Sunday, 13 January 2013 17:16(JollofNews) – In a brief statement released following President Yahya Jammeh’s latest outburst against its demands for political dialogue, the European Union Commission has expressed concern over the human rights situation in the West African country.
A statement attributed to the EU High Representative Catherine Ashton also expressed regret over the position of Yahya Jammeh in suspending pending negotiations with the EU and hinted at taking appropriate actions as per the provisions of the Cotonou Agreement.
"The High Representative regrets that the political dialogue with the Gambia has been suspended by the Government of the Gambia until further notice,” a spokesperson for Catherine Ashton said in the statement released on Friday.
“The High Representative remains concerned about the deterioration of the human rights situation in the Gambia, including the whereabouts of Imam Baba Leigh,” it added.
In the statement, the EU Foreign Affairs chief further reiterated the Commission’s position urging the Yahya Jammeh-led regime “to respect its international commitments, including those made towards the EU.”
Jammeh was left wordless after the EU issued number conditions for discussion in line with the Cotonou Agreement reached between the EU and ACP countries, which include Gambia.
As has become characteristic of him, the Gambian president resorted to his outdated pan-Africanist stunts, which he does only when cornered by the West over human rights abuses against his own people.
"What the EU wants is to create a situation of instability in this country or create a puppet government that will give them the resources of this country because they know that we now have oil," Jammeh said, much to the dismay of the majority level headed Gambians.
But some in the mainly Diasporan Gambian opposition forces, who are widely believed to be behind the current wave of campaign against the increasingly authoritarian Banjul regime, described his outbursts as the chants of a dying horse.
The EU though says it is still committed to what it calls a ‘constructive dialogue’ with the Gambian government.
“The EU underlines its continuing availability to discuss with the Gambian authorities on all aspects of EU-Gambia relations in a constructive dialogue based on shared commitments made under the Cotonou Agreement,” it said.
The statement went on to suggests possible reprimand if Jammeh fails to see reason and do the right thing.
“The EU attaches importance to its partnership with the Gambia and hopes that the Government will allow the resumption of the political dialogue as soon as possible. If it is not possible to discuss the issues with the Gambian authorities, there are other provisions of the Cotonou Agreement, which apply to situations where dialogue on important commitments is no longer possible," it said.
Written by Kemo Cham
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