The Gambian Deputy Ambassador to the United Nations (UN), Retired Colonel Samsudeen Sarr got it all wrong when he expressed support for President Jammeh’s attempt to annul the results of the December 1, 2016 Presidential election that ushered in the electoral victory of President elect Adama Barrow. Mr. Sarr’s reasoning are irrational and misplaced suggestions that questions his role at the UN and ethical competence as a public servant committed to upholding the common goodness.
As a diplomat at the UN, one would expect RTD Colonel Sarr to take a forefront of efforts by the international community to promote peace and stability in the Gambia. On the contrary, the RTD Colonel took a controversial lead in supporting President Jammeh’s predatory role of illegal arrests, torture imprisonment of prominent opposition executives, and the attempt to compromise the legitimate aspirations of citizens.
First, Mr.Sarr’ s outright support for the heavy handed clamp down of peaceful opposition protesters in the Gambia, leading to the unjustified sentencing of United Democratic Party (UDP) Executives marked a turning point in the RTD colonels moral character, moral judgement and moral imagination as a public servant. He failed to draw the fine lines between justice and abuse of legislative and executive authority. This was the first missed step explaining why the RTD Colonel got it all wrong.
Second, Mr. Sarr’ s support for President Jammeh’s attempt to annul the results of the last Presidential election that ushered in the electoral victory of President Elect Barrow casted a shadow of darkness on his legacy as a world citizen and UN Ambassador. Mr. Sarr deliberately and irresponsibly ignored the fact that President Yaya Jammeh has no constitutional authority to annul national election results. The retired Colonel Got it all wrong.
By making such calls, Mr. Sarr blatantly manifested his support for compromising the Sovereignty of the Gambian nation. Since sovereignty lies in the people all attempts to compromise the aspirations of citizens tantamount to treason. Elections are constitutionally guaranteed sovereign domains, the outcome of which constitute the national interest, consent and legitimate mandate to rule.
Arguably, since sovereignty lies in the people, any attempt to compromise the aspirations of citizens expressed through constitutionally guaranteed sovereign domains could constitute an act of treason. The RTD Colonel got it all wrong.
A UN diplomat should be a beacon of UN ideals of peace, stability and development entrenched in people centered governance. And Mr. Sarr’s views on current Gambian affairs are in conflict with such ideals and the overall UN Security Council position on The Gambia. That is why the RTD Colonel got it all wrong.
Ambassador Sarr should redeem himself and be a part of progressive voices of change. The Gambia has decided and there is no turning back. Perhaps the RTD Colonel should carefully digest the ECOWAS communique to understand the inevitable dawn of the Third Gambian Republic. RTD Colonel Sarr Got it all Wrong.
By Professor Binneh Minteh