18 March 2019

Gambia: Good Morning Mr. President

opinion

Mr. President, last week has been a very dramatic week for The Gambia as a lot of scenarios were unfolded.

Ya Kumba Jaiteh who filed her petition at the court lost her case in which she wanted nominated Member of Parliament, Foday Gassama, not to be sworn-in today.

Her second case was challenging the president for her dismissal as a nominated member of parliament that would be later heard when the court fixes a date.

Mr. President the removal of your vice president Ousainou Darboe and party leader together with two ministers from the UDP; Amadou Sanneh-Trade and Lamin Dibba-Agriculture was not a surprise.

Political analysts predicted sooner or later that you would part ways because you said people working in your government undermining you should resign or be sacked.

The real problem surfaced when your youth movement was formed and Darboe said his party recognizes only UDP Youth Movement.

Mr. President, it's now time for you to concentrate on your work and do what people expect from you which is to improve their social lives, basic commodities, transport, health and education to be affordable.

Darboe should now focus on his party for the 2021 presidential elections. We appeal to both of you as elderly statesmen to maintain, promote, and nurture the peace and stability of the country. In politics, there are no friends but interest.

Mr. President, on a more serious issue, last week a press release was issued from the office of the government spokesperson titled: 'The Gambia Government Imposes Moratorium on Deportation' and signed by the government spokesperson where it was clearly stated that after a frank and amicable meeting between the German Ambassador Roken and the Interior Minister Mballow and later between Ambassador Roken and the then former Vice President Darboe, an agreement was reached with Germany to halt the planned mass deportations while better and more humane modalities are worked out.

But another information by the Refugee Council of Baden-Wurttemberg regarding deportations of Gambian has given a quite different shift towards this deportation issue as the Refugee Council of Baden-Wurttemberg is strongly denying any agreement between the two countries through a reply they received from the Federal Foreign Office stating 'There is no agreement to suspend deportation to Gambia. On the basis of this agreement repatriations to Gambia will also take place in the future, although the next planned charter flight was initially postponed.

Mr. President, it's time that the truth is known once and for all about this issue of deportation and all circumstances surrounding this deportation, but we can't succumb to all kinds of information; one country claiming to have agreed on and another country denying.

The consequences of this mass deportation should not be ignored as discussed the other time. Deporting these migrants without preparing for their future can be a serious threat to the peace and security of the country as crime rate can be increased if they are not provided with employment avenues to venture into once they arrive. This can also cause a drop in the economy of the country as most Gambians survived through the remittances sent from relatives staying aboard.

Mr. President, the communal clashes between Gunjur and Berending over land is a regrettable scene that has claimed the life of one. This needs to be treated with urgency, it's becoming a phenomenon that should not be acceptable and must not be tolerated. This land issue seems to be threatening the security of the country and something needs to be done as soon as possible.

Nowadays, if it's not a fight over border issue, it's a group of people fighting over a land that has been occupied by another group for a long time or it's a court order for people to vacate after staying for a number of years.

Finally, the dispute over land in this country is on the rise and your government should work tirelessly to identify the flashpoints all over the country and address them now.

Good Day!

Gambia

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