Monday, July 22, 2024

GAP Condemns UK Foreign Secretary’s Comments on FGM and Visa Sanctions Threat to Lawmakers in The Gambia

- Advertisement -

By: Dawda Baldeh

The Gambia Action Party (GAP) has denounced recent statements made by United Kingdom Foreign Secretary David Cameron regarding the practice of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) in The Gambia, labeling them as “blatant interference with national sovereignty.”

- Advertisement -

GAP leader Musa Ousainou Yali Batchilly also condemned Cameron’s suggestion of imposing visa sanctions on lawmakers who advocate for lifting the ban on FGM.

“It is completely unacceptable for any foreign power to dictate the legislative agenda of another sovereign nation. The Gambia possesses its own democratic institutions and mechanisms for addressing social issues such as FGM,” he stated.

According to GAP, Cameron’s efforts to pressure Gambian lawmakers into lifting the ban on FGM demonstrate a blatant disregard for our autonomy and the will of our people.

Additionally, he criticized Cameron’s comparison of FGM with LGBTQ+ rights in the UK as both misguided and deeply offensive.

- Advertisement -

“The struggle for LGBTQ+ rights is centered on upholding the fundamental human rights and dignity of individuals, while FGM is and will never be a practice that respects the rights and bodily integrity of women and girls,” he emphasized.

The Gambian opposition further argued that there is no moral equivalence between the two issues, and it is shocking that Cameron would even suggest such a comparison.

He continued, “Let it be clear to David Cameron and any other foreign actors attempting to interfere in our affairs: The Gambia will not succumb to bullying or coercion to lift the ban on FGM.”

The GAP leader urged Gambian lawmakers to stand firm, emphasizing that they are elected representatives of the Gambian people who will uphold laws reflecting our values and aspirations.

- Advertisement -

“No amount of threats or sanctions will dissuade us from safeguarding the rights and well-being of our women and girls, as guided by our religious beliefs, particularly Islam.

In conclusion, David Cameron’s remarks regarding FGM in The Gambia are not only hypocritical but also a violation of our sovereignty,” he asserted.

Finally, the Gambian opposition leader called on the international community to respect The Gambia’s democratic processes and refrain from meddling in its internal affairs.

“The Gambia will steadfastly uphold its commitment to lifting the ban on FGM and promoting gender equality and human rights for all without interference from external powers such as the UK,” he concluded.

Popular Posts