Sunday 22 April 2018
(AFP (eng) 03/27/18)
Gambian police have arrested a top official in the state intelligence agency over the murder of political activist Solo Sandeng in April 2016, a spokesman said Monday. Sandeng's death in custody sparked a political movement that eventually ousted former leader Yahya Jammeh, who ruled the tiny West African nation with an iron fist for 22 years. More than a dozen former agents of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) face charges or are already on trial for the United Democratic Party organiser's murder after his arrest at an opposition protest. Police spokesman Superintendent David Kujabie said James Mendy, NIA head of security, was "in police custody and is being investigated in connection with the murder of...
(AFP (eng) 03/23/18)
Gambian prosecutors have charged eight former spies with conspiracy to murder in the case of an activist whose death in custody sparked a political movement that ousted former leader Yahya Jammeh. Eight agents of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) were charged on Wednesday with conspiracy to commit murder and accessory to the facts of murder, police spokesman David Kujabie told AFP on Thursday. The alleged torture and killing of United Democratic Party (UDP) organiser Solo Sandeng in April 2016 sparked rare protests in the small West African, and encouraged a weak and split political opposition to unite behind a single flagbearer. That flagbearer, then unknown businessman Adama Barrow, beat Jammeh in December 2016...
(AFP (eng) 03/21/18)
Ten members of Gambia's former spy agency have been detained on suspicion of murdering a political activist who led a protest during ousted strongman Yahya Jammeh's rule, police said Tuesday. Solo Sandeng, organising secretary of the United Democratic Party, was arrested in April 2016 for fronting a street protest demanding electoral reform. He died in detention. "Two have been granted bail and eight are still in custody," superintendent David Kujabie Tuesday told AFP. Nine staff at the former National Intelligence...
(AFP (eng) 03/07/18)
"Sir, we're going to handcuff you," a coast guard from Sao Tome tells a man accused of fishing illegally in the archipelago's waters. But the "fisherman" is really a French navy seaman disguised in a T-shirt, cap and sunglasses -- a member of an unusual multinational training exercise to combat crime in the Gulf of Guinea. Illegal fishing, piracy and hostage-taking haunt the vast bay lying off West Africa, whose coastline runs from Liberia in the west to Gabon in...
(AFP (eng) 02/19/18)
Gambian President Adama Barrow announced on Sunday a suspension of the death penalty in his country, in a break from the former regime of the dictator Yahya Jammeh. Barrow, a onetime security guard in London who was elected president in December 2016, signed a UN treaty on the abolition of capital punishment last year. "I will use this opportunity to declare a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in the Gambia, as a first step towards abolition," Barrow...
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The Gambia was readmitted to the Commonwealth on Thursday, welcomed back following the democratic election of President Adama Barrow, who reversed the shock pullout of 2013. His predecessor Yahya Jammeh suddenly withdrew the impoverished west African nation in October that year, branding the group an "extension of colonialism" as he lashed out at international organisations. Accused of flagrant rights abuses, Jammeh ruled mainland Africa's smallest country with an aura of mysticism and an iron fist after seizing power in 1994. Barrow began the readmission process in February last year, two months after topping an election in which Jammeh initially refused to give up his 22-year rule, triggering a crisis.
(AFP (eng) 02/08/18)
The African Union's chairman dismissed during a visit to Beijing on Thursday a French newspaper report alleging that China had spied on the continental body as "lies" intended to derail cooperation. The report published by Le Monde in January claimed technicians at the AU's Chinese-built headquarters in the Ethiopian capital discovered last year that the contents of their computers had been regularly copied to servers in Shanghai since 2012, citing unnamed AU sources. "I don't see it is in the...
(AFP (eng) 02/05/18)
Israel began warning thousands of African migrants Sunday that they must leave by the end of March, officials said, under a plan that could see them jailed if they refuse. On January 3, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced implementation of a plan to deport about 38,000 migrants who had entered the country illegally, mainly Eritreans and Sudanese. The controversial plan gives them until the end of next month to leave voluntarily or face jail and eventual expulsion. Immigration authority spokeswoman...
(AFP (eng) 02/01/18)
Gambian police arrested a university lecturer and kept him in overnight detention for questioning the president's ability to maintain national security in a newspaper interview, he told AFP on Thursday. Campaigners said the arrest was a worrying echo of restrictions on freedom of speech under the former regime of Yahya Jammeh, who was forced to leave the West African country for exile in Equatorial Guinea a year ago. The new government has repeatedly promised to protect human rights, including freedom...
(AFP (eng) 01/30/18)
Gambian police on Monday lifted a ban on political activities provoked by violent clashes allegedly between supporters of President Adama Barrow and those of former leader Yahya Jammeh. The ban, put in place on January 11, had suspended permission for rallies and other public political events as the country prepares for local elections in April. A police statement released Monday said "political parties that wish to hold political activities using public address systems are welcome to send in their requests."...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
Equatorial Guinea's President Teodoro Obiang Nguema has said he will not agree to any extradition order for former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, who has been living in exile in the central African country after being forced to quit power last year. Jammeh, who seized control of The Gambia in a 1994 military coup, lost a democratic election and refused to step aside until threatened with military intervention. The Gambian strongman is accused by the current government and rights groups of...
(AFP (eng) 01/29/18)
President Donald Trump said the United States "deeply respects" Africans and will dispatch its top diplomat to the continent, in a letter to African leaders seen by AFP on Sunday. The letter sent last week comes after Trump provoked a firestorm of indignation among African nations earlier in January when he reportedly called them "shithole countries" during a meeting with lawmakers in Washington. While Trump has denied the remarks, they are expected to be formally condemned by the 55 member states of the African Union during their ongoing summit in the Ethiopian capital. "I want to underscore that the United States deeply respects the people of Africa, and my commitment to strong and respectful relationships...
(AFP (eng) 01/26/18)
US President Donald Trump on Friday asked the African Union chairman to pass on his "warmest regards" to other regional leaders at a summit this weekend, after sparking outrage with a reported slur against Africans. Trump met Rwandan President Paul Kagame at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, where some African business leaders say they are planning to boycott Trump's closing speech later Friday. The outspoken US leader congratulated Kagame on taking over as chair of the 55-nation African bloc, which Trump said was a "great honour". "I know you're going to your first meeting shortly. Please give my warmest regards," Trump told Kagame after they held a one-on-one meeting at the forum.
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
Two renegade generals who left The Gambia to go into exile with former president Yahya Jammeh last year have been arrested after returning to the tiny West African nation, the army has confirmed. General Ansumana Tamba and General Umpa Mendy had sought refuge in Equatorial Guinea alongside Jammeh in January 2017 after his brutal 22-year rule came to an end. The pair are believed to have arrived in their home country on Sunday on a flight from Morocco but were...
(AFP (eng) 01/22/18)
A year ago, Gambians wept for joy as Yahya Jammeh went into exile, bringing the curtain down on a brutal 22-year rule. Today, many say freedom of speech in this small west African state is a right they cherish under President Adama Barrow's administration. "There is a democracy, everybody feels free. Disappearances without a trace -- all that's over now," said teacher Kalipha Dampha, referring to the dreaded work of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) and the "Junglers," as Jammeh's...
(AFP (eng) 01/19/18)
US Ambassador Nikki Haley expressed regret on Thursday to African ambassadors who were outraged by President Donald Trump's alleged description of African countries as "shithole" nations, the head of the African Group said. Haley asked to meet the African ambassadors at the United Nations after they released a joint statement on Friday demanding an apology from Trump for his "outrageous, racist and xenophobic remarks." Ambassador Anatolio Ndong Mba of Equatorial Guinea, who chairs the Africa Group, said the US ambassador...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The Gambia has suspended permission for rallies and other public political events after clashes allegedly between supporters of President Adama Barrow and those of the former regime of Yahya Jammeh. Gambian police said in a statement issued late Thursday that permits for political parties to campaign were on hold while it investigated two violent incidents in rural areas this week. "The office of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) notifies all political parties that all permits granted to conduct political...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
The African Union said Friday that President Donald Trump's reported description of African nations as "shithole countries" broke with "accepted behaviour" and was "extremely upsetting." Ebba Kalondo, spokeswoman for AU Chairperson Moussa Faki, told AFP that Trump's statement "truly flies in the face of accepted behaviour and practice." "This is not only hurtful, I think, to people of African origin in the United States, but certainly to African citizens," she said. "It's an extremely upsetting statement," she added. The comment was reportedly made during a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform...
(AFP (eng) 01/12/18)
President Donald Trump reportedly lashed out in a Thursday meeting with lawmakers about immigration reform, demanding to know why the US should accept citizens from what he called "shithole" countries. The comments, first reported by The Washington Post, sparked anger among Democrats and Republicans and revived questions about Trump's tendency to make racially charged remarks. Trump sat down with senators and congressmen at the White House to discuss a proposed bipartisan deal that would limit immigrants from bringing family members...
(Xinhuanet 12/20/17)
China hopes to enhance political mutual trust and expand cooperation in all fields with Gambia during President Adama Barrow's visit, Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hua Chunying said Wednesday. Barrow will pay a state visit to China from Wednesday to next Tuesday, at the invitation of Chinese President Xi Jinping. China and Gambia resumed diplomatic relations in March 2016 after ties had been severed for 21 years. Barrow is the first Gambian president to visit China since the two countries resumed ties...

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