I submit it will be unjust, unfair and outright disrespectful to suggest any future Accountability exercise by the Gambian people as “witch-hunt”.
ONE THING we all can agree on, whether you are a pro-Jammeh, pro-APRC or not is this: lots of wrongs have been done to the Gambian people for the last 20 plus years. There have been reports of torture, rape, killings, disappearances as well as other misuses and abuses of office and power, not to mention the millions of dollars that were secured and or borrowed in the name of the Gambian people, but were squandered.
NOW, fair enough if there is a regime change through whatever method, be it reconciliation, dialogue, constructive engagement or whatever.
BUT one thing NO ONE must take away from the Gambian people is any future Accountability exercise they will want. And that, my brothers and sisters, is not the decision of any future government. That is the DECISION of the Gambian people, and they can decide or make that decision through a referendum or other mechanisms. And that is a process; it will not happen in one week, one month or two months, it will take few months, or longer.
The international community, as well as regional support, in the form of expertise, manpower and resources, will be sought and forthcoming in any future Accountability exercise by the Gambian people.
Gambians, overseas and at home, will be called upon or subpoenaed to testify or give testimony, or to provide information, documents, evidence, and so on. Whether those Gambians overseas will testify, provide evidence or not is entirely up to them.
Any such Accountability exercise will bring closure and or compensation to the loved ones and families of victims. Of course, many of us are victims of the Jammeh era, one way or the other, but EQUALLY as well, many of us again are perpetrators or contributors to the pain, anguish, havoc and suffering done to the Gambian people, and we must hold ourselves Accountable to the Gambian people for that. FAILURE to do so will not bring the lasting tension-free atmosphere we all want. Beneath this surface of the Jammeh era, there are lots of pain, bitterness, and strong desires of revenge and retribution.
The Gambian people would want to know, and so NO future government must take away from the Gambian people any future exercise of Accountability just because “change of regime” is needed and wanted now or in the near future. The Gambian people would want and demand Accountability for all the wrongs that have been done to her.
We owe the Gambian people that much and we must not take that away from them, lest our future generations will not look favorably on us, and they will judge us and write our history.
The Gambian people can decide whether or not they want any future Accountability exercise or not, and they can do so through REFERENDUM or other commissions. And this, my brothers and sisters, is not a truth commission like it happened in South Africa, or any other similar historical analogies in other countries. Our situation in the Gambia is unique and different from these other historical analogies in other countries, and as such, we MUST face and deal with our own unique situation in our own way, while at the same time learning and drawing from other analogies from other countries as well.
There is too much tension, bitterness, desires of revenge, grudges and other strong sentiments of not knowing, underneath this “Smiling Coast” of Africa called The Gambia, that have been brewing for the last 20 plus years, and the Gambian people would want to know a lot of things, to bring closure and recompense.
That is the least we can assure and give to the Gambian people, and her future generations.
By Abdul Savage
Retired, US Army
Member, Military Order of the Purple Heart
Member, Veterans of Foreign Wars.
There must be accountability of jammeh regime in very near future if he is remove by any means necessary. If he is remove by an election , the elected government has the mandate of the people to investigate crimes and corruptions during his regime. No referendum is needed . Referendum is complete waste of time and resources. Jammeh setup commission to investigate JAWARA government officials, so the same rule is going to be applied when he is out power.
If jammeh is capture alive, he must face competent courts of law and be investigated about crimes, atrocities and corruptions under his regime. Though he is not a civilized human being, a criminal liar and a thinker, he should be accorded a fair trial even though he never offer such an opportunities to most of his victims.
Accountability of Jammeh’s regime is a must and nonnegotiable. Jammeh understand this very well and this is why he is trying very hard to eliminate every possible witness before he is remove as well as hide our stolen monies in different countries under different names. Any Gambian who commits any crime will be investigated and face competent court as well. This will give closure and justices to all those who are victims of his brutal rule. It will also help to prevent future governments to commit heinous crime and educate Gambian people that there will be always be accountability at the end of any regime. Accountability should be ongoing process at every level of our society and government post Jammeh and in the future.
Agree 1000% Marx…unfortunately for us Jammeh knows that so well that he prefers to die than being dragg to court and jailed for life.
Here is a conversation Devil Zeinab Jammeh held with a foreing friend of her some years back. For illustrations the friend is called A and Z for Zeinab.
After a nice lunch and inspections of Zeinabs jewelries and accessories, A ask Z the following questions:
A- Zeinab you are such a lucky woman, you are so rich….etc.
Z- I thank Allah for everything.
A- Hee Zeinab you did not thank your husband who provided all this for you?
Z- Ooh, yes but I am very worried about tomorrow.
Z- Because he will never hand over to any Gambian as long as he is alive.
A- That means he is calling for trouble.
Z- I don’t care, in fact I wish he is killed so that Gambians will not know the treasure we have.
A- How can you say that..why don’t you try to convince him to step aside so that both of you can go settle in another country and enjoy your wealth?
Z- Astafurlaah, me and him is only as long as he is president, after that you can count me out. In fact I wish he is dead so that I have ALL by myself.
A- You mean you don’t care about him being killed??
Z- To be honest that’s the best future for me and my children. Let Gambians sort their problems and count me out.
A- How if you caught as well?
Z- That is why I always have contigency plans and my Arab family will make sure I am safe..
Z- Just pray for me and let us talk about something else please..
A- Ooh.. OK.. sure…you are so pretty……etc etc etc.
From this conversation let us not count too much on Jammeh on anything except his dead corpse that will be exposed in museum for posterity.
Hey Deyda Haidara AKA Bakary Bojang, am your bigest fan on freedom newspaper on your diatribe, are you working on your PART 5 ?? interesting stuff, good job.
Aaaah! F Girl, what makes you think I am Bakary Bojang??
I hope you are not a facebook friend of Zienab Naarr Jammeh? Lol.
Very much predictive and reasonable but one opinion I borrowed from a very well experienced individual is that; You have to struggle against injustice or accept it.
Witch hunt in the name of accoutability and the rule of law and human value, pays far much more than witch hunting for witches that transform and fly by night.
A free and fair national and an international accoutabilty effort, in effect, will be the definite sweet REVENGE for innocent Gambians, for brutal governing only sows seeds of hate and grudge in the hearts an extremely poor and badly oppressed people. What is to be, got to be. Shouldn’t see the right way and take the wrong one. Perfection however, according to my spiritual texts belongs to a supernatural power.
Needless to mention the intelligence demonstrated by many Gambians, the Gambia’s political crisis is unique and will be rescued from it intelligently without too many disturbing doubts.