President Adama Barrow’s signing of five United Nations treaties at once draws a vast difference between him (Barrow) and the man he had unseated. The whole world begged Yahya Jammeh to spare the lives of 9 death-row inmates in September 2012 but he did not budge. His government executed the inmates, defended the action and denied families the right to bury their loved ones. While Jammeh bragged about executing inmates of his idols preference, President Barrow fulfilled a campaign promise to ban the death penalty. World leaders now know they have a partner at State House and not the one who goes to UN to drum up support for Taiwan in exchange for millions of dollars.
The signed treaties are the Abolition of the Death Penalty as part of the Second Optional Protocol to the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights; International Convention on The Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families; the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance; the United Nations Convention on Transparency in Treaty-Based Investor-State Arbitration and the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
We concur with the government that the signing of the treaties will add value to our New Gambia, for it ” will continue to promote democracy and show the commitment of the state to protect lives of political activists. It will also remove fear and promote rule of law for citizens to express their civil and political rights.”
We don’t expect Yahya Jammeh to sign any of these treaties, especially on death penalty and forced disappearance, because his government cares less about the importance of protecting the dignity of human life. The ousted rogue government leadership sponsored killings, disappearance and tortures and lied about them. An inquiry commission into Jammeh government’s atrocities will leave Gambians speechless. It will leave unhealed scars on us.
Yahya Jammeh would have developed nuclear weapon purposely to destroy human life and property of his political adversaries if he had the means. It is therefore not surprising that his government ignores a treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.
What Gambians now want is the domestication of the signed treaties. Only then that Yahya Jammeh’s victims or their families can breathe some air of peace.