By Alhagie Jobe
Samsudeen Sarr, Gambia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations has rubbished the Gambia’s opposition UDP party executive for ‘claiming that they were never aware of the April 14 planned demonstration’ and party leader Ousainou Darboe who he said should have adopted a different course of action to address the crisis and not to take the desperate action which impulsively led them to resort to the April 16 demonstration.
He said the demonstration was not only about a peaceful demonstration to simply produce Solo Sandeng dead or alive but about the same concept of stopping the December general elections and changing the APRC government through mass uprising. “The challenge remains in that even with the APRC government taking the necessary measures by sending the perpetrators where they rightly belong -JAIL- the incitement from the USA continues with another plan for a third “REVOLT” they are now saying will happen before the December elections. Bring it on losers! Babilli Mansa is there waiting!” he said.
On 20 July, the Banjul High Court sentenced 19 members of the United Democratic Party (UDP) each to three years in jail for unlawful assembly, rioting, incitement to violence, “riotously interfering with vehicles,” holding a procession without a permit, disobeying an order to disperse from an unlawful procession and conspiracy. On 21 July, the Mansakonko High Court also convicted another 11 opposition UDP members for the same offences. All those convicted were arrested either on 14 April during a protest for electoral reforms or on 16 April during a demonstration held after the arrest and alleged death in State custody of UDP top member Solo Sandeng two days earlier.
In a lengthy message posted on his Facebook page, titled ‘The hypocrisy in the international community must stop-period’, Mr Sarr hit hard at the international community accusing them of inciting the abortive coup in Turkey on July 15th, 2016 comparing it to the foreign-sponsored-and-incited armed attack in the Islamic Republic of The Gambia on December 30, 2014 and the “mass political uprising” on April14 & 16, 2016. He questioned what he called ‘the rationale behind the hypocrisy of the international community in their uneven reactions to what had happened in The Gambia against what is now happening in Turkey’ adding that the abortive coup in Turkey was certainly more severe than that of the crisis in The Gambia, nevertheless, in both countries the governments were able to trace the origin of their troubles to certain dissidents of their nationals living in the USA.
Earlier in May, Sarr endorsed the killing of peaceful opposition UDP protesters in The Gambia saying they are back by western powers to destabilize the country. He also rubbished the statement by Adama Dieng, UN Secretary General’s Special advisor on Prevention of Genocide who described Jammeh’s threats to the Mandinka ethnic group as ‘inflammatory rhetoric’. Mr Dieng was particularly appalled by Jammeh’s vitriolic rhetoric saying history has shown that hate speech that constitutes incitement to violence can be both a warning sign and a powerful trigger for atrocity crimes as seen in Rwanda.
Below is the full statement as posted;
THE HYPOCRISY IN THE INTERNATIONAL COMMUNITY MUST STOP-PERIOD
In the last article I wrote a couple of weeks ago on the special anniversary of the great 22nd July revolution I briefly discussed in my closing remarks the unfortunate similarities of the foreign-incited-abortive coup in Turkey on July 15-16, 2016, to that of the foreign-sponsored-and-incited armed attack in the Islamic Republic of The Gambia on December 30, 2014 and the “mass political uprising” on April14&16, 2016. Whereas my aim was to question the rationale behind the hypocrisy of the international community in their uneven reactions to what had happened in the Gambia against what is now happening in Turkey, I will before elaborating on the subject admit that the abortive coup in Turkey on July 15-16, 2016 where 246 people were killed and 2000 more injured before government forces crushed the mutiny was certainly more severe than that of the crisis in the Gambia; nevertheless, in both countries the governments were able to trace the origin of their troubles to certain dissidents of their nationals living in the USA.
Let me juxtapose the two scenarios for readers see my concerns.
Although the 77-year-old Turkish dissident and cleric Fethullah Gulen has candidly denied any involvement in the coup and has also condemned it as unacceptable, the Turkish government in their massive purge of the offenders is still requesting the US government to extradite him for being the ring or spiritual leader behind the rebellion.
The Obama administration on the other hand has assured President Erdogan that if any evidence of the cleric’s involvement or his role in inciting the coup could be proven, the USA will definitively cooperate on their extradition request.
However, other than a short remark made by the US State Department spokesman Mr. John Kirby raising negligible concerns about the closure of few media houses in Turkey, measures taken by the Erdogan government to restore law and order in the country and to ensure that such unruliness never happens again seem blessed and condoned by the US government.
By the way, Mr. John Kirby, US State Department Spokesman is the same tough spokesman recently condemning the Gambia government for taking the necessary measures against the foreign-sponsored-and foreign-incited “mass political uprising” initiated by the United Democratic Party (UDP) youth wing led by Solo Sandeng on April 14, 2016. I will later get into those details.
Conversely, so far, the unmistakable position of all western nations including the USA in supporting the comprehensive and swift crackdown of the culprits by the Turkish government is being justified on the contention that President Erdogan’s government was democratically elected by the Turkish people. Even where it is now confirmed that over thirty thousand government officials-civil servants, judges, teachers, military and police personnel-in Turkey have been arrested, detained, dismissed or discharged from their jobs while many more are on the run.
The last time I checked, over 1,700 military personnel were dishonorably discharged including 40% of the admirals and generals in the armed forces. Ten thousand members of the security forces have been dismissed with 5000 more under detention. Assets of over 3000 detained judges and prosecutors have been sized as part of the investigation. Sixteen television channels, three news agencies, 45 newspapers, 15 magazines and 29 publishers have been closed with the crackdown still going on.
Comparing and contrasting the Turkish problem with what has been recently going on in the Gambia where the government was also democratically elected by the people and the way the Gambian situation is being handled by western countries including the USA, we see a very troubling hypocrisy and bullying tendency aimed at a small African nation that perhaps is considered having limited or no importance to their national interest.
I will therefore be blunt and say that if these western countries didn’t have any national interest in the political and military stability of Turkey or was viewed as another small African nation whose disintegration could be trivialized and contained by sending UN peacekeepers to police the “savages”, these western countries would have been pushing for all kinds of sanctions and condemnation of Turkey for taking the ongoing measure in the wake of the failed coup.
Naturalized Gambian Americans are not only campaigning day in day out to destabilize the peaceful Gambia from the comfort of their apartments or houses in the USA but in 2014 had the demonic nerve to purchase 10million dalasi worth of assault weapons and combat gears and contracted mercenaries to go and overthrow the Gambia government by force. All the weapons and equipment were purchased and smuggled into the Gambia from the USA, while the mercenaries-also hired from here-sneaked into the Gambia a month before their doomed operation.
It is all recorded that the intention of the organizers was to overthrow the Gambia government by force and replace it with a government formed in the USA that had no regards to the Gambians they were supposed to rule. To however state that the Sophisticated-American -intelligence service was unaware of the convoluted conspiracy, the purchase and shipment of the weapons to the Gambia is tantamount to insulting our intelligence.
Looking back on the forestalled disaster the attack could have resulted into, the Gambians are thankful to god and the two counteracting dynamics that helped abort the coup. The first being of course the formidable and impregnable security and defense mechanism in the country consolidated by the genius of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Dr. Alhagie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babilli Mansa, president of the republic and commender-in-chief of the armed and security forces. While the second having to do with the low level of IQ of the hired mercenaries whose amateurism in the business apparently led them into a deathtrap. Indeed, the organizers were soon after arrested, charged and convicted by the US courts, albeit with a leniency that instead of the punishment deterring such incidents from occurring again, effectively ratchetted up their confidence to look for other possible means of destabilizing the Gambia.
Where, may I ask, in the case of the Gambia, was the principle in US foreign policy of dealing with dissidents living in the USA, who have been proven culpable in destabilizing a foreign elected government like the one being referenced in the July 15-16 Turkish coup?
It’s not a secret to the world now that these Gambian dissidents with string of internet radio stations, online newspapers, blogs and social media outlets primarily operating from the USA have been for close to a decade relentlessly threatening the national security of the Gambian nation and its government with words accompanied by actions to forcefully change the regime. As a matter of fact, few weeks before their doomed armed attack on December 30, 2014 some of these dissidents took to the airwaves and boasted about their certainty of the Gambia government not surviving the new-year celebration of 2015.
Upon the failure of that operation, they shamelessly shifted their guilt of misleading and misguiding their mercenaries to their unnecessary and premature deaths and blamed the Gambian security forces for betraying the attackers and killing them with unacceptable brutality.
They had assured the naive amateurs that the members of the Gambia Armed Forces were fed up with the APRC government and would join them upon arrival to carry out the coup to the finish.
Very little sympathy came from the international community over the fact that the elected government of the Gambia had to do what was necessary to protect its people and to ensure that such lawlessness will never be replicated.
However, soon after that failure the same organizers of the December 30, 2014 started another movement of overtly raising funds with the intent of not another armed attack but this time to sponsor a “mass political uprising” that they had believed will force the APRC government to relinquish power to one of the opposition parties in the country.
At first, the message was to raise enough funds that will pay for the air tickets of some of them to go to the Gambia and lead the kind of demonstration that must render the nation ungovernable and ultimately chase the leadership out of power in “the same way it had happened in Burkina Faso”. Although people had in fact argued, based on previous experiences, that the funds raised were eventually going to be shared by the dissidents who are always in serious need of cash to meet their daily expenses. Indeed, the most vocal ones are jobless, while those holding jobs, barely make enough to live comfortably.
Besides, it is also quite obvious that those inciting change of the regime in the Gambia from the comfort of their safe sanctuaries abroad do not necessarily believe in going down to the Gambia to participate in any kind of uprising whatsoever. They want the gullible fools to do it for them with the hope that they will later be given the responsibility of ruling the country for them.
There is no iota of doubt that the US or western governments don’t give a darn about the presence and negative activities of these Gambian dissidents in their countries who are hell-bent on destabilizing the peace and tranquility of the Gambia government. Which I believe is the key reason why they failed to monitor or if they did, never cared much about the activities of some of the organizers of the 2014 failed armed attack who by late 2015 had reached the crescendo of their incitement for the April 14 uprising. They in fact announced to the public that thousands of dollars had been raised for the rebellion.
Their slogan and the concept behind it was to mobilize “a fed up nation” that will ensure that the national elections scheduled in December 2016 will not take place; and that the government must be changed through mass civil disobedience and social chaos.
So just like in their delusion before the 2014 attack when they thought they had assured members of the Gambia Armed Forces to expect their saviors to come and “liberate” them soon from the “tyrannical APRC government”, by mid-February 2016, they were again transmitting messages of assurance to the Gambian civilians at home to brace up for the “rebellion” to prevent the December 2016 presidential elections from taking place that will also force His Excellency President Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh to abdicate power.
Gambian opposition party leaders speaking from home and abroad have in numerous occasions been cajoled on the internet radio stations in the USA to organize “mass demonstrations” for change instead of relying on the forthcoming general elections which the politicians had always rejected as an option. It was however not a surprise that they wouldn’t go anywhere near the Gambia but in March sent $6000.00 to the United Democratic Party (UDP) youth movement for the logistics and mobilization of low-IQ troublemakers from different parts of the country to come to Serrekunda and trigger the violent disturbances on April 14, 2016.
The 30-gathered cowards had to wait until the president was out of the country on an official trip before striking, hoping that in his absence the damage desired will be maximized for success. The desperadoes exhibited no regards to the fact that the majority of the Gambians who voted President Jammeh into power and love him dearly as their leader wouldn’t have let them get away with the disruption of the peace, tranquility and security enjoyed in the whole country. Which in essence was a recipe for the destruction of public and private properties and, in a protracted conflict, could have caused the death of many innocent people in the country.
Thank god the competent security forces under the command and control of His Excellency Sheikh Professor Doctor Alhagie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babilli Mansa stepped in on time and stopped the potential anarchy. I have said this before and will reiterate it that it was nothing about a peaceful demonstration for electoral reform but everything about changing the APRC regime by force that failed miserably. “Alhamdulilah”!
Unfortunately, according to reports, Solo Sandeng the UDP youth leader who was misled and deceived like the 2014 attackers lost his life for taking the risk. The blame for all deaths and imprisonments in these persistent crusades incited from abroad rests squarely on the shoulders of the organizers and their surrogates and not in any way the fault of the Gambia government protecting its people and society. We have had enough of the hypocrisy, double standard and bullying.
Another absurdity is the claim that the UDP executive was never aware of the April 14 planned demonstration. Trust me folks, they were throughout all into it together but used the Solo Sandeng group as the Trojan horse. It was a shock to the executive to see the April 14 “mass political uprising” fail to achieve its objective.
One would think that a man of Ousainou Darbo’s caliber would have adopted a different course of action to address the crisis they were misled and deceived into starting in the first place; but I guess desperate situations often lead to desperate actions which impulsively led the UDP executive to resort to the April 16 demonstration. Again, I don’t think it was about a peaceful demonstration to simply produce Solo Sandeng dead or alive but about the same concept of stopping the December general elections and changing the APRC government through mass uprising.
The challenge remains in that even with the APRC government taking the necessary measures by sending the perpetrators where they rightly belong-JAIL- the incitement from the USA continues with another plan for a third “REVOLT” they are now saying will happen before the December elections. Bring it on losers! Babilli Mansa is there waiting!
The US and western governments don’t seem to care about the trouble these folks are causing in the Gambia but instead seem to be encouraging them; what they should however bear in mind is that the Gambian people are in total support of their government to deal with any brigands paid to cause trouble in the country. It will be apparitional to think that out of the 1.8 million Gambians enjoying their human and civil rights in the country, less than 50 people will hold them at ransom for “exercising their human rights”. The evidence of all the incitement from the west is there for everybody to see. So if you can’t or don’t want to stop it, please have the decency or conscience to stay away from the government’s business when they try to secure their country.
Long live the Islamic Republic of The Gambia!
Long live the Gambian people!
Long live His Excellency Sheikh Professor Doctor Alhagie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babilli Mansa!
New York City