“The government of the Gambia notes with grave concern the inhumane condition of the Rohingya people of Myanmar – especially those referred to as ‘boat people’ –currently drifting in the seas off the coast of Malaysia and Indonesia,” it said on Wednesday.
“As human beings, more so fellow Muslims, it is a sacred duty to help alleviate the untold hardships and sufferings fellow human beings are confronted with.”
The statement appealed to the international community to send tents, bedding, household materials and medicine to help the Muslim-majority Gambia set up “habitable camps with decent sanitary conditions”.
See full coverage in The Guardian here.
The idea of setting up “hospitable camps with decent sanitary conditions” in The Gambia is deplorable only when you consider the conditions that so many of the current population live in. The country is not meeting the needs of it’s current citizens – most villages have limited access to water and indecent sanitary conditions.
While some may think it admirable that a country so poor can be so charitable to it’s fellow human beings, I hope most will see this statement for what it is: another deplorable attempt by Jammeh to get some news coverage.
In other news The Gambia with some help from Togo has managed to shelve plans to restrict West African leaders to two terms. The argument that each country has a different political context so a blanket rule should not be imposed falls flat for me. Whatever a countries political context, without term limits, a leader will inevitably turn into a despot. President Jammeh told the BBC in 2011 that presidents should be judged on what they do in power not by the length of time they have been in office. I agree entirely, but leaders of many African countries control the electoral system so that people cannot judge them on what they do with their power and vote them out of office. Term limits provide a safety valve so leaders are judged on their achievements and not how much power they are able to accumulate.
See BBC coverage here