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Top Gambia General Accepts Beating Soldiers in Prison
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Adama Makasuba

Brigadier General Alhagie Martin and former AFPRC Junta vice chairman Sana Sabally .pIC credit Gambiana

Brigadier General Alhagie Martin and former AFPRC Junta vice chairman Sana Sabally .pIC credit Gambiana

Top Army General of the Gambia Armed Forces has confessed to torturing the former vice chairman Sanna B Sabally, late junta member Sadibu Hydara and a serving Lieutenant Colonel Baboucarr Sanyang during their detention at Mile Two but refused using harmer and electrocute on them.

Brigadier General, Alhagie Martin was testifying before the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission on Thursday after his name had been mentioned by many witnesses whom told the Commission that ‘he (Martin) tortured them.’

“Beating was the status quo at that time because that time the November 11 had happened and coups and counter coups were the order of the day,” he said.

On the case of Sanna Sabally, he said “he was beaten butt stroked, kicked, he was beaten mercilessly”

“When we ask you at that time and you refused to talk you will be beaten until you prove to be innocent,” he added.

However, he asked for forgiveness from the family of Sanna Sabally, Lt Colonel Baboucarr Sanyang and the late Sadibu Hydara, and the entire nation to forgive him.

“I regret all we were going by order because at that time you have to do it otherwise you will go…. I apologise to the family of Sanna Sabally, Lt Colonel Baboucarr Sanyang, RSM Jeng and Sadibu Hydara,” he asked for forgiveness.

On the 2006 coup, he said his team was sent to the National Intelligent Agency headquarters in 2006 to observe the case of the alleged coupis for Jammeh.

“We were there to observe Yahya Jammeh and ‘Jugulars’ were responsible for arresting especially during Ndure Cham’s era to Mile Two and take you back to NIA,” he said.

He said if a person refused to answer questions the ‘jugulars’ will took that person out and tortured and be brought you back, adding that the team of investigators would knew that the person had been ‘well taken care of.’

He told the Commission that “no one dare was there to stop the jugulars from touring, coup attempt you must say something failing to say something you will dance to the tune.”

“They will beat you to confirm whether you are part of the coup and write a statement,” he said.

He named people in the panel to had included Hydara from the NIA, from the State House I was there and Lt Almamo and Lt Musa Jammeh, Tombul Tamba was with the jugulars Mustapha Sanneh, Nuha Badjie, Modou Lamin Jarju alias Rambo, Correa.

 

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Drafting of national security, security sector reform underway in Kanilai
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Adama Makasuba

Security Adviser to the President Momodou Badjie

Security Adviser to the President Momodou Badjie

The Gambia government has launched a five day retreat for drafting of the national security and security sector reform.

The five day retreat that commenced on Monday at Sindola hotel in Kanilai aims at stimulating rich discussion among the 20 drafters around the drafting of the document.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, security adviser to the president Momodou Badjie said the retreat would help to intensify the work of the committee.

“It is also envisage that the retreat will provide a conducive environment and equally serve as a platform that will help us to critically examine our national security issue and help in collating views, opinions and ideas in search for appropriate solutions,” he said.

He said that the retreat will also help the country’s response to the challenges of its national security, adding “the retreat will help us to archive a consensus around the drafting of the document.”

Mr. Badjie described the retreat as very important in ensuring a come up with the strategists documents to address the policy issue and find solutions to ‘malfunctions and gaps that are noted in the assessment report.’

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Also speaking, special adviser to President Barrow, Mai Ahmed Fatty tasked the drafters “to produce robust comprehensive strategists to guide the government and all the national security partners and stakeholders in the interest of our new implementation in the new national security policy.”

He described the recently launched of the national security sector policy a commitment and priority of the government to transforming the security sector.

Hon. Fatty said the security policy ‘should be a framework’ describing how the country shall provide security for the government, nation and citizens.

Representing the ECOWAS President, General Tijani Golau expressed with delight about the retreat, describing the formulation of the documents as timely saying ‘as Gambia moves into a new phase of economic growth and societal development following 22-years of authoritarian and repressive rule in the Gambia.’

“This process paved the way and chance to advance first strategists and ideas that will distinguish the Gambia globally throughout its ability to rebuild the security institutions and maximum effect for assurance of peace security in the country,” General Tijani said.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Gambia:Ex Army Officer Apologizes To Victims
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Adama Makasuba

Pa Modou Sarr

Pa Modou Sarr

Pa Modou Sarr, a retired army officer of Gambia Armed Forces has apologized and sought forgiveness from his victims and the entire country for his inhumane action committed against them.

Mr. Sarr was testifying before the Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission on Thursday.

“What I did is very wrong I knew about it I am apologizing to colonel Baboucarr Sanyang and every Gambians and none Gambians, it was not my intention I am asking for forgiveness,” he sought pardon.

He laid into Gambia Army General Alagie Martin saying “I can only blamed Martin for all this mess because he was the one who brought us into this”

 

 

However, he admitted of taking part in the torture of imprisoned soldiers at Gambia’s notorious prison- Mile Two.

The soldiers whom he admitted to have had participated in their torture are former vice chairman Sanna B Sabally, late Sadibu Hydara and Lt Colonel Baboucarr Sanyang.

He said that his team includes Gambia Army General Alagie Martin, retired army officer Lamin Senghore alias ‘assassin’ Omar Ndure and others whom he claimed to have forgotten their names.

“Martine gave me a plastic bag and said you see how we were doing I said yes, and he said do and I took the nylon bag and put over Warrant Officer Sanyang for a second and Martin told me to remove it,” he said.

He added “the prison officer opened the door and we entered and Manlafing brought him out while his hands were tied behind and, they ask him to sit down and he do so and that is the time they started putting the plastic bag over his head. They said Sanna you were trying to overthrow the Chairman and Sanna will say negative never but they don’t want to hear that.”

He said the motive of that punishment was to propel Sanna Sabally to comply with them, adding “all of them except him participated in kicking and mounting Sanna Sabally.”

“I was lying on the bed and Malafing came and hit me and said man come—go join the vehicle and at the vehicle Alagie Martine was sitting in front of the vehicle,” he said.

He accepted that while at Mile Two each of them were having a rifle and a plastic bag but refuted having any other weapons like harmer, electric box and other.

“Everybody was having his rifle and plastic bags but I didn’t see any one with a tool,” he said.

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Gambian President Labels Critics as ‘irrelevant’
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Adama Makasuba

Adama Barrow

Adama Barrow

The Gambian President Adama Barrow has slammed his critics as irrelevant saying most of his critics on social media ‘cannot even mobilise ten people for a gathering.’

President Barrow told a political rally in Brikama 35 kilometre south of Banjul over the weekend.

The Barrow-led government seems to be in panic mood after they bought a water cannon truck which was confirmed by his Interior Minister Ebrima Mballow to be use on protesters.

However, many Gambians rejected the Minister’s remark, describing it ‘irresponsible.’

Meanwhile, Gambian leader alleged as he specifically pointed at the Diaspora Gambia of saying he ‘refused to give them jobs’ while called on them He called on the Diaspora Gambians ‘to instead return home and help build the country.’

“When I see people in the Diaspora complaining on the social media that President Barrow refuses to give them jobs, this surprises me because I was also in the Diaspora and when I decided to come home I was not expecting a job from anyone. I came with my own plans to do something in this country and I earned a living and was able to do a lot, he said.”

He said that “most of the people ranting and criticizing him on the social media cannot even mobilise ten people for a gathering.”

He also slammed those he described as so-called educated echelons saying ‘they were nowhere to be seen when they were desperately needed.’

“The time I was elected as flag-bearer all these knowledgeable Gambians both in the Diaspora and within the country were all around. All the PhD holders were here and no one came forward. But today if you advertise it on the newspapers we’ll see a different story.”

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Gambia, Saudi Sign $92.5Million OIC Funding Agreement
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

President Adama Barrow today presides over the signing of a $92.5million funding agreement between the Saudi Fund for development and the Republic of the Gambia at the State House.

Vice Chairman and Managing Director of the Saudi Fund for Development, Dr. Khalid S. Alkhudairy and the Gambia’s Finance Minister, Mamboury Njie penned the agreement on behalf of their respective countries.

The funding is meant for several priority infrastructure and energy projects that will facilitate the Gambia’s hosting of the OIC Summit in 2022. Among these projects are the construction of a 50kilometre road network within the OIC concentrated area, enhancement of the transmission and distribution network for the electricity grid, enhancement of water production, treatment and distribution and the Construction of a new VVIP Lounge at the Banjul International Airport.

The Vice President, Dr. Isatou Touray, who is also the Chairperson of the OIC Gambia Board, expressed profound thanks and appreciation for the generous support of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, under the leadership of the King, Salman Bin Faisal.

“Today’s signing ceremony is a milestone in The Gambia’s development strides as it will usher in a better public infrastructure portfolio as we prepare to host the largest gathering of the Muslim Ummah, the Organisation of the Islamic Cooperation,” she said.

Dr. Khalid S. Alkhudairy, Vice Chairman and managing Director of the Saudi Fund for Development, explained that the funding is in four folds – two soft loans and two grants. He said the aim is to improve living conditions of the beneficiary population, as the Fund greatly appreciates the efforts by President Adama Barrow to develop the Gambia despite challenges inherited by his government.

 

Mamboury Njie, Gambia’s Minister of Finance and Economic Affairs, said within 32years of the country’s membership of the Saudi Fund for Development, the bank has invested nearly $200million in the Gambia in areas of health, education, and infrastructure, among others.

“Our membership has paid dividend today as the Fund today impacts the lowest of our population over the years. Social investments, Energy and infrastructure are priority areas of President Barrow’s National Development Plan,”Mr. Njie said, describing the current managing director as a true friend of The Gambia who helped facilitate Gambia’s debt restructuring recently.

He thanked the Bank for standing up for The Gambia, guiding it through stormy weathers and proving resources when the country needed it the most.

 

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Nigeria: FG makes moves against Ebola outbreak
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

Mr. Abdulaziz Abdullahi, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health

The federal government of Nigeria on Friday directed all Port Health Service officials and other relevant agencies at the point of entry to the country to heighten surveillance and ensure that all passengers coming into the country are screened properly. It said any suspected case must be presented for relevant test in line with the global practice on disease emergency control and prevention.

Mr. Abdulaziz Abdullahi, the Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Health, while speaking during the inspection of port health facilities at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos said that despite the fact that the thermal cameras at the airport were working, the federal government would ensure more cameras and manpower were deployed for adequate screening.

The permanent secretary alongside some directors from the ministry, and staffs of Nigeria Centre for Disease Control (NCDC) inspected the health facilities to confirm the level of preparedness in case of any emergency following the rumored Ebola threats in Lagos.

He said: “More doctors, nurses and other health officials would be deployed to the port health services at the international airport, consumable required for day to day activities at the airport would also be adequately provided.

“I appreciate the effort of the Lagos State Government on preparedness and surveillance system against Ebola virus.

“Our ministry and the Lagos State Ministry of Health have been working together to forestall importation of any disease into the country, hence we call for continuous collaboration,” he said.

He also explained that since Lagos State was the entry point of most visitors to Nigeria, there was need to heighten the surveillance system.

On her part, the Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Mrs. Titilayo Goncalves said the state was already at alert in case of any eventuality.

She said the recent information circulating on social media that someone imported Ebola into the country was not true, adding that the said patient had been tested and the result was negative.

“I want to authoritatively tell you that the patient was tested and the result was negative, she is well and has been discharged, everybody should put his mind to rest there is no Ebola in Lagos,” she said.

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Nigeria: Buratai blames troops for Boko Haram persistence
June 24, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Teslim Olawore

Buratai

Buratai

The Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Tukur Buratai, has given reasons why the Nigerian Army continue to linger in the fight to wipe out the terrorist sect Boko Haram in the North Eastern part of the country.

He made the reasons known in a speech he delivered at the opening of a five-day leadership workshop for mid-level officers and soldiers in Abuja.

Buratai said, “It is unfortunate, but the truth is that almost every setback the Nigerian Army has had in our operations in recent times can be traced to insufficient willingness to perform assigned tasks or simply insufficient commitment to a common national and military course by those at the frontlines.

“Many of those on whom the responsibility for physical actions against the adversary squarely falls are yet to fully take ownership of our common national or service cause. And this is the reason why I have always ensured that the promotion of army personnel is essentially based on professional considerations only.

“But we all know that professional capacity is not a sufficient condition to succeed in a task; willingness to perform the task is equally necessary. We all know that leadership is core to military professionalism; hence all military professional courses include aspects of military leadership skills acquisition.”

He went further to say that an effect of modernisation, globalisation and Information and Communications Technology (ICT) in the last decades had been the decline in nationalistic enthusiasm.

“Hence the theme of the workshop has been aptly chosen as ‘Lead, follow or get out of the way,’” he added.

This revelation is coming as Boko Haram terrorists, have constantly attacked Nigerian Army bases in the North East, which has led to death of many soldiers.

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Centurion to Promote Transparency and Good Governance Amongst South Sudan’s oil sector
June 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

This training will serve as a pilot programme before being expanded to the rest of Africa’s key oil growth markets such as Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and Ghana

 

JOHANNESBURG, South Africa, June 21, 2019/ — Centurion (https://CenturionLG.com) is pleased to announce the upcoming launch of a bespoke training programme on transparency and good governance for South Sudan’s oil industry and companies.

This training will serve as a pilot programme before being expanded to the rest of Africa’s key oil growth markets such as Equatorial Guinea, Senegal and Ghana. It will be offered to both national companies and the private sector.

“Transparency and good governance are not only pillars of a performing and efficient business, they are also central in building investors’ confidence, attracting capital and signing solid joint-venture deals and partnerships,” explained NJ Ayuk, CEO of Centurion. “Complying with the latest international standards and best practices in terms of good governance will make oil companies more competitive on the regional and international stage.”

The programme has been developed by Centurion’s team of attorneys in cooperation with leading African and international experts in the domain. It will be delivered as part of the company’s growing social responsibility programme, which will also see the organization in Juba in the coming month of the workshop on domestic capacity building.

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Two Southern African Presidents Meet USA Top African Envoy
June 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Nevson Mpofu

Assistant Sec Nagy with President Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe

Assistant Sec Nagy with President Mnangagwa in Zimbabwe

Harare -Two Presidents, Emmerson Mnangagwa of Zimbabwe and Fillipe Nyusi of Mozambique met a vising USA Plenipotentiary Tibor Nagy two days ago in Harare . Mr Nagy is the USA- Assistant Secretary of State of African Affairs.

‘’Our relations with USA must be cherished. As a country we are moving towards achieving goals. We are open for business, therefore we welcome those who want to be close to us in Business.

‘’We are in real challenges. Our biggest ones now being Electricity which has cut down by 50 % . Mozambique must give us help using the Cabora-Bassa Dam potential ‘’.

According to Professor Muthuli Ncube , Minister of Finance and Economic Planning who was part of the meeting , USA and  Zimbabwe are on a fast track to way-forward good relations ahead of the US-Africa Business Summit .

‘’We have received an invite to attend the USA-Africa Business Summit. We are moving at a steady pace to economic reforms and legislative reforms. These are meant to cement open business, lure investors and foster economic growth and development.

Last Year President Donald Trump of USA launched the Prosper Africa Policy. This he said is a linear pattern of ideas Zimbabwe has as a framework to develop the country.

‘’We take praise and advantage to develop the country using this policy. This is meant to push us forward in terms of economic growth and development.

President Fillipe said the two countries, Zimbabwe and Mozambique are just sisters with a similar, and goal and vision .This is meant for us to work towards Economic Development. Secondly, to see development in the eyes of the people.

‘’There is light and hope. The two countries shall harvest from the by-products of the US20 billion Gas Project. This is between Anadarko Petroleum and Mozambique Government.

The last discussion dwells on the effects of Cyclone Idai . The two countries thanked the USA State Department for the strongest support it gave to the two countries.

 

 

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Ghana to miss 2020 target in HIV Prevention.
June 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ahedor Jessica.

Director General of Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare

Director General of Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare

The health sector players working on HIV/AIDs in Ghana have confirmed that the country  will likely not  achieve its 90-90-90 agenda by 2020. This is as a result of, the fluctuations in figures the country has recorded in the past few years.

They also cited complacency, donor fatigue, low advocacy and commercial activities as the cause of the new twist to the HIV prevalence in Ghana.   According to the Director General of Health, Dr Anthony Nsiah Asare, if the country and its stakeholders do not re-strategize for HIV education and prevention, Ghana will not achieve its target.

During the country’s 2018 HIV Sentinel Survey HSS, released by the National AIDs and STI Control Program, the National HIV prevalence has increased from 2.1 per cent to 2.4 percent. Western and Greater Accra Regions top the other regions in HIV new infections, as against Ashanti and Greater Accra in 2017. The programs Manager for National Aids and sexually Transmitted Infections STI  Control program Dr Stephen Ayisi AddO has noted that, HIV/AIDs prevalence in regions are shooting up due to commercial activities within those regions. He added many young adults are exploiting sexual activities as commercial activities in those communities boom in business. As a result of, the older men with HIV are sleeping with the younger ones between the ages of 15 to 25 a trend he laments  is worrying.

Touching on the issues, Dr Addo maintain that as a lower middle-income country, there are limited donor flow to the country as well as advocacy work and other forms of sensitization has been affected. However, he was quick to add that, the government of Ghana has step into the vacuum created by these donors and they are hoping to continue the fight by raising local resources.

On his part, the head Virology Department at Noguchi Memorial Institute of Medical Research, Prof William Ampofo has stated that Ghana will not meet the 2020 target of eliminating HIV/Aids. This is because the country is unable to achieve its 90-90-90 target agenda set to drive the program due to those underlined factors. He emphasized there is the need for paradigm shift to avoid business as usual.

The National HIV Sentinel Survey is a cross-sectional survey targeted at pregnant women attending selected antenatal clinics in Ghana. Conducted annually, using an unlinked anonymous testing since its inception in 1992. Over the decades, the HSS data has remained a primary data source for the national prevalence and the AIDS estimates in Ghana. The 2018 maiden HIV prevalence among pregnant women is 2.4 percent with a confidential interval of 2.18 percent -2.62 percent. Regional HIV prevalence ranged from 3.1 in the Greater Accra and Western regions as the Northern Region remains the lowest with 0.6. HIV prevalence among young populations aged 15 to 24.  Hence, the 2018 HIV Sentinel Survey witnessed an increased in the rural prevalence as it is seen catching up with the urban centers.

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Rwanda has no fear over debt from China
June 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Maniraguha Ferdinand

President Kagame (right) welcoming president Jinping during his visit in Rwanda in July 2018

President Kagame (right) welcoming president Jinping during his visit in Rwanda in July 2018

Rwanda says it doesn’t worry the level of the debt it owes China because it has not got to the alarming line.

It was revealed  during the signing ceremony this Tuesday, where China gave Rwanda USD 42 million grant worth which will be used to expand and upgrade roads in the city of Kigali.

Rwanda’s external debt stands at 41 percent of GDP according to the  official statistics.

Though statistics doesn’t show level of debt from China, officials from Ministry of Finance emphasized it is still below 9 percent of the external debt.

Addressing the press after the signing of the agreement, Rwanda’s State Minister in charge of Planning, Dr Uwera Claudine said Rwanda does not see debt from China as a burden.

“We don’t have to worry debt, grant or funds we receive from China, because our national debt level is still very low. We are still in need of them because we benefit more”, she said

Rwanda says a debt from China is not wasted but used to promote welfare and national development.

The  data released last year by   the China-Africa Research Initiative (Cari) at John Hopkins University showed that during last ten years, East African economies have borrowed $29.42 billion from China with Rwanda borrowing $289 million.

This money was used mainly in transport, communication, manufacturing and energy sectors.

In interview with Pan African Visions last month, a Kenyan scholar Prof Patrick Loch Otieno Lumumba warned  African countries over taking China’s debt uncontrollably.

He said “ China has defined what it wants, they know that Africa has potentials  it is time for Africa to re-examine  what it wants. The existing relations between China and Africa, it is like relations between a rider and a horse and the horse is Africa”.

In July last year  China President Xi Jinping visited Rwanda. He said he was looking to build mutually beneficial relations with Rwanda.

During his stay in Rwanda, President Xi and President Paul Kagame signed 15 agreements worth millions of dollars in areas like trade, infrastructure, investment,  human resource, culture, technology, aviation, mining among others.

 

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Kenya Airways trails Ethiopian and Rwanda Airlines in global aviation ranking
June 21, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Samuel Ouma | @journalist_27

Air Moroc of Morroco, Rwanda and Namibia Air are the best airlines in Africa according to the latest global aviation ranking.

Despite its effort to expand its networks, Kenya Airways (KQ) has dealt a major blow by dropping from position 85 to 90 as per the Skytrax World Airline Awards.

Kenya has been trounced by her neighbours, Ethiopian airline which was placed in position 44 despite her two latest fatal crashes. In March this year the airline was hardly hit after its plane Boeing 737 Max 8 involved in a deadly crash killing 149 people on board.

The crash was the second in five months after a plane with the same model crashed minutes after leaving Jarkata, Indonesia killing 189 people on board.

The loss making national carrier was also beaten by South African Airways which is forty four positions above her standing at position 46 worldwide.

The best airlines in the world are Qatar Airways at position one, Singapore Airlines, Japan’s All Nippon Airways, Cathy Pacific Airways of Hong Kong, Emirates and Lufthansa of Germany are in the position two, three, four, five and six respectively.

KQ has recorded losses in the past six years with the latest being a shs7.5 billion ($75 million) net loss for the year ended December 2018.

Members of Parliament are calling the government to take over the debt-ridden airline. National Assembly’s Transport Committee wants the government to buy the 51.1 per cent of shares owned by other entities.

Government owns 48.9 per cent of its shares, 38.1 per cent by a group of 10 local banks, 7.8 per cent by KLM and 5.2 per cent by its employees and other Kenyans.\

In a bid to increase revenues and create a financial turnaround, the carrier has established new routes widen its network. This month it launched flights to Rome, Italy, and Geneva, Switzerland.

Other new routes are Mauritius, Libreville, Mogadishu and Cape Town and New York.

 

 

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