Tension Continues in Gambia Over Jammeh’s Threats

In a televised interview earlier this week, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh made death threats against human rights activists, provoking outcry from the opposition and from international rights and press freedom groups. The BBC follows up on the controversy:

Banjul, The Gambia

Banjul, The Gambia

An online petition has been launched in protest at the Gambian president’s threat to kill human rights workers[…]

The campaign by a coalition of pressure groups wants the African Union’s human rights commission HQ moved from Gambia[…]

The Open Society, along with the African Court Coalition, is now campaigning to have the offices moved to a different country.

Their aim is to secure as many signatures as possible from non-governmental organisations involved in the work of the AU’s human rights commission before 28 September, when the petition will be forwarded to the African Union.

I don’t know what effect it will have, but the technique and what the petition asks may have an element of novelty and surprise.

In a separate piece, guest writer Umaru Fofana skewers Gambia’s political elite, turning as much heat on the disorganization and “petty squabbles” of the opposition as he does on the president. It seems I hear that sentiment fairly often now among African essayists who write in the Western press – a distaste for their countries’ leaders, but an equal distaste for their opponents.

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