Who Is Dr. Isatou Touray, The Independent Presidential Candidate For 2016 Elections?

  Introduction   This is a historic event in the history of The Gambia. A Female Independent Presidential Candidate for the 2016 election. It is sponsored by individual Gambians who...

A Coalition Formula

  By Lamin Gano The aim of this blog post is to endorse a simple and credible formula on how to form a coalition between the Gambian opposition parties....

Justice Ministry Says Days Of Politically Motivated Prosecutions in The Gambia Are Over

The Ministry of Justice wishes to clarify inaccurate reports in the media that the GDC member for Jimara Constituency Honourable Alhaji Sowe was acquitted and discharged by...

President Adama Barrow to Embark on Nationwide Tour

State House, Banjul, July 12th, 2018 – In fulfillment of section 222 (15) of the 1997 Constitution of the Republic of The Gambia, His Excellency, President Adama Barrow...

Remaining ministers to be named & sworn-in Saturday

The Office of the President has announced that it will name the remaining ministers for the new Cabinet tomorrow, Saturday, January 11th, 2017, at the Kairaba Beach...

Corendon Lands In Banjul with 134 Tourists As Season Begins in Earnest

By Yunus S Saliu In a conducive and relaxation atmosphere, the Gambia Tourism Board under the aegis of Ministry of Tourism and Culture received the first flight marking...

Gambia’s security forces must put human rights above loyalty to Yahya Jammeh

The army has backed Yahya Jammeh, but now they must support a democratic transition.Gambia’s political crisis has entered a dangerous phase. After publicly conceding defeat in the...

STATEMENT OF YJAG ON THE OCCASION OF WORLD PRESS FREEDOM DAY, 2018

The Young Journalists’ Association of The Gambia (YJAG) is pleased to associate itself with the rest of the world in commemorating World Press Freedom Day, 2018. We...

Justice Ministry to create Special Adviser position on judicial reforms

Gambia’s Ministry of Justice is on the verge of creating the post of a Special Adviser to the Attorney General. The Special Adviser’s responsibility will be to provide...

INTERVIEW OF THE HONOURABLE MINISTER BY GRTS

GRTS: We learnt you were in Switzerland for official mission. Can you tell us what this trip was about?   Minister Fatty: This was a very important event. I was the 68th Statutory Executive Committee meeting of the United nations High Commissioner for Refugees. There were 153 countries that were represented. The meeting is held annually by the United Nations High Commission for Refugees. Nations gather in order to review the work of the Standing Committee in the previous year. In this case, the Standing Committee’s performance over the last one year, The Gambia has a central role to play in that. So the main purpose of the meeting was to set the agenda for the next year; to review the state of refugees around the world; migration; for states to present reports that they have to be evaluated covering the past year; and also to make an approval of the budget of the Standing Committee for the next year.  The Gambia participated because we have an experience to share with the world in terms of refugee and migration management. As you know The Gambia is a host country for refugee. We had almost 10,000 refugees living in The Gambia. The figures have gone down to precisely 7000 over the past couple of months and since this new government came into existence. We are contributing significantly towards the protection and management of refugees around the world  with this kind of refugee population on our ground. We have refugees who are fully integrated into Gambian society. These refugees live among communities and we know the figures because we have a very comprehensive registration system. They are registered periodically. We have them profiled and we know where they live. We are working with UNHCR office in The Gambia and also the regional office in Dakar. We grant them documentation so that they can move freely in our country. The children are going to school. And so we have all the services. Refugees in The Gambia live like Gambian citizens.   GRTS: As we speak, our brother and sisters are currently in Libya and Italy mainly sweating for greener pastures while others who have failed to make it have voluntarily returned. What plans do you have to integrate them to society?  Minister Fatty: The government is not resting on its laurels. The government is working with international partners – the European Union particularly – to make sure migration can be managed properly. And we want it to serve the development interest of The Gambia. The President and the government believe that the long term approach to migration should encourage private sector growth in The Gambia. Businesses and enterprises have to be established that will help spur economic growth  enabling young people to have jobs.  GRTS: Can you tell us the current state of drug misuse or use in the country?  We have an institution under the Ministry of the Interior called the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency. It is a very strong and effective agency doing a tremendous job in terms of drug interdiction, interception, prosecution and preventing the abuse of drugs in the country. The drugs that are in the country come from other parts of the world but it’s being exaggerated. The amount of drug abuse seems to be a little bit on the rise since the coming into effect of the new government. And because of the  sense of freedom that Gambians feel, the young people in particular. But then the law is clear. Peddling in drugs and abuse of drugs continue to be illegal and the agents of the Drug Law Enforcement Agency together with the police and other law enforcement outfits will continue to clamp down on the trafficking and abuse of drugs  GRTS: Is drugs a health or criminal problem?  Minister Fatty: The problem can be viewed differently. The Gambia depends on its young people. The future of this country is in the hands of the young. If these young people are introduced into drugs, the future of the country will be mortgaged by drug dealers and peddlers. The Ministry of the Interior is intensifying its activities through the Drug Law Enforcement Agency and The Gambia government is committed and ready to put in more resources, in order to stem the flow of drugs into our country and also its abuse.   GRTS: The past government’s approach to drugs was criminal. With a new and democratic government place, are we expecting a new approach?   Minister Fatty: The way the new government sees crime is different. This is why prison reform is also coming. It’s going to be a different way of doing business. We believe that people can be rehabilitated.  We believe that when people get misguided, it falls upon society to bring them back on track. We have to have a humanistic and human rights approach. Much as the laws must be enforced, the approach of  this government centers on the human person; to make the human person a better citizen.  GRTS: What are the types of drugs that are threatening to destroy the cream of our society – the young people?   Minister Fatty: Most of the drugs that are usually abused in The Gambia are soft drugs. Cannabis, predominantly, is the drug that we are battling with. But we do have an incursion on hard drugs as well. Our law enforcement agents are very vigilant. We have very good seizures at the moment and prosecutions are also ongoing. The young people must understand that drugs is not the way. And I’m sending a warning to drug dealers that we will be on their tail.   GRTS: Finally, can you comment on the issue of passports and ID cards?  Minister Fatty: The issue of ID cards is not the creation of this government. We did not create the problem of ID cards, we found it here. When this government came in, there were complexities of contracts and some are not in the best interest of the country. So we came in and we had to resolve just like many other issues. We have to give this country a national identification system that is consistent with international standards. We took time to look at it critically so that we can eliminate some of the distortions and fraud involved in it. The Ministry has concluded that it is time now to give Gambians a national identification system that they deserve. Cabinet has approved and a process is now in place. This process of consultation by the Ministries of the Interior and Finance and others will be completed very soon. Government will be engaging key stakeholders who are involved and a national identification system should be in place. And we hope this will happen between November and December – if all goes well. I want to tell you that passports are being issued. We have not stopped the issuance of passports. We have terminated the issuance of MachineReadable Passports but the biometric passport production is ongoing and any Gambian who wants a passport can get it.    Ethiene Silva conducted this interview on October 10, 2017    

President Julius Maada Bio Launches Textbooks, Teaching And Learning Materials Worth Le 221 Billion

President Julius Maada Bio Launches Textbooks, Teaching and Learning Materials worth Le 221 Billion to Support Free Quality Education in Sierra Leone State House, Freetown, Wednesday 9 January...

Coalition Divided Over National Assembly Elections

The Fatu Network has received information that the coalition government is hugely divided over the upcoming national assembly elections. Sources say after many closed door meetings, the...

GAF bids farewell to Army Chief Bargie

The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) on Monday bade farewell to one of the longest serving Chiefs of Defense Staff, Lt. General Ousman Bargie in a symbolic and...

UK Foreign Secretary to visit The Gambia and Ghana

  Press Statement   Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson will meet with President Barrow and President Akufo-Addo on a two-day trip to West Africa. The Foreign Secretary will visit The Gambia and...

APRC regime littered Gambia with ruined reputations and shattered dreams

As Gambians, many of us like to close our eyes and walk throughout our pains but proliferation of character assassination conspiracy fueled by APRC regime, by systematically...

HELLO MR PRESIDENT..Cooperation on Security

It is heartening to learn that our Minister of the Interior, Mr Mai Ahmad Fatty with a high ranking delegation is currently  in Dakar, Senegal, discussing security...

Gambia: Withdrawal from ICC a drastic blow to countless victims globally

  Amnesty International Press Statement   Following the announcement yesterday by the Gambian Information Minister that Gambia has withdrawn from the International Criminal Court (ICC), Netsanet Belay, Amnesty International’s Research...

Mali Violence A Lesson for Gambia – Ex-Minister

By Lamin Njie Former Minister of the Interior Mai Ahmad Fatty has said that violence in Mali and elsewhere “is valuable lesson for The Gambia to urgently, fully...

Mohamed Ibn Chambas Congratulates Gambians For Political Maturity And Commitment To Peace

Press Statement Banjul, Friday 27 January - On the occasion of the return of the President of The Gambia, Mr. Adama Barrow, to the capital Banjul, the Special...

Jammeh’s presidential plane in Kuala Lumpur airport as his gold digger wife goes on...

The Fatu Network has confirmed with utmost authority that The Gambia's shopaholic First Lady, Zineb Yahya Jammeh is currently in the Malaysian capital Kuala Lumpur on what...