We mourned the loss of our late [comrades] and continue remembering our living heroes. Of the TWO SOLOS, of the Sarjo Sannehs, and of many more Gambians whose demise were in so many ways attributed to the treacherous hands of a tyrant. We remember more of the heroes in the persons of our brothers Shyngle Nyassi and Lamin (Lang) Marong. We pray for them all to have eternal peace in the [hereafter].

With them we had built and maintained relationships lasting longer than one could have imagined. Shyngle was a guest in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 2013 and the person who he fondly called “Boy” hosted him. It was Alkali Conteh and the friendship between the duo was exceptional. Alkali received his “boy” very well, connected him with friends and relatives in and around town, and up to the hours before his hero “boy” took his last breath, the two remained connected. And even before the lifeless body of his friend took the final journey home, the leader in Alkali assembled his team and drove under severe weather conditions to New York to pay the last prayer and respect to the MAN, the Hero Nyassi. Alkali Conteh was an AMBASSADOR in all aspects for his NYASSI.

On a recent short visit to the Gambia, Alkali with help from diasporan UDPians such as Alhagie Siaka Jatta organized a lunch for the female political victims of the April 14 and 16 to appreciate, thank, and make them feel home. These are the little things that make great impact and Alkali was the coordinating AMBASSADOR to make that a momentous occasion.

When our late hero Lang Marong’s health condition turned worse, Conteh made arrangements with leadership to evacuate him to Senegal for treatment. He became the coordinator and AJI YAM SECKA the AMBASSADOR for Lang to Senegal. A great gesture and leadership.

And for his work with the UDP Diaspora community, that story will ……. oh well you be!!!

A couple of nights ago, we received word that the Office of the President of the Gambia has offered the position of AMBASSADOR-at-LARGE – INTERNATIONAL and CULTURAL to ALKALI Conteh effective March 7 2017. It’s a NON-REMUNERATION appointment meaning “NO PAY”. We remained thankful but hope and pray he accepts the position.

But we asked what is in the WORD or the TITLE? And so we turned to the best for help drawing down on the responsibilities.

“An AMBASSADOR-at-LARGE is a diplomat of the highest rank or a minister who is accredited to represent his country INTERNATIONALLY. Unlike an ambassador-in-residence who is usually limited to a country or embassy, the AMBASSADOR-at-LARGE is entrusted to operate in several usually neighboring countries, a region or sometimes hold a seat in an international organization like the United Nations and the European Union. In some cases an AMBASSADOR-at-LARGE may even be specifically assigned a role to advise and assist the state or a government in particular issues. Historically, presidents or prime ministers have designated special diplomatic envoys for specific assignments, primarily overseas but sometimes also within the country as an AMBASSADOR-at-LARGE”.

We thank you Alkali and for sure Ebraima Manneh your boss will always know he hasn’t shared his experience with you for waste.

Please join us to congratulate Alkali Conteh on his new assignment.

Lamin Tunkara, Raleigh, North Carolina

Ends

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