Gambian opposition leader has asked President Yahya Jammeh to release the relatives of those implicated in the December 30th failed State House attack in Banjul.
Lawyer Ousainou Darboe said it is “unreasonable and unacceptable to hold people beyond 72 hours without court order or being charged with a crime.” The United Democratic Party leader therefore called on the Jammeh regime “to act responsibly and follow the due process of law release the detainees.”
Mr. Darboe, who was addressing a grand rally in Serekunda on Sunday, also urged President Jammeh to release the dead bodies of those killed during the failed attack on State House. “As Muslims it is against Islamic norms to be holding on to dead bodies,” Mr. Darboe said, calling on the Jammeh regime to release the bodies of the December 30th attackers to their families for decent and proper burials.
Lawyer Darboe also harped on the country’s pervasive human rights abuses. He linked these abuses to President Jammeh’s crude and inhumane way of dealing with Gambians. Consequently, Mr. Darboe added, the once Darling of Human Rights has lost its well-earned respect in the world.
Mr. Darboe added that President Jammeh lost the ECOWAS [Economic Community of West African States] Chairmanship mainly due to his (Jammeh’s) lack of respect for his colleagues. “Can you imagine that Yahya Jammeh being the longest serving president in West Africa, yet he is always side-lined and brushed aside when it comes to leading the sub-regional body?” Darboe asked. “It shows that his colleagues have no regard for him. After all, who would want to have such a person lead an important regional body like ECOWAS?”
Mr. Darboe said even first term Presidents are given the chance to head the ECOWAS. He cited President Macky Sall of Senegal as an example.
He said despite hosting the African Union Summit in 2006, Gambian leader is denied the Chairmanship of the continental body who neither trust, nor respect President Jammeh.