FOROYAA Newspaper (Serrekunda)

7 February 2013

Gambia: UK Chief of Defence Staff Visits the Gambia What Has Happpened to the Anti EU Proposal Campaigners?

According to the campaigners against the EU proposal, Britain is a former colonial power who had done nothing for the Gambia after 400 years of colonial domination. They claim that the European Union is not interested in development for the Gambia; that instead of giving support for the development of education, health and other social services they are just interested in giving support to unpatriotic forces who are bent on destabilizing the country.

Interestingly enough while the supporters of the president were busy preparing the minds of the people for reprisals from the European Union, events were unfolding that proves that the proposals for the political dialogue were just part of a routine exercise to better the governance environment in the Gambia and did not amount to any conspiracy to destabilize the current government. The refusal of the government to continue the political dialogue is what will spark other actions if the government fails to renege on its position.

The proposals for the political dialogue are early warning signals. The presence of the UK Chief of Defence Staff, General Sir David Richards in The Gambia last Friday, 1st February for talks with Gambia government officials on the ongoing military conflict in Mali is a clear indication that the proposals for the political dialogue is at a low level in the diplomatic ladder and the early declaration of an imminent threat to national stability is an overreaction which may even have come as a surprise to the EU diplomatic core.

If EU had taken a decision at the Ministerial and Head of state level General Sir David Richards would not have included the Gambia in his fact finding mission to West Africa. General Richards flew in on a Royal Air Force flight from Mali and headed for Accra.

Since the political dialogue is at the ambassadorial level as far as the EU is concerned it is important for the Gambia Government to reconsider its decision to suspend the dialogue so that Gambians would benefit from reform in Governance. What the EU is amplifying is the demands of all Gambians who want to live in liberty dignity and prosperity. Most Gambians would support the reemergence of Taranga FM, The Standard and The Daily News. The EU is also requesting for Commitment that no non Governmental Media house would be closed down without due process and court order.

Most Gambians would not want Lang Tombong Tamba and co and other death row prisoners executed. Even supporters of the government appealed to the President to halt the execution. The EU is requesting for a permanent commitment to halt executions. They are simply amplifying the demands of Gambians who want to reduce the spilling of blood in the country.

Most Gambians do not support detention without trial or disappearances without trace like the case of Imam Baba Leigh. Hence they stand for prison reform. The EU is just amplifying the wishes of the Gambian by asking for Commitment to effect prison reform.

When a person is obsessed by the desire to see a government uprooted from office every crisis it undergoes is propagated as its D Day. This is why many rumours spread that Gambia was under EU sanctions and that the President cannot travel abroad. There is currently an impasse in political dialogue. Only the future could tell what this impasse would lead to if the suspension to the political dialogue is not lifted.

Those who are objective and desire to be in touch with reality should continue to read Foroyaa to get updates. Only the truth could set us free.

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