News / Africa

    The Gambia Observes 48th Independence Anniversary

    Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh attends leaders meeting at the African Union, Addis Ababa, July 15, 2012.Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh attends leaders meeting at the African Union, Addis Ababa, July 15, 2012.
    x
    Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh attends leaders meeting at the African Union, Addis Ababa, July 15, 2012.
    Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh attends leaders meeting at the African Union, Addis Ababa, July 15, 2012.
    James Butty
    Gambians Monday celebrate the 48th independence anniversary of their country from the United Kingdom.  

    President Yahya Jammeh declared Friday and Sunday as national days of prayer for continued peace, progress, security, harmony and stability in the country.  

    But, opposition leader Ousainu Darbo of the United Democratic Party said Gambians have nothing to celebrate because Jammeh has failed to improve the lives of ordinary Gambians. 

    He said Gambians have been subjected to abject poverty and a lack of freedom under 19 years of Jammeh’s rule.

    “Nothing has happened that improves the lives of the ordinary citizens.  In fact, we are declining in abject poverty day by day.  There is hunger to the extent that the majority of families live on one meal a day and yet the government is spending on matters that do not impact positively on the lives of the ordinary people,” he said.

    Darbo criticized the government for declaring three days of national holiday to celebrate the anniversary without regard for the impact on the country’s economy.

    “Can you imagine a whole week where people go to work just for pay day? Wednesday and Thursday, those will be the only working days in the country.  The negative impact that will have on the economy is one that this government doesn’t care about,” Darbo said.

    Butty interview with Darbo
    Butty interview with Darboi
    || 0:00:00
    ...    
     
    X

    He called on Gambians to revisit the founding fathers’ vision of an independent Gambia and rededicate themselves to that vision.

    “There is nothing for Gambians to celebrate.  But, there is something for them to do; that is, to rededicate ourselves to the service of this country, and also take [the] decision that, in 2016, we will get rid of this wasteful government,” he said.

    Gambia currently has seven political parties, including the ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction, or APRC.  But, Darbo said political freedom should be the measure of multi-party democracy and not the number of political parties a country has.

    “Multi-party democracy is evidence not by the number of political parties, but by the freedom of the political parties to engage in their political activities, their access to the national media, and the lack of intimidation. These are the things that one would look for in a country where there is multi-party democracy,” Darbo said.

    In January, Amnesty International wrote Jammeh to criticize “a series of abuses by the National Intelligence Agency against Gambian journalist Abdoulie John in recent months.”

    Darbo said Gambians do not have access to independent newspapers through which they can express their views.

    “You will probably know that two independent newspapers have been closed down, an independent radio station has also been closed down. There is only one newspaper, the Daily Observer, which serves the ruling party. The multiplicity of papers that we used to have and the opportunity of expressing views in the media is no longer in existence,” Darbo said.

    You May Like

    Video Rubio Looks to Surge in New Hampshire

    Republican presidential candidate has moved into second place in several recent surveys and appears to be gaining ground on longtime frontrunner Donald Trump

    UN Calls for Global Ban on Female Genital Mutilation

    Recent UNICEF report finds at least 200 million girls and women alive today have undergone female genital mutilation in 30 countries

    UN Pilots New Peace Approach in CAR

    Approach launched in northern town of Kaga Bandoro, where former combatants of mainly Muslim Seleka armed group and Christian and animist anti-Balaka movement are being paid to do community work

    This forum has been closed.
    Comments
         
    There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

    By the Numbers

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibiti
    X
    Hamada Elsaram
    February 05, 2016 4:30 PM
    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video Former Drug CEO Martin Shkreli Angers US Lawmakers

    A former U.S. pharmaceutical business executive has angered lawmakers by refusing to explain why he raised the price of a life-saving pill by 5,000 percent. Martin Shkreli was removed from a congressional hearing on Thursday after citing his Fifth Amendment right to stay silent. Zlatica Hoke has more.
    Video

    Video Super Bowl TV Commercials are Super Business for Advertisers

    The Super Bowl, the championship clash between the two top teams in American Football, is the most-watched sporting event of the year, and advertisers are lining up and paying big bucks to get their commercials on the air. In fact, the TV commercials during the Super Bowl have become one of the most anticipated and popular features of the event. VOA's Brian Allen has a sneak peek of what you can expect to see when the big game goes to commercial break, and the real entertainment begins.
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.
    Video

    Video Microcephaly's Connection to Zika: Guilty Until Proven Innocent

    The Zika virus rarely causes problems for the people who get it, but it seems to be having a devastating impact on babies whose mothers are infected with Zika. VOA's Carol Pearson has more.
    Video

    Video Solar Innovation Provides Cheap, Clean Energy to Kenya Residents

    In Kenya, a company called M-Kopa Solar is providing clean energy to more than 300,000 homes across East Africa by allowing customers to "pay-as-you-go" via their cell phones. As Lenny Ruvaga reports from Kangemi, customers pay a small deposit for a solar unit and then pay less than a dollar a day to get clean energy to light up their homes or businesses.
    Video

    Video Stunning Artworks Attract Record Crowds, Thanks to Social Media

    A new exhibit at the oldest art museum in America is shattering attendance records. Thousands of visitors are lining up to see nine giant works of art that have gotten a much-deserved shot of viral marketing. The 150-year-old Smithsonian American Art Museum has never had a response quite like this. VOA's Julie Taboh reports.
    Video

    Video Apprenticeships Put Americans on Path Back to Work

    Trying to get more people into the U.S. workforce, the Obama administration last year announced $175 million in grants towards apprenticeship programs. VOA White House correspondent Aru Pande went inside one training center outside of Washington that has gained national recognition for helping put people on the path to employment.
    Video

    Video New Material May Reduce Concussion Effects

    As the 2016 National Football League season reaches its summit at the Super Bowl this coming Sunday (2/7), scientists are trying to learn how to more effectively protect football players from dangerous and damaging concussions. Researchers at Cardiff and Cambridge Universities say their origami-based material may solve the problem. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Saudi Arabian Women's Sports Chip Away at Stereotypes

    Saudi Arabian female athletes say that sports are on the front line of busting traditions that quash women’s voices, both locally and internationally. In their hometown of Jeddah, a group of basketball players say that by connecting sports to health issues, they are encouraging women and girls to get out of their homes and participate in public life. VOA’s Heather Murdock reports.
    Video

    Video A Year Later, Fortunes Mixed for Syrians Forging New Lives in Berlin

    In April of last year, VOA followed the progress of six young Syrian refugees -- four brothers and their two friends -- as they made their way from Libya to Italy by boat, and eventually to Germany. Reporter Henry Ridgwell caught up with the refugees again in Berlin, as they struggle to forge new lives amid the turmoil of Europe's refugee crisis.
    Video

    Video Zika Virus May be Hard to Stop

    With the Zika virus spreading rapidly, the World Health Organization Monday declared Zika a global health emergency. As Alberto Pimienta reports, for many governments and experts, the worst is yet to come.