Tuesday, 05 March 2013 23:26(JollofNews) – The much anticipated National Conference on Gambia is set to discuss the post-Yahya Jammeh era in anticipation of the ending of over 18 years of undemocratic rule.
Two leading Gambian pro-democracy groups, Gambia Democratic Action Group (GDAG) and Save The Gambia Democracy Project (STGDP), have announced the date for the event, which will be hosted in the US city of Raleigh, North Carolina.
The two-day conference (from May 18-19, 2013), is dubbed ‘Gambian Conference for Democracy and Good Governance.’
Gambia has been ruled with an iron fist since Yahya Jammeh took over governance in 1994.
The rule of law has been compromised; there is no room for divergent views. Those who dared to speak out against the government’s excesses were either jailed, tortured, or killed.
Over the years, many Gambians abroad have dedicated their time campaigning to expose these excesses to the outside world while seeking to sensitize other Gambians at home towards the eventual restoration of democracy. Among these groups are GDAG and STGDP.
“Like most countries in the world confronted with lack of democracy, good governance, rule of law, and stability, the ultimate liberation of The Gambia lies squarely on the shoulders of her citizens,” part of a statement signed by the two organizations and sent to JollofNews, reads.
“…the crying sounds of mothers and children seeking justice for loved ones tortured, humiliated, unjustly jailed or brutally murdered are clarion calls to every son and daughter of our land.”
The Raleigh conference will focus on how to bring about “sustainable change and the liberation of the Gambian people.”
And it is coming as Gambia celebrates its forty-eight Independence anniversary on February 18. Throughout these years, until 1994, Gambia enjoyed multiparty democracy.
“Unfortunately, for the last eighteen years, The Gambia’s current military turned civilian President Yaya Jammeh high-jacked the country and reversed the democracy and stability that was garnered in the first thirty years of her existence.
“Present day Gambia is put under siege by a dictator. Unquestionably, Gambians in the Diaspora are seen as a crucial group that will have to be a major stakeholder to rescue the country from tyranny. To confront this reality, groups in the Diaspora and political stakeholders on the ground will have to come together and pursue the very beliefs we share: commitment to bring good governance, rule of law, freedom of the press and to set our country back into economic recovery,” the conference organizers said.
Among the goals are to identify strategies and plans from all Gambian groups, political activists, and organizations within and outside of the Gambia committed to bring about democratic changes in the country.
It is intended to harmonize strategies and efforts in bringing a cohesive front representative of all emerging Gambian groups and organizations, the organizers said.
It also seeks to lay out actionable plans that will help in bringing change to Gambia “soon”.
The goals also include commencement of preliminary work of devising and preparing for a post Jammeh transitional period, to avoid a power vacuum in the Gambia when change finally arrives.
The end of the conference will also see the formulation of a permanent, solidified, centralized coordinated mechanism to abridge, facilitate, and enhance inter-Gambian group co-operation from the Gambia and the Diaspora.
Written by JollofNews
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