downloadPresident Yahya Jammeh’s threats “to kill Mandinkas like ants” have raised concerns about possible tribalisation of the Gambia’s politics ahead of December general elections.

“I am shocked about the statement made by President Jammeh. Now, it
is the Head of State who is trying to bring conflict among the tribes.
This is very serious,” Omar Amadou Jallow of the opposition Peoples’
Progressive Party (PPP) told this reporter.

In a statement at a political rally at Tallinding (some 7 km from Banjul) last week, Gambian leader launched Verbal attacks on the ethnic Mandinka majority group,
describing them as “donkeys” and “vermins” who would be killed for protesting on the streets. “I will kill you like ants and nothing will come out of it,” said a leader whose ruling is marred by divisiveness.

Mr. Jammeh uttered the statement at a time the country finds itself soaked in unprecedented political crisis provoked by the cold-blooded murder of Solo Sandeng and the imprisonment of United Democratic Party leader Ousainou Darboe and dozens of party militants.

But the PPP leader described Mr. Jammeh’s statement as unguarded and insensitive. “This terrible statement does not augur well for the future of the country,” Mr. Jallow said, categorising Jammeh’s remarks as “hate crime.” Omar Jallow called on the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague to look into them.

“The ICC should look into this and start investigating Jammeh over
hate crime,” the former Agriculture Minister said.

Another Gambian who raised eyebrows on the remarks is veteran Gambian journalist. Demba Ali Jawo painted a picture of how a situation led to the Rwandan genocide. “That is indeed very scary as this is the type of language that the Rwandan authorities were using against the Tutsis during the run up to the 1994 genocide, in which more  than a million Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred, making it the worst genocide ever committed in Africa in living memory,” he recalled.

The tiny West African is ruled by Yahya Jammeh who seized power in a 1994 military coup. Activists accused his regime of gross human
violations including continued clampdown on the media, opposition party supporters and journalists. He has vowed to vie for a fifth term.

Written by Abdoulie John

Ends

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