Activist Champions Diaspora Unity

Assan MartinBy Abdoulie John

Gambian human rights activist has championed a new project, aimed at unifying diasporan organisations.

Assan Martin, a US-based human rights lawyer believes unity of purpose is the only winning formula in the long, tedious and messy fight against tyranny in The Gambia. Assan Martin has therefore established the Gambian Diaspora Coordinating Committee. The organisation’s chief goal is to solve challenging issues in the liberation struggle.

“Concerned with the disunity of efforts in the liberation struggle, the Gambian Diaspora Coordinating Committee (GDCC) is established,” Mr. Martin said in a statement.  The new body is “tasked with helping to unite the Gambian liberation struggle.”

The entirely Diaspora-run organisation will “help various Gambian organisations to unite in principle and purpose. Henceforth, all groups or organisations affiliated to the GDCC, or any groups acting in the name of Gambian struggle must adhere and comply to some standards and principles to foster effective coordination and understanding of their organisational role and activities in the campaign to restore democracy and the rule of law in The Gambia.”

Mr. Martin expects affiliated associations to promote and respect the principles of good governance. “All organisations are expected to exercise transparent and accountable working relations, to restore sense of partnership, comradeship and confidence that was lost.”

As it is outlined in the document, this appeared to be a sine qua non that would help to ‘better understand and take note of the past mistakes and strive hard to repeat them.



  1. Luntango Suun Gann Gi

    Hmmm, ummm, aaaaaaahhhhhhh ….

  2. Lafia Touray la Manju

    This one is a failure even before it started and you know what?? Its got Lawyer Assan Martin’s photo on the story. Too early to talk about the UDP dossier on this character called Assan Martin. His disingenuous comments on coalition has also been captured in the online fora and media.

    • Kaliku N Jola

      Wallahi Lafia you have never been more accurate. I have followed your postings and quite a time found your assessments right on the money. Assan Martin and his likes were all the more there are serious challenges to unity. He is running around on online radios preaching unity when his actions seriously contravene that punt. He was against the diaspora effort to organize the Raleigh conference before he was for it. After the Cordeg formation, Martin for reasons known to him, joined the Mathew camp to form the new GCC. The man who talks much about unity was to aligned himself with a competing force against UNITY. But as if belonging to GCC which side by side with Cordeg could serve the so-called unity of purpose he is blabbing about is not enough, here comes the tsar with another concoction of a plan adding to an already disunited focus. This GDCC (Martin) mess was a turnoff from day one, leaving many to wonder what in the first place does it(he) even try to accomplish that CORDEG has not tried doing. And we must remember what/how he did to undermined the Raleigh conference/CORDEG’s efforts as an umbrella org. I cant understand why anyone will believe the junk he is up to again but only felt bad for those he claim to represent.

  3. I think the Gambian Diaspora Coordinating Committee (GDCC) is a welcome initiative. The Diaspora should be united in purpose, put their act together before they could become the recognizable force they should be. I applaud the establishment of the GDCC and hope that they get the support necessary to achieve the desired objective. Time is of the essence.

  4. Obviously, any efforts geared towards bringing people, groups or organisations should be lauded, but I think duplication should be avoided…

    We were informed.sometime ago about the emergence of the Gambia Youths for Unity, with the same objectives and unless they have ceased to exist,I would say this is an unnecessary duplication.

    Nonetheless, good luck to Mr Martin.

  5. Lafia, I think it would be wise to see the Gambia beyond the lens of UDP. At least for once.

    Ever since I know you in this forum, you never support anything other than UDP or say anything but UDP, UDP.

    Pls see the bigger picture just for once.

  6. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Well if you bring in dodgy things in the forum, I will express by view. If you got people well known for their anti UDP views like Assan Martin, I will have to think about UDP. The anti UDP people should not be allowed to hijack national cause or projects. Let them stay away so that we can have good conversation among ourselves and rescue our country.

  7. Well, Assan is well on record for being the only human right lawyer in the Gambia who would defend anybody regardless of party affiliation unlike others who would only defend supporters of their party only. I witnessed him defending people he doesn’t even know. As a police officer, I had seen how hard Assan would fight to get people released from detention from prison etc. I had as well witnessed on several occasions, he acquitted and discharged several people wrongly charged to court when he was a magistrate.

    He is as well on record for being the only person who sacrificed and came on board as an independent candidate for a unified opposition front to challenge the incumbent in the 2011 presidential election. He agreed to bring in no delegate to vote him when others who had the opportunity to bring in 70% of the delegates as a proportional representation of their votes in the previous election refused to take part on the basis that they didn’t trust their colleagues in opposition. Some only refused to join bcus they won’t allow themselves to go through any Democratic selection process.

    Like I said before, The Gambia is bigger than any individual party or person. In our quest to bring meaningful change, all must be welcomed. Even people who had served the regime but genuinely want to contribute, should be welcomed and appreciated. For only in unity lies our strength to uproot the cruel dictatorship.

    If you can’t do it alone, accommodate others that the collective endeavor can bring in the much needed synergy and strength to realise the wishes of the masses who remain under the unbearable yolk of Yahya.

    Let’s stop the infighting and the self distruction Lafia. Gambia first and foremost. Then everyone and everything else next.

    • Lafia Touray la Manju

      Nobody said Assan Martin is not a Human Rights Lawyer. The truth of the matter is that Assan’s anti UDP record is well known to all who listen. He even tried to manipulate the GMC delegation at the last coalition talks in 2011 just to undermine UDP’s position. HE had a fall-out with Mai Fatty over that.

      Of recent, Assan was online and in one of the online radios spreading untruthful and disingenuous statements about the UDP,- basically ramping up his anti UDP rhetorics.

      UDP supporters like myself don’t have any regard for ASSAN. Why then would you put somebody like that at the head of an effort to unite people?? It’s not clever, my friends.


  8. Assan’s participation in the Convention has added much credibility to the process. It is independent personalities like him that the opposition needs to break the deadlock. Lafia is simply writing off Assan just because he supported one arrangement against the UDP’s discredited Party-led proposal. Lafia should go ahead and tell us what negative things he said against UDP requiring a write off and stop generalizations if he wants people to listen to him? Assan has all the right to lobby for what he believes. Has UDP not lobbied GMC to its proposal at a time when GMC was leaning towards a PDOIS proposal?

  9. Lafia Touray la Manju

    GMC never supported pdois proposal. The delegation was misled by Assan Martin into believing that their party leader, Mai Fatty, had given directive for the GMC delegation to change support from UDP proposal to pdois proposal. This turned out to be a blatant lie for which Mai Fatty was livid about. This is what happened.


  10. Lafia: If Assan Matin who was in the country representing the GMC at the talks expressed support for the PDOIS proposal and later the GMC leader objected to that position and expressed support to UDP position, all we can say is that there was a rift between them and each has taken the route one supports.

  11. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Assan was not representing Gmc and was not even part of the Gmc delegation. He used his personal relationship with Mai Fatty to gain access to the Gmc delegation in the meeting and ended up lying to them about a purported directive from the Gmc leader which was unfounded. He basically exercised fraud on the conscience of the Gmc leader. Mai fatty had to publicly rebuke him for that.This is what happened.


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