Yahya Jammeh’s actions behind closed doors and public indifference as a pious “Muslim” to the continued persecution and murder of Gambians is a scandal of enormous proportions. Exploiting Islam and executive power of presidency to deceive Gambians is nothing new for Mr. Yahya Jammeh. All of these contradictions of the president are of his own makings and trying to preserve an exalted image of himself won’t work anymore. When Gambians cried for electoral reform, Mr. Jammeh answered with unrestrained violence. Perhaps most notable is that, the abuse of political prisoners is no secret for the master of inhumanity. Yahya Jammeh’s abuses of Gambians, taken together with his steady stream of death threats against Gambian’s and recent threats of war to neighboring countries in an interview with newspaper, signals — the crisis that could soon spread beyond the Gambia.
Unfortunately, though, ICC’s shuttered-eye approach may soon be no longer tolerable. Despite the current ICC prosecutors position that it is not time to make a statement yet. It inevitably leads to stalemate at best, or worse. This is the problem when everything about the Gambia through the eyes of the world bodies are reduced to politics. Honesty and loyalty are both virtues, but the political selfishness of an individual can put them at odds. Most important, however, so long as these kinds of statements are pronounced by powerful bodies, Yahya will continue to gather strength to continue his actions to further the cause of human rights violations.
Yahya Jammeh — The masters of spreading doubts have succeeded putting the world bodies against each other literally. But Mrs. Bensouda hurts own her image among Gambians by refusing to acknowledge as a Gambian that, Yahya Jammeh has — ties to rebels in Cassamance, however vague and obscure, and engage in war crimes there as well as human rights violation in Gambian. Given all of that, we recall when Yahya Jammeh gave you an ORG award. The ICC has one eye opened to recognize the genocide in other countries, but the other eye remains closed to the threat that Yahya Jammeh poses on Gambians. This kind of wishy-washy statements explains why the regime has used the gross negligence of human life as standard to prosecute citizens. No one in their right mind wants to be tied to a president who promises prosperity and delivers malaise.
Yahya Jammeh’s commitment to silencing Gambians through violence seems to be escalating, if incrementally. The regime is not particularly forthcoming with details of all the murders they have committed from November 11th 1995 to 2016. Many of service men and civilians whom are privy to — murders, rapes, extermination, babies buried alive, infants and virgins fed to crocodiles are neutered by an understandable fear of Yaya Jammeh going after their families — when they speak out. Nonetheless, Gambians, we have to start documenting all the atrocities of the regime and victims should come forward to expose the regime’s brutalities. Yahya Jammeh seems to have basic problems with Gambians. He likes to control all the narratives and everything. Unbeknownst to the novice commander in chief, he feels that he should always have the last word in everything. He doesn’t like— when people disagree with him about treatment of fellow Gambians; he resists listening to public concerns, and he seems to think he should be free to reshape the country to suit his vision.
The question everyone will want answered, of course, is: Does the ICC’s prosecutor believe it is better to place Gambia at greater risk than take the chance of offending Yahya Jammeh? Genocide— is a crime that has to do something with human rights too. Likewise, torture, rape, and war crimes. Yahya Jammeh is still determined to systematically persecute the country’s majority tribe because of fear of losing elections— a human rights debacle that can be described as genocide. Thousands more have fled Gambia by risking their lives at high seas, risking their lives with criminal syndicates who traffic them and force them into servitude.
Once more, the International Criminal Court should not turn a blind on Gambia but redouble its efforts to identify and prosecute perpetrators of crimes against the Gambian people, along with Yahya Jammeh who is determined— to the destruction of our heritage. Gambia is a nation where the absence of democracy and gross violations of human rights have already led to the ultimate collective war crime. Hence the ICC — simply cannot afford to continue to avert its gaze from Mr. Yahya Jammeh’s violent and arbitrary rule. Starting a criminal investigation into APRC regime is not about payback of you being fired by the regime before; it is about ensuring that human right abuses and ethnic cleansing never happens again and the ICC regains — its moral credibility to rebuke torture by other governments. No Gambian should feel that their GOD given human rights come second to other citizens of a foreign country. Gambian lives matter too even if the crimes haven’t reach your door steps.
By Habib (A Concerned Gambian)