UN Special Adviser on Genocide Prevention Adama Dieng/wfm image

The Special Adviser of the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide has condemned President Yahya Jammeh for his inflammatory speech in which he threatened to eliminate the Mandinka ethnic group. Adama Dieng is profoundly alarmed by Jammeh’s unguarded public statement.

At a June 3rd political rally at Tallinding, Mr. Jammeh referred Mandinkas as “enemies, foreigners” and threatened to kill them one by one and place them “where even a fly cannot see them”.

“I am profoundly alarmed by President Jammeh’s public stigmatisation, dehumanisation and threats against the Mandinka,” the Special Adviser said in a statement. “Public statements of this nature by a national leader are irresponsible and extremely dangerous. They can contribute to dividing populations, feed suspicion and serve to incite violence against communities, based solely on their identity.”

Mr. Dieng was  by President Jammeh’s vitriolic rhetoric, taking into cognisance historical evidence that hate speech has become a recipe or trigger for violence and atrocity.  He cited how hate speech has violence and mass killings in some countries. “We have seen, in Rwanda, Bosnia – and more recently in the Middle East – how incitement to violence has led to mass killings along identity lines,” the Special Adviser added, reminding President Jammeh that any advocacy of national, racial or religious hatred that constitutes incitement to discrimination, hostility or violence is prohibited under international human rights law as well as under national legislation.

Dieng wanted Gambian Dictator T understand the fact that states have the primary responsibility to protect their populations. In facr, all heads of state and government in 2005 acknowledge the responsibility to protect populations from genocide, war crimes, ethnic cleansing and crimes against humanity, as well as their incitement.

“I urge the President of the Gambia to fulfil this responsibility and ensure that the rights of all populations of the Gambia are respected, irrespective of ethnicity or political affiliation.”

Ends

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