ABA Must NOT Hold Meeting On Gambian Soil Until…

After unsuccessfully attempting to injure the Gambia during the 2016 political impasse the African Bar Association is this time seeking to maliciously target the President of the Gambia Bar Association Salieu Taal. Mr. Tall is standing up to the African Bar Association for their dishonest position in support of Yaya Jammeh during the political impasse. The Association has just issued a press release seeking to ridicule Salieu Taal for holding them accountable. For your information the Africa Bar Association is now planning a meeting in the Gambia from 29 – 31 July. We cannot accept that.

In December 2016 the African Bar Association led by its President Hannibal E. Uwaifo came to the Gambia purportedly to mediate in the political crisis into which Tyrant Yaya Jammeh plunged the country. At the time they met with both the Tyrant and the president-elect Adama Barrow and his Coalition leaders. But the Pan-African Lawyers Union had condemned the Association as a fraudulent group while the Gambia Bar Association refused to meet with them.

From their statements it was clear that the so-called Africa Bar Association was merely inclined towards Yaya Jammeh when they knew, like all other stakeholders who were supporting the Gambia that Jammeh was a dictator who rejected the will of the people. African Bar Association knew the position of the United Nations, African Union, ECOWAS and all international human rights organization regarding the Gambia situation. All of them conducted their mediation efforts on the basis that Yaya Jammeh had to step down.

It was only the so-called Africa Bar Association that played with the situation as if Yaya Jammeh could be right. As a group that claimed to be composed of lawyers, African Bar Association should have known that their mandate was not to entertain but to put it to Yaya Jammeh that he had to respect the Constitution of the Gambia, abide by the rule of law and protect human rights and step down.

Hence by engaging in rationalization of the situation, the African Bar Association was therefore creating a breathing space for Yaya Jammeh to continue to flout the will of the people and the Constitution of the Gambia. The African Bar Association failed to stand behind genuine lawyers such as the Pan-African Lawyers Union as well as the Gambia Bar Association and the Female Lawyers Association of the Gambia to condemn Jammeh. Rather they decided to orchestrate a show in the name of mediation which was nothing but to create a fertile ground for the Dictator to stay put!

Now that we have arrived at the present moment, the so-called Africa Bar Association has the audacity to decide to come back to the Gambia yet again. I wish to call on all Gambians to stand against this meeting of the African Bar Association. We must protest their meeting and demand that our Government does not associate with these criminals until and unless the Africa Bar Association apologize to Gambians for their despicable endorsement of Despot Yaya Jammeh.

The Africa Bar Association know that as lawyers they have a professional duty to uphold and defend constitutionality and the rule of law. As lawyers they have a duty to defend and deliver justice. Yet the Association, knowing full well that Yaya Jammeh had undermined constitutionality and the rule of law by rejecting the will of the people, decided to still hobnob with the Despot in December 2016 while disguising themselves as mediators.

By endorsing a Despot who had rejected democratic elections meant the Africa Bar Association was seeking to undermine democracy and the good governance in the Gambia and Africa as a whole. They sought to weaken our democratic institutions by enabling self-perpetuation in power and fuelling politics of deception and violence in the Gambia. Hence the position of the Africa Bar Association posed a direct and clear existential threat to the Gambia. As Gambians we must never ever forget or take that for granted.

Therefore, all Gambians must stand against the so-called Africa Bar Association and demand an unreserved and total apology otherwise let us protest against this meeting and prevent our Government, by any means, from attending the meeting or associating with the Africa Bar Association.

Gambians, the Gambia is in your hands. None but ourselves can and should salvage our country. So do not once again take matters of the Gambia for granted or expect that there are so-called activists or politicians or saviours who will defend the Gambia for you. It is your duty to defend the Gambia!

For the Gambia Our Homeland

Madi Jobarteh


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