By Alhagie Jobe
Samsudeen Sarr, the Gambia’s deputy ambassador to the United Nations has rubbished the recent statement by Adama Dieng, UN Secretary General’s Special advisor on Prevention of Genocide, against President Yahya Jammeh’s threats to the Madinka ethnic group in The Gambia.
President Yahya Jammeh at a political rally in the town of Tallinding on June 3, threatened to eliminate the Mandinka ethnic group and referred to them as “enemies, foreigners” and threatened to kill them one by one and place them “where even a fly cannot see them”.
The comments gathered global condemnation including Adama Dieng, who is the UN Secretary General’s Special advisor on Prevention of Genocide who is particularly appalled by Jammeh’s vitriolic rhetoric as 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. He described it as ‘inflammatory rhetoric’ targeting the largest ethnic group in the country. He said public statements of this nature by a national leader are irresponsible, extremely dangerous and a public stigmatisation, dehumanisation and threats’.
In a lengthy counter-message posted on his Facebook entitled ‘Mr. Adama Dieng, a UN advisor or another puppet on the service of Gambia’s enemies’, Samsudeen Sarr described Mr Dieng’s action as a shame and unfairly meddling in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic of The Gambia.
Earlier in May, Sarr endorsed the killing of peaceful protesters in The Gambia saying they are backed by western powers to destabilize the country.
Below is the full message of Mr. Sarr as posted on his Facebook page;
Mr. ADAMA DIENG A UN ADVISER OR ANOTHER PUPPET ON THE SERVICE OF GAMBIA’S ENEMIES?
Dear readers, It’s been a while since I wrote anything about the current political developments in our dear country, the Islamic Republic of The Gambia. Domestic and work related matters have been keeping me rather busy these days; nonetheless I am fairly abreast with the dynamics unfolding in and out of the country that I intend to briefly discuss in this paper.
Whereas my main theme is to scrutinize and condemn the remarks made against our president His Excellency President Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh by another hypocrite or unconscionable “puppet” in the name of Mr. Adama Dieng identified by certain online newspapers as being “The UN Special Adviser of the Secretary General on the prevention of Genocide”, I will but first take a moment to thank the Almighty Allah for the life and wellbeing he provides all of us observing another sacred Ramadan month with the prayers for him to bless us all throughout the period. May the Almighty Allah accept our prayers for peace in our country, success in our endeavors and humbleness in our accomplishments.
It is also important to fleetingly convey on behalf of the thousands of Gambians and non-Gambians in the diaspora who have reached us in our New York City office extending their delightful birthday wishes to the His Excellency President Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh on his 51st birthday ceremony, celebrated on May 25th 2016. They have all expressed a common sentiment by wishing you Your Excellency a very happy birthday celebration, everlasting good health, prosperous and joyous life together with your entire family members, personal and statewide.
Furthermore Your Excellency, The Gambians here take great pride and satisfaction in your wise decision to send a high-ranking government delegation on your behalf and on behalf of the Gambian people in the persons of Gambia’s foreign minister Honorable Neneh Mcdoll Gaye, the Gambia’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations His Excellency Dr. Mamadou Tangara and the Gambia’s Ambassador to the United States His Excellency Sheikh Omar Faye to on Friday June 10, 2016 represent you and all your people at the globally celebrated funeral of the Great Muhammad Ali. The Gambia’s presence there was without doubt venerated and well acknowledged by his family members, friends and well-wishers. It was an admirable gesture for the Gambia to witness the burial ceremony of one of the greatest people and Muslims to ever have lived on this earth of ours.
In the various eulogies delivered, Ali was rightly presented as a unique individual who upon realizing his special gift of talent and power from infancy put his faith in the hands of the Almighty Allah and eventually prevailed as one of the greatest regardless of the monumental challenges on his path throughout his life. He was born black in America at a time when nothing was glamourous about being a black man here. He started boxing at a time in America when black people were still constitutionally considered less of human beings and categorized as totally inferior to whites who dominated the sports then; when every professional thought his different style of fighting that brought him the huge success he had must be changed if he expected to last or be successful in the game. He stood against the Vietnam War and any kind of war, which at the time, was unthinkable and punishable by imprisonment. He converted to Islam where he found the peace of a religion that didn’t preach the equality of all beings on one hand but on the other subject its members into state-endorsed discrimination, segregation because of the color of people’s skin. Muhammed Ali in short was a true believer who lived by his convictions, altered the rules of conventional wisdom and consolidated a legacy that will ever remain cherished by mankind. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
That said, I will now return to my main theme concerning Mr. Adama Dieng and his outrageous remarks against the Gambia’s president His Excellency Sheikh Professor Doctor Alhagie Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh, Babili Mansa.
Since there was no disclaimer to his online-published remarks, I concluded that the harangue actually originated from Mr. Adama Dieng “The UN Special Adviser of the Secretary General on the prevention of Genocide” or whoever he is.
It is my stern belief that given the dizzying dishonesty in his statement Mr. Adama Dieng must have, if he is not already one of them, been coerced by enemies of the Gambia government to say what he said; otherwise it will be fair to view his disposition as that of simply a contemptuous bully.
By the way since the president’s speech was delivered in the two main local languages of the community he was addressing, Wolof and Mandingo, I would honestly expect Mr. Dieng to have a good command of one or both to better understand what the Gambian leader was talking about. Depending on other people’s interpretation of President Jammeh’s statement into an English version, the language in which Mr. Dieng conveyed his stern response would look to me like a careless decision to throw a brutal low punch.
The Gambia evidently has a permanent representative at the UN where I cannot fathom why Mr. Dieng couldn’t have first tried to get his facts straight before going on his rash condemnation of the Gambia government and its leadership.
I seriously don’t think Mr. Dieng listened or understood the whole statements made by President Jammeh at the political rally in question of June 3, 2016 where he raised his concerns about the Extremist-Mandingos, yes he was referring to the Extremist- Mandingos, hell-bent to permanently destabilize the country under the guise of political change. The president made it clear in his statement that he was not referring to the law-abiding and peace loving Mandingos a majority of whom constitute a large proportion of his supporters, party militants, advisers and government officials. But of course, there are those extremists Mandingos who always when it comes to politics tend to claim a special birthright to rule the country based on their historic merits of being the first settlers in the Gambia.
In the past two decades since President Jammeh became the country’s head of state, these politically polarizing elements have been relentless in their demands for President Jammeh to step down accusing him of not even being born in the Gambia and not being a Gambian at all.
During the past PPP government, we were witnesses to these extremists being quick to admonish Wolof-speaking Gambians in their own communities to stop speaking their dialect and start learning how to speak the Mandingo language in what they used to claim as being a “Mandingo Country”.
These were also the very folks who before the April 14, 2016 so-called peaceful political demonstration in the Gambia conducted an open fundraising from the US-based-internet radio stations for the sole purpose of paying for and inciting that attempted mass uprising in the Gambia that thank God was stopped without any major incidents. That’s right, all those who had taken part in the demonstration were Mandingo-speaking thugs of very low IQs paid from the funds raised from the USA and Europe and ordered to initiate the tearing of the country apart with the hope that the APRC government will succumb to the pressure. That is the reality President Jammeh highlighted in his speech emphasizing the end of his tolerance to the whole nonsense of tribal politics pestering the majority of the peace loving Gambia population.
I think the problem people have with President Jammeh is his frankness when it comes to address major issues. Certainly the president always tells it as it is in the same manner he would stand before the UN General Assembly in New York and condemn like no Muslim leader in the world will do the terrible mindset behind Islamic extremism and terrorism perpetuated by a tiny fraction of Muslims that continues to undermine the integrity and trustworthiness of over a billion peace-loving Muslims worldwide. Do we hear anyone condemning him for inciting genocide against Muslims by identity? No Mr. Dieng! Instead they always clap for him with standing ovation for saying what many are afraid to say for political correction. A few of his kind in the world would have helped solve many problems caused by the deadbeats entrusted with key responsibilities.
However, from the footage of the video in that meeting Mr. Dieng, still viewable online, the thousands in attendance loudly applauded him for his frank observations and uncompromising warnings.
For your information Mr. Dieng’s the bulk of the masterminds of these Mandingo extremists are in exile living in the USA and Europe with some of them naturalized in their host countries. They indeed control an elaborate association of loyalists and campaigners, devoting all their time and energy to their objective of changing the regime in the Gambia by force. Go to their websites and listen to their messages of doom, hate and gloom against President Jammeh and his government.
This is not the first time such dangerous attempts were made by these extremists to destabilize the country and as at this very moment they are on their radio stations, mostly speaking in the local dialects, inciting the Gambian people to overthrow the government of President Jammeh, calling on his enemies in the country to assassinate him and threatening to lynch him because of his tribal origin as a Jola. Their slogan is Jammeh must step down or the country starts a civil war. If that is not incitement for political or ethnic conflict that could degenerate to genocide, I don’t know what is Mr. Dieng.
Is Mr. Dieng actually aware of these numerous internet radio outlets and newspapers operating from the USA in the past five to ten years with their hosts constantly inciting Gambians to revolt against their government even if it means destabilizing the nation’s peace and security and rendering the country ungovernable? He probably doesn’t, and may never care.
I think the appropriate role for Mr. Adama Dieng on Gambia’s problems as “The UN Adviser of the Secretary General on the prevention of Genocide”, a role devoid of any hypocrisy or puppeteering, would be to direct his concerns to the US government to find ways or means of shutting down these dangerous Gambian internet radios in this county that potentially pose serious threat of causing political genocide in the Gambia.
By the way did anyone hear Mr. Dieng in his capacity as “Genocide preventer” say a word about the genocidal idea of American citizens living here, purchasing large quantity of deadly weapons from the USA, hired low-IQ mercenaries and sent them on December 30, 2014 to the Gambia to overthrow the government by force? He couldn’t tell us that he was not aware of that terrorist attack whose participants were either killed in action or chased away from the Gambia. In fact, the American government arrested the ringleaders, prosecuted and convicted them for their crimes. And did Mr. Dieng know that few months before that terrorist attack, these radio outlets were warning the Gambians to expect the downfall of the Jammeh government before the beginning of the year 2016?
However, for Mr. Dieng to give examples of Rwanda, Bosnia and the Middle East as what could happen in the Gambia from his memory of how incitement of violence has led to mass killings along identity lines, is tantamount to comparing what a sincere leader is indeed doing to keep his country safe and peaceful with the incomparable failure of a major organization that neglected its duties to act when it could until close to a million helpless people were massacred before their eyes.
We all know what happened in Rwanda in where an independent report commissioned by former Secretary-General Kofi Annan, showed a UN peacekeeping mission in the country doomed from the start by an insufficient mandate and later destroyed by the Security Council’s refusal to strengthen it, once the genocide started. The report also underscored how UN Officials-Kofi Annan and then- the late Secretary General Boutros Boutros-Ghali among them-were unable or unwilling to act on information from the field that a massive slaughter was happening and that they needed to do something to stop it. The whole macabre incident was compounded by Hutu extremists using local radio stations to call for more killings of Tutsis.
The conclusive findings on what happened in Rwanda Mr. Dieng summarized in a report shared below was nothing resembling what President Jammeh is doing to protect the majority of Gambians from enemies of his country, external and internal: In summary, the author wrote:
“I believe the UN can be blamed for letting 800,000 people die, they knew what was happening in Rwanda and had the capacity to stop it but didn’t. Each person killed was someone’s family member and someone’s friend but the UN ignored their cry for help to maintain some political propaganda. The international community had the responsibility to help.”
Furthermore, the last thing anyone in his right mind will attempt to do is to attribute what is happening in tiny Gambia to the disaster in the Middle East created by untouchable mighty nations licensed to ride roughshod against the weak and helpless. So bringing that tragedy into the equation leaves me questioning your sincerity Mr. Dieng as a UN Adviser.
Last but not the least Mr. Dieng, President Jammeh is fully aware of the 2005 UN agreement of all heads of state and their governments’ acknowledgement of their responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity as well as incitement. That is in fact the exact responsibility he is fulfilling to ensure that the majority of Gambians who voted him into power are well protected, live in peace and don’t depend on any international organization or body to provide it for them. He is not in that mood for playing Russian Roulette.
Prevention is better than cure Mr. Dieng, and you need to know that instead of helping by demanding for the shutdown of these vitriolic internet radios mounted by the enemies of the Gambia in the USA that are day in day out inciting for violence and tribal war in that peaceful nation you are hurting by directing your frustrations to the wrong target. Take reality check of yourself and stop the hypocrisy.
I have indeed written in the past that the US government would have authorized the use of predatory drones to take out the stations and hosts of all these inciting-radio stations in this country if they were faced with the same level of threat from another country as the Gambia does. That’s another hard fact I want the whole world to acknowledge and get the US to take action about it.
On a final note Mr. Dieng, I am curious to know when “The UN Special Adviser of the Secretary General on the prevention of Genocide” would start cautioning Donald Trump the Republican Party standard bearer on his campaign for the US presidency that everyone now sees as being rooted on xenophobia, racism and all kinds of hate ideals? Or can I assume that the rules don’t apply to America’s internal political affairs? Oh yes, Mr. Adama Dieng, what you are doing is unfairly meddling in the internal affairs of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia.
What a shame!
New York City