The arrant dictator in the small West African state of the Gambia has once more accused the west as directly responsible for the woes of his country. It is indeed laughable that a man with one of the worst record of human rights in the world would point a finger at Britain accusing the former colonial master of interfering with the country’s political situation. Jammeh has suppressed all forms of opposition in his country and has stifled democracy and press freedom. Innocent people have been arrested and summarily executed because they accuse him of human rights abuses. No form of dissent is tolerated in a country that has only known Jammeh as leader since 1994.
On Wednesday, this former batman of a soldier accused Britain of backing opposition politicians ahead of 2011 elections, and said the West African nation would not be colonised again. The Gambian leader has a record of arresting dissenters, rights activists and journalists. Earlier this month a Gambian court sentenced eight people to death after finding them guilty of plotting to overthrow the government. The U.S. and Britain have criticised the jailing of an opposition member for using a megaphone at a rally without permission.
But Jammeh in his usual cockiness has said ”Why are the west not sponsoring the ruling government if they are talking about democracy?” He accused Britain of funding the opposition, but said the opposition would “never” secure a ministerial post because Gambians were not fools. “I swear that the Gambia will not be colonised twice. Let them do whatever they want to do, but this country will not be colonised twice,” he said.
Yahya Jammeh has ruled Gambia with an iron fist since a 1994 coup. He will face elections next year and there are four opposition parties mounting a challenge at his rather shabby presidency. Apparently, the parties all complain about harassment and in the last election in 2006 Jammeh won about 70 percent of the vote. Those who were sentenced this month include the former chief of defence staff, former director of the national intelligence agency and two businessmen.
Those arrested were accused of planning to oust the government in a drug-funded plot involving foreign mercenaries. The case followed a waves of arrests and sackings in the country. Addressing a staged rally of his supporters, Jammeh said ”My message to the West is that if you think that Africans are stupid and you can come and fool us twice, then go elsewhere in Africa and fool them but the Gambia is a no go area for you.” The people of Gambia are suffering under the rule of this serious psychiatric case and the African Union should step in and ensure the rule of law is maintained in a country that is fast sinking into an autocratic state.
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