Respect Opposition, SI Tells Gambia

Opposition leader Ousainou Darboe with Suntou Touray in Bamako attending SI confab

Socialist International (SI) has vigorously protested against last week blockade of a touring United Democratic Party (UDP). The group blamed the Gambia government for restricting the public activity and outreach of the opposition leader. It urged the Jammeh regime to respect the opposition.

Find below the SI statement:

Socialist International calls for respect for opposition in Gambia

The Socialist International expresses its deep concern and vigorously protests at the actions taken by the government of Gambia aimed at restricting the public activity and outreach of opposition leader Ousaninu Darboe and members of the United Democratic Party, UDP, the largest opposition party in Gambia.

The UDP has embarked on a countrywide tour, from 16 to 26 April. The SI is informed that the security forces in Gambia have not granted the UDP the required permission to use a public address system and instead have put up roadblocks to restrict their freedom of movement and have been cordoning off meeting venues.

The Socialist International calls on the Gambian authorities to respect the democratic rights of its citizens, including the right to assembly and free speech, and to ensure the physical integrity of all those who are gathering legally and peacefully.

The Socialist International will remain vigilant to developments in Gambia and reaffirms its solidarity with the UDP, a member party of the Socialist International.



  1. I remember US diplomatic cables exposed by WikiLeaks showed that the US diplomats in Gambia, in cohort with Gambian dictatorship, referred to UDP as a nationalist party. It was a smear campaign.

    • Really Mr. Jawneh? This is really hard to believe. If this is true, the United States is liable to redressing that situation in a statement of apology to the Gambia opposition parties and the Gambia in general. I am definitely sure, that doing so will set another stepping stone in our democracy restoration process.
      I urge folks to come to this important forum.

  2. Lafia Touray la Manju

    His name is Ambassador Mcdonald. He was later given a lucrative PR contract by Jammeh, according to media reports. He was a Jammeh lobbyist in Washington and described by some Washington insiders as a “short of cash” former diplomat-cum-lobbyist.

  3. I’m sorry, but I don’t believe the Jammeh regime has any input or influence over the US Banjul diplomatic cables…

    I don’t also believe that the UDP was described as a “Nationalist Party” in those revealed cables..

    The cables I saw on Wikileaks contained some very unpleasant things about Yaya Jammeh….Halifa a bit of stick too..

    How does one then substantiate the claims about the Jammeh regime conniving with the US Embassy to defame the UDP, in the light of these unpleasant things about Yaya Jammeh, in particular, and his style of government.. ?

    The criticisms, view, are genuine and should be accepted in good faith…If anyone thinks otherwise, then the onus is on you to proof your case..

  4. Then ex/ambassador Macdonald should be acknowledged of this allegations against him and his embassy at all cost, and the matter in my opinion, should be considered by the U.S authorities as serious and be responded to by them as soon as possible. This new news is a real ‘spirit killier’. That was not president Obama in office I am sure……….

  5. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Bax, Halifa told the researchers that UDP promote tribal politics but when the researchers contacted their others sources, they were able to get neither a confirmation nor corroboration of the same. So they contacted a UDP official who dismissed the claim as rubbish.

    You must be reminded that Halifa after loosing the 2006 presidential election, accused the mandinkas of asking their children not to vote for him. It turns out that almost 90percent or more of his votes came from heavily mandinka dominated areas, kombo North, and Wuli west. We didn’t see any votes for him from the wollofs of Banjul and saloum or the Tukulors of Basse.

    Nobody said Jammeh has a direct influence on the report. It is the ambassador that people are talking about. He was given a lucrative PR contract by Jammeh, according to Media reports, almost immediately he left his post as US ambassador to The Gambia. Bax will always be in denial guys.


  6. Lafia Touray la Manju

    And by the way, the report did not make any criticism of UDP. It only quoted one source who accused UDP of promoting tribal politics. No other source in the report confirmed or corroborated this claim.

    UDP was given an opportunity to respond to this false claim, and a UDP official in Banjul did exactly that. That too is contained in the report.

    Halifa will say anything about the UDP behind close doors and under the cover of anonymity. So we are not surprised. He has said worst than this about the UDP and Lawyer Darboe.


  7. Lafia: And how many times did Lawyer Darbo said something against Halifa behind close doors? Just be honest to give the right figure. You cannot tarnish Halifa’s image. He is too decent a politician and principled too. Just concentrate on popularizing UDP and its policies which is and should be the only decent way of winning people and not concentrating in fabricating untruths about other parties and personalities. I really don’t know why Halifa becomes your headache at all times? I am really ashamed to partake in this type of politicking .Halifa and PDOIS are too decent to use tribe to garner votes and you cannot convince anyone on linking Halifa to ethnic politics.

  8. Lafia….

    Someone did say that the Jammeh dictatorship has an.input in the US Banjul diplomatic cables…Refer to the comment by Dodou Jawneh, where he stated that….

    ” the US diplomats in Gambia, in cohort with Gambian dictatorship, referred to UDP as a nationalist party. It was a smear campaign.”

    Doesn’t this imply that the dictatorship was conniving with the embassy to smear the UDP..? How could they do that if they had no input in the reports filed in those cables?

    If you think that “the report did not make any criticism of UDP”, then perhaps we are not talking about the same report… 

    The Wikileaks US Banjul Diplomatic cables that I have in mind, did criticise the UDP, through its leader, Lawyer Darboe…

    Those reports also contained no statements attributed to any UDP official…If you disagree, I would like you to produce the evidence…

    I think most people are tired of your malicious falsehoods and allegations against Halifa, which is nothing but the syndrome of jealousy….

    After all, how can you tell a “Wollof vote” from.a “Tukulor vote”, when they are being counted..?

    Or how closed is “behind closed doors” when you are privy to what is said “behind closed doors ?”

    Or, like the journalist who claimed to have informants in Jammeh’s bedroom, are you claiming that you have informants in Halifa’s office..? Can’t put that beyond you…

    You do know how to make.silly comments sometimes….

  9. However, some may have always wondererd why Jammeh always looks so sure of his trampling kind of dictatorship with the diplomatic representations of countries like the U.S and the U.K. Or is it we lack the international attention because we are without reserves of natural resources?