2012, followinghis release from detention, Bakawsu managed to escape reported attempts by theagency to re-arrest him on August 14.

Embattled State Agents Given Bail

Principal Magistrate Alagbe Taiwo Ade of the lower court in Banjul on Monday, August 27 granted bail to two embattled officers of Gambia’s National Drug Enforcement Agency (the NDEA).

Former Director of Intelligence and Investigations Mr. Foday Barry and Crime Management Coordinator Mr. Pa Habib Mbye who are accused of “theft, conspiracy and negligence of official duties” were granted a bail bond of D300, 000 ($1000) each guaranteed by two Gambians. 

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Gambia, Turkey extent cooperation beyond security

  • National assembly members should be honest 
  •  NAMs agree to fill government budget gaps
  • Gambian children screened for cardiac and heart diseases 

Gambia, Turkey extent cooperation beyond security

The governments of the Gambian and Turkish on Monday agree to extend their long term cooperation beyond defence and security.
Gambia’s ministry of tourism and culture and the Turkish diplomatic mission to Gambia signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) designed to create an avenue for cooperation in the field of tourism.

Gambia confirm first executions in 27 years

President Jammeh pledged to have all death row inmates executed by mid-September. Photo | BBC |
The Government of The Gambia Monday confirmed it killed nine death row prisoners. It said they were killed by firing squad on Sunday August 26.

The government had earlier denied reports that the prisoners were executed on the night of August 23, four days after President Yahya Jammeh vowed “his government will execute all death sentences in the country by September.”

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Gambia: Family establishes contact with ‘disappeared’ Imam

Mr. Omar Fofana, a younger brother to disappeared Gambian Imam, Bakawsu Fofana has told The Voice that he spoke to the imam on phone two days after his disappearance on August 14.

Omar said: “I only communicated with him once on the phone on Thursday. He promised to come out when he finish his special prayers (after the Eidul Fitr – Muslim feast).”

“He told me that he has entrusted me with the responsibility of the family until he comes back,” Omar added.

The renowned Imam, Bakawsu Fofana was reported to have disappeared during attempts by the state’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA) operatives to arrest him at his home on Tuesday.  

Friday, August 24, 2012

GMC to rally against ‘killings’

GMC leader Mai Fatty
The opposition party, the Gambia Moral Congress has announced plans to hold political rallies across the Gambia to denounce what it called the “killings of death row inmates.”  

The statement followed widespread speculations that some nine death row prisoners were killed by the government on the night of Thursday August 23. 

“Despite diplomatic intervention from the EU, AU and ECOWAS, and outcry from the opposition and Gambians and friends around the world, President Jammeh reportedly executed nine death-row inmates and the remaining 34 prisoners are scheduled to be killed soon,” says a GMC statement.

9 death row inmates ‘killed’ in Gambia: Reports

President Jammeh pledged to have all death row inmates executed by mid-September. Photo | BBC |

Widespread media reports said nine death row inmates were “executed” in Gambia on Thursday night.
The reports came four days after Gambia President Yahya Jammeh announced in an Eid (Muslim feast) statement “his government will execute all death sentences in the country by September.”

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Phelps Stokes withdrew from summit hosted by ‘dictator’ Obiang

Equatorial Guinea’s president, Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo. Photograph: Stan Honda/AFP/Getty Images

Taranga FM closure unacceptable

Fatou Jagne Senghore, ARTICLE 19 Regional Representative for West Africa
“It is unacceptable that security officers stormed into a radio station and forced it off air without any valid explanation,” said Fatou Jagne Senghore, referring to the arbitrary shut down of Taranga FM, an independent community radio in Gambia.

On the night of 14-15 August, 2012, Gambia’s most dreadful security service, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) raided and shut down the Sinchu Alhagie village-based radio station situated south-west of the Gambian capital, Banjul.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Jammeh threatens Muslim sect in Gambia

President Jammeh pledged to have all death row inmates executed by mid-September. Photo | BBC |
Gambia’s president, Yahya Jammeh on August 19 threatened to deal with a Muslim religious Sunni sect, locally known as “Mashallah” saying he will “cut-short” their tails or “wipe them out” of the country.

He accuses the sect, widely known for its widespread propagation of Islam and strict following of the deeds (Sunnah) of Prophet Muhammad (SAW), of “embarrassing people’s wives in public and the idea of going round and creating mayhem.” 

Jammeh’s killing-vow condemned

President Jammeh pledged to have all death row inmates executed by mid-September. Photo | BBC |
Gambia’s president vow to kill death row inmates by September 2012 has been met with widespread international condemnation.

Wednesday, August 15, 2012

NEWS ALERT! The Gambia shuts independent radio station

New York, August 15, 2012--Gambian national security agents summarily shut an independent radio station early this morning without providing an explanation, according to news reports. Authorities have censored Taranga FM at least twice before in retaliation for its exclusive news review program, according to news reports.

Officers of the Gambian National Intelligence Agency stormed Taranga FM studios in Sinchu Alhagie village, southwest of Banjul, the capital, and forced it off the air, according to news reports

Silence and gossip under the corridors of the GTUCCU

Silence will break if the gossip goes on within the corridors of the Gambia Teachers Union Credit Cooperative Credit Union (GTUCCU). 
No stress can shadow the idea of elevating the financial status of the teachers in the country but the managerial system of their shared institution can be questionable, writes Ebrima Bah.

GYIN-Gambia launches ‘I Am a GYINer’ Campaign

The Global Youth Innovation Network Gambia Chapter, GYIN-Gambia on Sunday launched the “I Am a GYINer National Campaign” at the Offices of The Voice newspaper along Sayerr Jobe Avenue, Serrekunda. 

The launch of the Campaign supported by Phelps Stokes and the International Fund for Agricultural Development, IFAD, coincided with celebrations marking International Youth Day 2012 on August 12. 

INTERIOR fears possible violation of children

Interior Minister Ousman Sonko
Gambia’s Ministry of Internal Security Thursday raised concerns over the possible violation of street children who are without parental care.

The Ministry of Interior, the Immigration Department, the Police Child Welfare Unit, and the Department of Social Welfare jointly found a “rampant” presence of children on the streets without parental care.

Some of whom they said are brought to Gambia to be engaged in domestic work from neighbouring countries. 

IMAM Bakawsu reportedly arrested again

Bakawsu Fofana
Reports reaching The Voice newspaper have it that the Gambian Muslim cleric, Imam Bakawsu Fofana is arrested for the second time this year.

A neighbor told this paper that Fofana was arrested at his home, Sanchaba Sulay Jobe, Kombo North district on August 14, 2012 by officials believed to be members of the National Intelligence Agency (the NIA).

It is not clear the reason behind his latest “arrest” or where he is currently detained as efforts to reach family sources was fruitless.

However, sources corroborated that the NIA told Bakawsu he was needed at State House in Banjul, but fails to return since being picked-up on Tuesday evening.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

FEARS OVER NONCOMPLIANCE With Ecowas Court Decisions

Chief Manneh
One of the sub-region’s leading campaigners for free expression and free press, the Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA) last week raised fears that the non-implementation of the decisions of the Community Court of Justice is bound to affect public confidence in the Court as an effective institution in the protection of human rights within the region.

The MFWA made its concerns known at a regional Civil Society forum it organised on Enforcement of Judgements of the ECOWAS Community Court of Justice & Implications on Democracy and Human Rights in West Africa”, held on July 30th, 2012 at the ECOWAS parliament in the Nigerian Capital, Abuja.
The Vice Chairman of the Board of Directors of the MFWA, Mr. Edet Ojo, in his welcome remarks, indicated that among judgements that have not been implemented by member states are two successfully litigated by the MFWA against the Government of The Gambia on behalf of two Gambian journalists.

Giaba drag civil society into fight

West Africa’s Intergovernmental Action Group against Money Laundering (GIABA) on Tuesday concluded a regional sensitization workshop for Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) on AML/CFT in the Senegalese capital of Dakar.

The August 6-7, 2012 event is meant to sensitize civil society organizations on AML/CFT issues and related implications in the West African sub-region; to get members of the civil society actively committed to their role as champions against these twin scourges by spreading the message at grassroots level; to establish links and a solid network of CSOs engaged in the fight as a means of sharing experiences and knowledge within the sub-region; and finally, to build the capacity of CSOs and empower them to take ownership of the fight against ML/FT.  

National exams results made public by WAEC

The Banjul-based office the sub-regional educational body, the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) has made public the results from the May-June 2012 West African Senior School Certificate Examinations (WASSCE). 
WAEC said a total of 7847 candidates from 66 Senior Secondary Schools registered for the examination, of which 4226 (53.85%) were male and 3621 (46.15%) female.

In its Tuesday’s statement, WAEC revealed male candidates dominates their female counterparts in 26 of the 31 subjects registered by both categories of candidates. 

More Revelation as to the D8 Million Debt at the GFA

Omar Sey, GFA Interim Spokesperson
The Gambia Football Association, GFA, Normalisation Committee recently declared that it has inherited D8 million in arrears from the former executive.

Speaking at a press briefing at Football House, the first since the committee was installed last March, Omar Sey, spokesman of the committee said they have been able to raise a loan to settle the salary arrears and dues of retained and retrenched staff and are in touch with our legal team to make an advance towards settling the court action that impounded our bus.
But Sports View Newspaper managed to get the official summary of GFA creditors which was prepared by the Normalization committee led by OB Conateh which represents a bogus figure aims at discrediting the tremendous development programme undertaken by Seedy Kinteh led executive committee.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Gambia lost 22mn euros of EU support over rights concerns

President Yahya Jammeh, pictured in 2011. (AFP Photo/Seyllou)

The European Union cancelled 22 million euros ($26 million) in budget support to Gambia in 2010 due to concerns over human rights and governance, a report released Thursday showed.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Gambian leader celebrates coup, not country

The West African state's autocratic president has elevated his coup d'etat over his country's independence.

Yahya Jammeh overthrew The Gambia's democratically elected president in a coup d'etat in 1994 [AFP]
Banjul, Gambia - Last week, on July 22, Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh celebrated the day he overthrew the country's democratically elected president in a coup d'etat in 1994. Then a lieutenant, Jammeh led a group of young soldiers to overthrow the government of President Sir Dawda Jawara. Jawara was among the key people who fought for the independence of The Gambia from British colonial rule, and subsequently became the first prime minister and later president of the country after independence.

President Jammeh has now for 18 years commemorated the day he broke one of Africa's longest traditions of electoral democracy. In the celebration, he justifies his unconstitutional action by claiming the former government had not been developing the country, and that his bloodless coup was a move to salvage the country and bring development to the people.

The Gambia: Arresting and Detaining Court Reporters Damages Public Trust in the Judiciary

Statement / ARTICLE 19 / 01 Aug 2012

ARTICLE 19 is concerned about the arbitrary arrest and detention of three Gambian journalists who were investigated for alleged contempt of court. 
These actions against journalists reporting on court cases prevented them from informing the public about the work of the judiciary. 
ARTICLE 19 calls on the Gambian authorities to provide remedies for the violations of the journalists’ rights to liberty and freedom of expression and to ensure that the media is free to report legal proceedings in the public interest.