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Mixed Reactions Trail Sack Of AU Ambassador to The USA
October 12, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Ajong Mbapndah L

The decision to remove Ambassador Arikana has divided opinions.

By Ajong Mbapndah L

A few months shy of a third year in office, Ambassador Arikana Chihombori-Quao was notified by the African Union Chairman Moussa Faki that her stint had come to an end.

“In line with the terms and conditions of service covering your appointment as permanent Representative of the AU to the USA, I have decided to terminate your appointment with effect from 1st Nov 2019,” read the letter from Chairman Faki to Ambassador Arikana.

Sent from the AU Headquarters in Addis Ababa on 7 October, the letter expresses appreciation to Ambassador Arikana for her constant commitment to African causes, and the great contribution she has made to the continental organization.

In the letter, Chairman Faki expresses confidence that Ambassador Arikana will continue to render services to Mother Africa in future endeavors.

While the decision from Chairman Faki may appear as a routine change considering that others have previously served before Ambassador Arikana, tongues are wagging in Washington,DC , and the decision has not gone down well with some of her partisans.

So furious are her partisans that the unprecedented move of creating on an online petition on Change.Org. Initiated by Prof. Apollos Nwauwa who  signed as Secretary of the African Diaspora Union, the petition is calling on the African Union to reinstate Ambassador Arikana.

“Dr. Chihombori-Quao has spoken globally to sensitize and empower all peoples of African Descent to come together and build the “Africa We Want” as adopted in African Union Agenda 2063,” the petition read.

“Not everyone is embracing her bold but honest discourses for effecting change for the betterment of Africa.  On October 7th, 2019, Ambassador Quao was relieved of her position as the “Permanent Ambassador” in a unilateral decision made by the African Union Commission Chairman without any hearing or explanation, and yet presented as representing the opinions of all 55 countries.”

The petition goes further to ask a series of questions surrounding her ouster. “why was she dismissed, or better, who benefits from her removal? Were African heads of states and governments consulted? Who called the shot? Or is Africa, and peoples of African descent, still facing the debilitating effects of modern colonialism or neocolonialism?”

Though no reason was given for the removal of Arikana nor were reasons always given for the departure of some of her predecessors, some of her supporters believe that it may not be unrelated to her hyper activism ,and blunt critique of the colonial legacy that still holds Africa hostage.

Making allusion to a widely circulated video in which she lashed out at the Berlin conference, and fingered the French for its monetary policies that have continued colonization of Africa in a different form, supporters of Arikana believe that AU Chair Moussa Faki may have been pressured by outside forces to terminate her appointment.They point to the fact that the video which was previously posted on the AU website was inexplicably pulled down within three weeks despite the excitement it generated.

Arikana who has not issued a formal statement, was viewed by some Washington players as blurring the line between activism and diplomacy. You are either one or the other, said a source.  While he lauded Ambassador Arikana for bringing more vibrancy to the AU Mission in Washington,DC, the source said the activist part of Ambassador was bound to ruffle feathers,in Washington and beyond,  and her departure was bound to come sooner or later. Still, the source said he will not like to read so much meaning into the decision to relieve Ambassador Arikana of her duties. Ambassadors come and go, and there is no reason for her to be an exception he went on.Citing the letter from Faki and the dynamism of Ambassador Arikana, the source said there definitely will be plenty of opportunities out there for her to be of high profile service to Africa especially in capacities where diplomatic niceties will not be a burden to her.

“I do not know how the letter that was supposed to be meant for Ambassador Arikana went viral,” said another source from the African -American Community in Washington, DC. She had great passion for Africa and we hope her replacement builds on her successes, he said.

On the profile of the ideal replacement, he said, Chairman Faki could appoint another female Ambassador, someone equally dynamic, with a better understanding of how Africa and Washington work. Washington has its dynamics, and the AU will be better served with the appointment of someone who has a through mastery of these dynamics ,he said.

Meanwhile as of press time, the petition on Change.Org had garnered some 2000 signatures.

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Mozambique: unknown armed men try to kill MDM candidate
October 11, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Arnaldo Cuamba

Unknown armed men tried unsuccessfully to assassinate the candidate for governor of Maputo Province, in southern Mozambique, Augusto Pelembe, who is head of the list by the Movimento Democrático de Mocambique – the third largest opposition party in the country.

The act took place on Thursday afternoon when he and his caravan were in another day  of electoral campaign activity. One of the party members told Pan African Visions that the caravan was surrounded and blocked by “professional killers”.

“We were on our way to Manhiça and suddenly a car with armed men came in front of us and blocked the caravan and shot our candidate’s car” he said. “It was all very fast, just like professional killers.

Everyone was unharmed from the attack. “But we are very scared,” he said.

Pictures seen Pan by African Visions show the vehicle in which the candidate was transported with a front glass puncture with two shots fired by armed individuals who fled. Police say they are investigating the case.

Mozambique will hold general elections next Tuesday (15) and is having an election campaign marked by violence. On Monday an independent election observer was shot dead in Gaza province, also south of Mozambique, as reported by Pan African Visions.

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S. Sudan: U.S won’t accept unity government without Machar
October 10, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Deng Machol

South Sudan rebel leader Riek Machar addresses the nation at the John Garang’s Mausoleum in Juba, South Sudan October 31, 2018. REUTERS/Jok Solomun

Juba – the President Trump’s administration warned that it would not accept a transitional government in South Sudan which excludes ex- rebel Dr. Riek Machar.

Dr. Machar, leader of the main opposition group, Sudan People Liberation Movement/Army – in Opposition signed a new peace deal with president Kiir in 2018 after the 2015 peace deal collapsed.

In the latest peace accords, the two principals promised to end the country’s five – year conflict that has killed nearly 400,000 people and uprooted four million both internally and externally from the homes.

A new unity government is expected to be formed on November 12, in which Machar will take up a post of the first vice president in the country for next 30 months before elections.

Last month, president Kiir said he would go ahead to form a new transitional government on November 12 if an ex-rebel leader Machar’s hesitates.

President Kiir’s statement comes after the two principals held serious face-to-face talks in Juba where they have made importance progress to speed up screening and registration of their forces as they enter into the over 25 cantonment sites across the country.

Thomas Hushek, U.S Ambassador to South Sudan said the parties must get their act together and implement some of the significant outstanding issues before the D – day for the forming the unity government.

He said this peace deal is where the mandate for the unity government will come from that means it need inclusivity of all parties.

However, the IGAD – which mediated the revitalized peace deal, recently invited the parties to the accord for further talks in Ethiopia to help speed up implementation of outstanding issues that include security arrangements, determination of number states and boundaries but it flabby as the parties never turned up.

The U.S diplomat said the government party has refused to participate in the ones [talks] that the IGAD tried to call and yet they have not established any other mechanism to discuss that outstanding political issue.

“They need to be talking about settling this outstanding political issue of determining of the number of states,” he said, despite the promises and announcements by president Kiir and Machar [in September] that they had asked their members to be negotiating this matter – those negotiations are still born.”

Non – Signatories

Amb. Hushek also revealed that he already reached out to Thomas Cirilo, leader of the National Salvation Front (NAS) to join the peace process and pursue his political objectives through non – violent means.

“I have reached out several months ago to Thomas Cirilo and discussed with him the importance of pursuing whatever objective he had without violence, armed forces,” he said. Adding, when you hear us talking about the need for political space here in South Sudan as part of the peace agreement. It’s about making sure that all parties whether they signed the peace agreement or not, have room to champion political change.”

Gen. Cirilo and former chief of army, Paul Malong Awan are still threatening to the peace process despite that the ceasefire is relative calm.

Support

Hushek further disclosed that the president Trump’s administration remains strong supporter of the peace process in the world youngest nation as it has up to now been the largest supporter of humanitarian assistance to the war-torn country.

“We support moving this peace process forward but doesn’t come without some caveats. First of all, we want to see a formation of the unity government. It is clearly defined in the agreement that means all parties have to be in unity. It can’t be a unity government of the incumbent government that moves ahead with the SPLM-IO or other signatory parties drop out,” said Hushek.

He lamented that the parties have been slow on implementing the security arrangements with a bulk of their forces expected to form the 83,000 unified force not yet screened and registered.

“The government has not yet put forward its’ pledged financial support for the [peace] process and also they have been slow to register forces for the cantonment in particular on the government side. They have not done as many registrations so that all needs to be formed in a much accelerated fashion,” Amb. Hushek echoed.

Sanction

Hushek said Trump’s administration will continue to target individuals perceived to be obstructing the peace process in the horn of African region.

“We still have the same executive order in place that we have had that has been a basis for our bilateral sanctions previously. So, this points to people who are obstructing peace and we have this authority to put sanctions on them,” said Hushek. A lot of these sanctions are actually UN sanctions and we use that same executive order to implement them within our legal system. So, it’s incumbent upon all governments of the UN to implement those sanctions.”

Hybrid court

Amb. Hushek also reignited the controversial issue of the formation of the African Union led hybrid court to prosecute war crimes besides setting up the truth, reconciliation and healing commission and reparation commission for the victims of human rights abuses during the violence.

Sentry report

On the recent Sentry report on South Sudan, which alleged syndicate corruption by political elites and international companies helping to fund the civil war, the U.S diplomat agreed that there was massive chronic corruption within the establishment.

“I hope moving forward a future government will see that internationals have a role to play to help the government here [to] fix the problem of corruption. I don’t think anyone in the government has said there is no problem of corruption here. I think they do recognize that,” said Hushek.

The parties have signed a peace deal that includes an entire chapter [four] on improving financial fiscal management, in which a corruption shall be deal with it.

However, the parties to the revitalized peace deal failed to form the unified force by the September 30 as agreed upon.

Of recently, Machar’s group said they are not ready for the formation of the unity government in November 12th if the rest of the security arrangements and the number of states and its boundaries are not implemented. While President Kiir’s group are pushing for the formation of the unity government despite challenges.

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Cameroon: Opposition party wants Canada’s Quebec autonomous-styled system implemented in English-speaking regions
October 8, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Amos Fofung

SDF Chairman John Fru Ndi

Cameroon’s long-time main opposition party, the Social Democratic Front, SDF, is pushing for the implementation of an autonomous system of government in the English-speaking North West and South West regions such as what partakes in Canada’s French-speaking Quebec region.

This is contained in a press statement release after the solemn closing of deliberations at the major national dialogue called by president Paul Biya to find common grounds and end the 3-year-long civil unrest in the English-speaking regions.

Focusing on one of the recommendations forwarded to the president which demands “special status” to the English-speaking regions, the opposition party urged that the special status needs transcend into complete autonomy.

“The implementation of this grant of a special status to the North West and South-West regions is that these regions shall have to enjoy autonomy characterized by constitutionally entrenched executive, legislative and judicial powers with an administrative set up that reflects the aspirations of the people of these two regions,” a section of the press statement reads.

Penned on behalf of the party by its chairman, John Fru Ndi, the statement though applauding the holding of the long awaited dialogue which many, including them, prescribe as a first-major step to resolving the crisis, the party believes that borrowing the ideas of Canada will go a long way to heal the wounds that now divides the country into those campaigning for decentralization, federation and complete secession.

“The Quebec model appeals more to Cameroon by virtue of a similar heritage,” the party pointed out. Insisting that the autonomous status will in no way come between the central governments desire of a “one and indivisible Cameroon” the SDF noted that “in 2016, the House of Commons of Canada adopted a motion recognizing Quebec as a nation within a united Canada and that is one and Indivisible.”

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Cameroon: Charges against Political Prisoners, Kamto’s Allies dropped
October 5, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Kingue, Penda Ekoka, Kamto and Albert Dzongang in Prison. Pic credit Facebook

Barely a day after the conclusion of the Grand National Dialogue, the President of Cameroon Paul Biya has ordered that charges against some officials, and militants of political parties including those of the Cameroon Renaissance Party (CRM) of Maurice Kamto be dropped. 

In the statement seen by Pan African visions, the government did not say whether charges against Maurice Kamto, the leader of the MRC Party has been dropped. According to the statement signed by Ferdinand Ngoh Ngoh, Minister of State, Secretary-General of the Presidency of The Republic, said the President has dropped the charges following the conclusion of talks at the Major National Dialogue.

“… President Biya has ordered the discontinuance of proceedings pending before Military Tribunals against some officials, and militants of political parties in particular the Cameroon Renaissance Movement (CRM), arrested and detained for acts committed during protests against the result of the recent presidential election,” the statement read. 

He added that, “the decision is guided by the President’s constant resolve to promote peace, fraternity and concord amongst the sons, and daughters of Cameroon” while adding, “that the President is determined to look for ways to provide a peaceful solution to any crisis and disagreement…”

Tweet from Cameroon’s President Paul Biya

“Professor Kamto is being held at Kondengui Central prison of Yaounde infamously known for its horrendous conditions of detention. Reports of torture as well as cruel and inhuman conditions by law enforcement agents have surfaced on many occasions,. Our concern is heightened by reported systematic violations of accused persons’ due process rights by law enforcement and judicial authorities in Cameroon including the use of unlawful and prolonged detention, coercion, and torture,” the New York City Bar Association, one of the world’s oldest bar association said, as quoted by todaynewsafrica.

Kamto was arrested and jailed in January along with more than 200 of his supporters after they refuted the victory of Cameroon’s long time President Paul Biya at the 2018 Presidential election. Kamto organized a nationwide peaceful protest, and equally indicated that he was the winner of the election and not the incumbent. His decision to protest led to him arrested and several others.

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Cameroon:As National Dialogue Ends: Massive Changes Awaited in NW, SW
October 4, 2019 | 0 Comments
the dialogue has not met expectations according to many people

House of Chiefs re-established, Special status for North West and South West

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

The Major National Dialogue convened by Cameroon’s President Paul Biya is expected to end this Friday, October 4, 2019, with major recommendations already coming out of various committees.

Various delegates have ditched the call for federation that is the goal of many personalities in favour of effective decentralization. According to officials, federation will go a long way to appease and quell the violence in the North West and South West Regions.

Prior to the dialogue, traditional rulers, members of the civil society organizations, and Diaspora leaders had reiterated the need for 10 decentralized federal states as a means to solve the crisis in the Anglophone Regions.

One of the major recommendations that have been made known is for the South West and North West regions to be giving a special status. Late Thursday, delegates adopted a resolution at the dialogue’s plenary session recommending “special status” for the English-speaking areas aimed at re-enforcing the autonomy of administrative areas.

They (delegates) have equally recommended the re-establishing of the House of Chiefs-something that was greatly demanded by Traditional rulers in Fako and their counterparts across the South West. Speaking to Chief Etina Monono of Great Soppo Buea, He said Traditional rulers across the South West have many things they want to see being achieved. “We have a standpoint. We want a house of chiefs and elected officials”, He told Panafrican visions.

Delegates have equally proposed the position of government delegate to be scrapped. The delegates are just not in favour with such a position in the English-speaking Regions. If this issue is passed, it will spell trouble for some government delegate across the Anglophone Regions. What it will mean is the position of government delegates to the Limbe City Council, Kumba City Council and Bamenda City Council will all be abolished.

The decision will however bad news for the Mayor of the Buea council who has been working tirelessly to see the Buea council be upgraded to a city council-with him probably as government delegate.

Other recommendations made known included amongst others the reducing of the position of the Governors, Senior divisional Officers, Divisional Officers, Governors and Co. staying off council affairs, mayors to be consulted before appointment of council SGs and treasurers, council to be empowered and giving kickoff grants, and the powers of the Governors to be reduced.

As indicated in the program, the restitution of the work of various commissions will be held under the effective coordination of the President of the Grand National Dialogue, Chief Dr. Joseph Dion Ngute from 11 am local time. The restitution session will be followed by the adoption of the final report of the Grand National Dialogue,” said George Ewane, spokesperson for the dialogue.

The event that is held at the Yaounde conference center aims at seeking solution to the crisis in two English-speaking regions of Cameroon. In a report published last week, International Crisis Group (ICG) estimated that around 3,000 people have been killed by separatist violence and the military crackdown.

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Cameroon National Dialogue:Agbor Balla says Form of state must be in discussion
October 3, 2019 | 0 Comments

Akere Muna storms out of Major National Dialogue

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Barrister Agbor says form of start must be part of discussions

Renowned human rights lawyer and the leader of the ban Anglophone civil society consortium has insisted that the form of the state should be discussed at the ongoing Major National Dialogue to bring a long-lasting solution to the crisis in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon.

The Head of the Centre for Human Rights and Democracy in Africa, CHRDA was speaking at the Yaounde Conference Centre, during the working session of the Decentralization and local Development Commission.

According to Barrister Agbor Balla, if federalism is not adopted, the debates aimed at seeking lasting solutions to the Anglophone crisis will be fruitless, and the President will have to convene a new dialogue next year.

“We believe in the oneness, and the unity of this country, we believe that Cameroon should be one and indivisible, we equally believe that decentralisation will not solve the problem We have to get to a federation that is the minimum the people who have taken up arms would accept. Bar Agbor Balla said.

Barrister Ballas stance on one and indivisible Cameroon has received a backlash from Ayah Paul. In a Facebook post, Ayah questions who mandated Agbor Balla to represent Southern Cameroonians. He writes: WHO GAVE HIM THE MANDATE?

We are for ONE AND INDIVISIBLE CAMEROUN  the spelling of Cameroun not certified; and the highlights are mine. The barrister is entitled to his opinion: it is his most absolute right. Some other persons think likewise and so firmly hold. But with the difference that many such other persons hold that it should be the end product of legality, the reflection of the will of the people, at the least, in their majority. And that is the RUB!”

When Barrister Agbor Balla says WE, what group of persons is he referring to? Did those persons give him a mandate? What were the terms of the mandate? What is the nature of the mandate? When was the mandate conferred? What is the term of the mandate? How was the mandate conferred? As a lawyer, Mr. Barrister knows, or, at least, is presumed to know what I am talking about! WE AWAIT ANSWERS!

Since the President announced the convening of a Major National Dialogue without exclusion on September 10, 2019, many have been reacting on the need to adjust the form of the State and go in for federalism instead of decentralisation.

Prior to the dialogue, traditional rulers, members of the civil society organizations continue to reiterate the need for 10 decentralized federal states as a means to solve the crisis in the Anglophone Regions.

Akere Muna storms out of Major National Dialogue

The leader of the Now Movement Barrister Akere Muna pulled out of the Major National Dialogue citing his discontent over the way the event is unfolding. Akere Muna said at the end of the first day that he will not be returning to the dialogue table if all political prisoners in jail are not released and if the form of the state is not inserted in the agenda.

Akere Muna

“I was hoping to find a platform where all stakeholders can make their voices heard, where all opinions however divergent would be taken into account so a way out is found at the end of a healthy debate He said while adding that “Unfortunately, the unfolding of the events of the first day of the National Dialogue reveal that everything was carefully staged and produced from a script from which the organizers could not stray.” “Worst still, certain topics such as the form of the state and the situation of political and economic prisoners which are important in the current context, have simply been avoided. From what I saw, I could only suspend my participation in this event as it became painfully clear that they needed spectators, and not participants.

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Cameroon: Major National Dialogue ongoing as Anglophone separatists pull out
October 2, 2019 | 0 Comments

Separatists skip talks calling for international mediation to resolve the crisis

By Boris Esono Nwenfor

Discussions are continuing in Cameroon’s political capital Yaounde in the Major National Dialogue convene by the Head of State as the country seeks solutions to the Anglophone crisis rocking the North West and South West Regions. The dialogue has however been dealt a severe blow with separatist leaders in the Diaspora boycotting the dialogue.

The Prime Minister Head of Government Chief Dr Joseph Dion Ngute has on his part challenged participants to seek lasting solutions so as to bring back peace to the crisis-hit North West and South West regions.

Addressing participants, he said, “I appreciate the historical responsibility we have toward our children, our grandchildren and future generations. By deciding to invite Cameroon’s constructive force to this Major National dialogue, President Biya makes each of us fully responsible for the fate of our country.”

He added, “The gravity of the situation in the North West and South West regions must challenge and concern us but above all oblige us all individually and collectively, regardless of our regions, origin, our political or religious conviction, to achieve a result, that is, to restore peace and tranquillity in these two regions.”

In a report published last week, the International Crisis Group (ICG) estimated that around 3,000 people have been killed by separatist violence and the military crackdown.

The ICG said the talks do not include separatists or Anglophone leaders who support more federalist solutions. “It thus risks further frustrating Anglophones widening the gulf between the two sides and empowering hardliners,” the group said. “The government should make greater space for Anglophones, particularly federalists who are willing to attend. It should also seek a neutral facilitator.”

Even before the Major National Dialogue began, it ran into trouble with many activists arrested and experts voicing scepticism that it would yield tangible results. Mark Bareta, one of the separatist leaders very active on social media announced that he was pulling out, saying that “the only way to have real negotiations is to hold them on neutral territory.”

“Some of us were even lenient to say ok you have called for dialogue in Yaoundé and we can come and say we are for independence but we can do that through our leadership in jail. But till now, Biya has not taken any step…”, Eric Tataw said to TRT World while adding that “The US government wants dialogue and we think that we should go for dialogue but Paul Biya cannot tell us that we are insulting Cameroon because we are not Cameroonians. We are two separate countries, he knows that and the world knows that.”

“We are not forming our own country; we are just restoring our country. The right to self-determination is just what we are asking. We want the world to assist us in carrying out decolonization of southern Cameroon.

Of the 16 separatist leaders invited, those heading armed groups such as Ebenezer Akwanga and Cho Ayaba are also snubbing the talks. Akwanga told AFP that the event was a “smokescreen for the international community rather than an attempt to secure a complete and lasting solution … to the annexation of our country, Southern Cameroons.”

The leaders have expressed willingness to hold talks with the government but in the presence of an international mediator and in a foreign country with the terms for secession the main item on the agenda, according to the ICG.

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Gambia:APRC calls on AU and UN to pressure Barrow’s government to respect MoU that led to Jammeh’s departure
October 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Adama Makasuba

Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) party has called on the United Nations and African Union to put pressure on the government of Adama Barrow to adhere to a purported treaty signed by Jammeh and Barrow’s government before his (Jammeh’s) exile.

APRC that ruled the small West African nation for over two decades under the leadership of former president Yahya Jammeh, who now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea, made the call in its press conference.

Speaking at a press conference in Talinding, the party’s interim leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta said: “we challenged the United Nations AU to put pressure on this government to ensure that document is adhered to strictly otherwise they will lose credibility within the region and indeed the entire world. They will no longer be able to negotiate between parties; which party will trust them.”

Mr. Jatta said former president Jammeh signed an agreement with the Barrow’s government in a negotiation led by the United Nations, African Union and Economic Community of West African States before he (Jammeh) left for exile in Equatorial Guinea in 2017.

He however alleged that: “immediately president Jammeh left the shores of this country that document was thrown to the dustbin an agreement and that’s why president Jammeh left.

According to him, former President Yahya Jammeh left the shores of this country based on an agreement negotiated by the ECOWAS, AU and the United Nations.

He described seizure of Jammeh’s tractors and other assets by Barrow’s government as ‘illegal’ adding that the government should have giving those tractors to Gambian farmers rather than keeping them.

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Gambia: Coalition 2016 Deputy Chair Slams Extension of Barrow’s Mandate to 5 years
October 1, 2019 | 0 Comments

By Bakary Ceesay

Musa Sonko, Coalition 2016 deputy chair

Musa Sonko, Deputy Chairperson of Coalition 2016 has reacted angrily to the extension of President Adama Barrow’s term in office from 3-5 years by certain Stakeholders of the Coalition 2016, describing  the meeting was not all-inclusive as far as Coalition 2016 is concern.

On 27, September, 2019 five political parties who are 2016 coalition partners includes National Reconciliation Party (NRP), Gambia Moral Congress (GMC), People’s Progressive Party (PPP), and Gambia Party for Democracy and Progress (GPDP) and National Convention Party (NCP) agreed to extend President Barrow’s mandate from 3 to five years to enable him finish the ongoing reforms in the country.

While United Democratic Party (UDP), People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) were absent during the discussion.

However, Sonko, also a deputy party leader of National Reconciliation Party (NRP) told Pan African Visions that the extension of President Barrow’s mandate from three to five years is misleading and not binding.

According to him, all Coalition 2016 Stakeholders who are perceived not in support of the extension were never informed of the meeting.

“I was not informed of the meeting that was held on Friday at Statehouse to extend the mandate of the President and it was very surprising to see some faces in that meeting that were not even aware of how the Coalition 2016 comes about. How can such people extend the mandate of the President when they were not even part of the discussions that led to the formation of Coalition 2016?” Deputy Coalition 2016 Chairperson rhetorically asked.

He explained that he has earlier protested against the holding of a proposed meeting to extend the mandate of President Adama Barrow from 3 to 5 years, alleging the Fatoumata  Jallow Tambajang, Chairperson of Coalition 2016 and James Gomez, Fisheries Minister were the masterminds of the extension from 3-5 years without any heed to other agendum that are needed to be checked as far as the Coalition 2016 is concern.

He pointed out that “This extension of the President’s mandate by few Stakeholders of the Coalition 2016 is very misleading and to me is not binding because this is an issue that involve the Gambian people and any decision to be reached in this regard must be the views of the Gambian people but not few individuals running for their pockets,”

Sonko, a former Gambian ambassador to Guinea Bissau calls on Chairperson Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang to rescind the decision forthwith and call for an all-inclusive meeting that will take note of all the arguments that are to be raised.

He said the Coalition has promised to rule the country for three years and changing such a decision must be all-inclusive for the interest of all nationals.

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Gambia: Coalition 2016 Stakeholders Extends Barrow’s Mandate to 5 Years
September 27, 2019 | 0 Comments

ByBakary Ceesay

President Adama Barrow will now serve a full term

Stakeholders of Gambia coalition 2016 government have extended the mandate of President Adama Barrow from the three year transitional agreement to the five year Constitutional mandate.

Coalition 2016 is a group of seven opposition political parties and one independent candidate  that oust the former President Yahya Jammeh from power in December 2016 presidential election thus paving ways for President Adama Barrow to take the mantle of leadership of the country.

It has promised Gambians of 3 years transitional government that will embarked on essential reforms that will put the country on a strong democratic footings contrary to the 22 years dictatorship of former President Yahya Jammeh and AFPRC/APRC regime.

 A group of concern Gambia called three years jotna has threaten to hold a massive protest in December to demands President Barrow to honor his campaign promised and step down after three years as agreed by coalition stakeholders. However Barrow told a political rally in Brikama that he is going to stay till 2021 either anyone like it or not as he is empower by the Constitution.

On Friday,  parties that take part in the decision making to extend president Barrow mandate includes  Peoples Progressive Party (PPP),  the National Reconciliation Party (NRP)  Gambia Moral Congress, Gambia Party for Democracy and Development and independent candidate, however  the United Democratic Party (UDP) and People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) were not present at the meeting.

After the closed door meeting among stakeholders mention,  Fatoumatta Jallow Tambajang, Chairperson of Coalition 2016 has told waiting journalists that they have agreed to  extend  President Adama Barrow’s mandate from three years transitional agreement to five years Constitutional mandate.

 She explained that the decision to extend the mandate of the president was reached at a meeting hosted by the Coalition 2016 Stakeholders in Banjul today.

“We (Coalition Stakeholders) have agreed this morning to extend the mandate of President Adama Barrow from 3 years initial agreement to 5 years. We come to the decision so that the president and the government can have the opportunity to finish the various reforms processes sponsored by our partners such as the UNDP, EU, and AU among others. It is the president’s social legitimacy to finish these reform processes that are currently going on in the country,” Said the Coalition 2016, Chairperson.

She added: “Am calling on all Gambians to come together and give chance for the completion of these reform processes. This government started the journey in a very difficult situation, there was nothing in the coffers and it has to run helter shelter to look for funding in order to start this reform processes that are already on.”

Madam Tambajang who also served as the first Vice President of the Coalition 2016 government before being sacked by President Adama Barrow in late 2017, said all the Coalition 2016 Stakeholders attended the meeting with three representatives from each political parties that formed the Coalition.

She said it was only the United Democratic Party (UDP) and the People’s Democratic Organisation for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) who did not attend the meeting hosted today in getting to this decision, adding that the two political parties have expressed their withdrawal from the Coalition discussion sometime back.

She said Coalition 2016 Stakeholders will continue to engage both the United Democratic Party (UDP) and People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) on the decision reached today.

Tambajang also revealed plans to engage every Gambia on the decision taken, noting that 3 years Jotna movement members will be engaged too in the national quest to maintaining peace, unity and understanding in the country amidst fears that December will be characterized with protests hope to be organized by the members of the 3 Years Jotna movement. 

The extension of President Adama Barrow’s mandate by the Coalition 2016 will give him the opportunity to stair the affairs of The Gambia till 2021 when the country is expected to go for election.

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Gambia:APRC says ‘government white paper is a selective justice’
September 27, 2019 | 0 Comments
Fabakary Tombong Jatta

By Adama Makasuba

Former ruling APRC party has criticized the published government white paper on the Commission of Inquiry to look the financial dealings of former president Yahya Jammeh and his close associates, describing it “selective justice”.

In a press conference in Talinding, the party’s interim leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta said: “the commission of Inquiry made recommendation to government. Government on its own decided that this one we are not accepting and this one we are accepting. Then why do we have to set up commissions in the first place.”

He described government decision on the commission of inquiry’s report as a ‘selective justice’ as he said after the commission’s recommendation to the government that  the government decided to punish some people and left out others.

He blamed the government for rejecting the commission of inquiry’s recommendation on the chief protocol officer at the presidency,  Alagie Ousman Ceesay, who he said is accused by the commission’s report to had being a signatory to some the accounts of the first lady (former first lady Zainab Jammeh) and that he had received over 2 million dalasi.

“And very little about Buba Demba, about Bori Colley about others and the government said they are not going to accept the report on the COP (chief of protocol) Alagie (Ousman) Cessay, but accepted the report on (Buba) Demba, Bori (Colley) and others who seem to be APRC and they are not part of the government, selective justice openly, “he said.

According to him, any commission established to investigate the transition ‘illegal’ adding that anyone who violates the constitution should be subjected to ‘impeachment.’

He said that the Barrow government had already concluded accusing  the APRC guilty even before the establishment of the commission of Inquiry and Truth Reconciliation and Reparation Commission, adding that despite the President being the president of the Gambia but that “but he has not proven that by his actions.”

He said APRC’s doubt has been since the onsets of the commissions“that the Barrow government has already passed judgment against former president Jammeh” adding that the Commission of Inquiry and Truth Commission “were create to lend flesh to their already passed judgment all cost.”

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