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EU Poised To Boost Gambia Aid Despite Rights Violations

Jammeh laughing(JollofNews) – The European Union may double aid to Gambia to 150 million euros (£122.8 million) over the next seven years, creating a split between EU members on whether to fund countries with poor human-rights records, diplomats said.

Gambia has received some 75 million euros of aid over the past six years from the European Development Fund (EDF). But in talks known as Article 8 dialogues, it has shown little interest in engaging with EU policy on governance, diplomats say.

President Yahya Jammeh drew international condemnation by executing prisoners in 2012, subjecting political opponents to torture and forcing them to confess to sedition on television. At the U.N. General Assembly in September, he attacked gay rights as a threat to humanity.
Jammeh laughingYahya Jammeh
"The EU is seriously concerned about human rights and governance in Gambia," Alexandre Polack, a spokesman for the EU Development Commissioner, wrote in an e-mail. "For the next two years, the EU intends to allocate a limited envelope of up to 25 million euros to support the Article 8 dialogue."

Polack said longer-term funding was under discussion. If EU members agree, up to 150 million euros is available over the next seven years. The exact amount would depend on the outcome of an Article 8 meeting scheduled for early February. Funding could be blocked if enough EU member states oppose the proposal.

That has created considerable tension within the bloc, diplomats said. Spain and Italy have a vested interest in Gambia's development, said one EU diplomat who asked to remain anonymous, because they are the destination for poverty-related migration from West Africa.

Northern EU nations, including Britain, say Jammeh's disregard for human rights must be addressed and suspending aid might be used to punish the government, said the diplomat.

The Thomson Reuters Foundation has learned that Burundi and Madagascar, which have poor human-rights records as well, also stand to get more aid over the bloc's 2014-2020 development plan. Their funding illustrates the flaws in trying to use EDF to bargain for improved governance in sub-Saharan Africa.

Jammeh seized power in a 1994 coup and has been elected four times since then. He has said repeatedly his government will not make policy concessions based on promises of aid. In October, he pulled out of the Commonwealth, which groups Britain and most of its former colonies. The same month, he accused London and Washington of plotting to overthrow his government.

EU diplomats agree that a halt to funding might hurt the Gambian population. But they worry that continuing it may help prop up Jammeh's regime. Development aid accounts for 12.6 percent of the national income.

"The EU needs to set concrete objectives within the Article 8 dialogue to show improvement," said Lisa Sherman-Nikolaus, Gambia researcher for Amnesty International. "If the EU made these public, civil society and the media could hold both parties accountable."
Written by Misha Hussain, (Editing by Larry King)
Source: Reuters

Comments  

 
+2 #4 2014-01-28 20:54
Bax. I also called it "CHICKEN CHANGE" in the past and even told them to go to hell. but, since they turn around and double their help to us. we must move on and forget about the past. this is a new page. I like gay money,but i dont like "GAY" lol..
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0 #3 2014-01-28 12:49
Kangkang...You speak for Gambians but unfortunately,y ou are not on the same wavelength with Yaya Jammeh....He called it "Chicken change" and he told them to "Go To Hell.."

He DID NOT show one tiny bit of appreciation for all the EU did for The Gambia,whether during his time or as far back as Jawara's time...

The EU does not make any distinctions between gay/lesbian tax payers and the rest...But since he has an issue with gays/lesbians,is it morally right for him to accept their monies as aid,when he wants to chop off their heads and manhoods...?
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+2 #2 2014-01-25 16:23
We welcome these great news of mutual relationship with the EU. As part of the village called "WORLD". We are very much greatful for the help and co-operation from our dear friends at the EU. For making this happened. "THIS ISN'T A CHICKEN CHANGE" but a great help to our people's.

We thank the EU, and it citizen's for making this possible. May Allah continue to provide for your and your families. Ameen.
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-2 #1 2014-01-23 10:27
For Yaya Jammeh's Attention...

Your Excellency...

Do you know that also contained in these "CHICKEN CHANGE" Aid,are hundreds of thousands of Pounds/ Euros of Gay and Lesbian tax payers' monies in the EU Countries...?

Please Your Excellency,if you are truly sincere in your beliefs,you should kindly decline this intended aid to The Gambia..After all, it's chicken change that you can do without...

I "know" you "fear" Allah and will not have anything to do with the Gay and Lesbian Communities..Including their TAX MONIES from the EU Funds....Unless you are a BIG FAKE...INFACT,A VERY BIG ONE..
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