22nd July: Celebrating Coups and Extolling Democracy – Any Discrepancies?


As celebrations marking the 20th anniversary of the military takeover by then Lieutenant Jammeh is underway, I wish to revisit a post I wrote two years ago.

The Global Guide

Image Jammeh and former Libyan leader (Gadhafi)

July 22nd is almost a household name in the Gambia. On that fateful day, eighteen years ago, former President, Dawda Kairaba Jawara was deposed in what has been described as a ‘bloodless coup’. Jawara’s overthrow was masterminded by a group of young soldiers led by then Lieutenant Yahya AJJ Jammeh. The putsches identified themselves as the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) and Jammeh, 29 at the time, was the chairman of the AFPRC. The AFPRC then suspended the constitution, sealed the borders and implemented a curfew. While Jammeh’s new government justified the coup by decrying corruption and lack of democracy under the Jawara regime, army personnel had also been dissatisfied with their salaries, living conditions and prospects for promotion. The coup did not receive much resistance from home but attracted international condemnation. Eighteen (18) years on, 22nd July is annually celebrated…

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CBG Closes Prime Bank


Central Bank of The Gambia (CBG) has on Monday 21st January 2013 closed down Prime Bank (Gambia) Limited. The closure comes as a result of the bank’s failure to meet the minimum capital of D200 millioImagen for commercial banks in The Gambia. 

The CBG has increased the minimum capital for commercial banks in The Gambia from D150 million to D200 million, the equivalent of about US$7 million, by end of December 2012. CBG has argued that the increment is “in order to strengthen the country’s banking system”.

The Gambia, which used to be serviced by less than four commercial banks until a few years ago, has in recent times been affected by the phenomenon of an upsurge in the number of banks registered here, mainly from Nigeria.

According to local media reports, at the end of the 2009 financial year, The Gambia’s banking industry recorded a total loss of about 45 million Dalasis. Ten of the banks declared losses.

Journalists in prison reach record high, CPJ


ImageOn December 11th 2012, The Committee to Protect Journalists has noted that the number of journalists imprisoned worldwide reached a record high this year, a trend driven primarily by terrorism and other anti-state charges levied against critical reporters and editors.

“We are living in an age when anti-state charges and ‘terrorist’ labels have become the preferred means that governments use to intimidate, detain, and imprison journalists,” said CPJ Executive Director Joel Simon. “Criminalizing probing coverage of inconvenient topics violates not only international law, but impedes the right of people around the world to gather, disseminate, and receive independent information.” Continue reading

Exposing the good, the bad and the lack of media freedom


The Global Guide

Pansy Tlakula, the African Union’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Infor-mation, has done her best to address the continued harassment of journalists in the Gambia.

By Stanley Kwenda (source: allafrica.com)

Pansy Tlakula, the African Union’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, has done her best to address the continued harassment of journalists in the Gambia.

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Exposing the good, the bad and the lack of media freedom


Pansy Tlakula, the African Union’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Infor-mation, has done her best to address the continued harassment of journalists in the Gambia.

By Stanley Kwenda (source: allafrica.com)

Pansy Tlakula, the African Union’s Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression and Access to Information, has done her best to address the continued harassment of journalists in the Gambia. Continue reading

GMC Denounces Efforts to Relocate African Commission


The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress party, Mr Mai Ahmad Fatty has said that his party does not support “the call by the Civil Society Forum of African NGOs to relocate the African Human Rights Commission from The Gambia to another AU member state”. In a loaded statement obtained by The Gambia Newswaves, Mr Fatty wrote: “GMC believes that removal of the African Centre from The Gambia does not provide effective and durable approach to the endemic problem of mal-governance in Africa.” Continue reading

22nd July: Celebrating Coups and Extolling Democracy – Any Discrepancies?


Image

Jammeh and former Libyan leader (Gadhafi)

July 22nd is almost a household name in the Gambia. On that fateful day, eighteen years ago, former President, Dawda Kairaba Jawara was deposed in what has been described as a ‘bloodless coup’. Jawara’s overthrow was masterminded by a group of young soldiers led by then Lieutenant Yahya AJJ Jammeh. The putsches identified themselves as the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) and Jammeh, 29 at the time, was the chairman of the AFPRC. The AFPRC then suspended the constitution, sealed the borders and implemented a curfew. While Jammeh’s new government justified the coup by decrying corruption and lack of democracy under the Jawara regime, army personnel had also been dissatisfied with their salaries, living conditions and prospects for promotion. The coup did not receive much resistance from home but attracted international condemnation. Eighteen (18) years on, 22nd July is annually celebrated as a day that dawned a new political era in the tiny West African country. President Jammeh has always likened his overthrow to a revolution; in fact, there are no 22nd July coup celebrations. What the soldier turned civilian president celebrates is the ‘22nd July Revolution’. Continue reading