The Coalition for Change -The
(CCG), a civil, human and political rights organization, which brings together a cross-section of the Gambian community at home and abroad, has been launched. The group is a non-partisan organization established to challenge the dictatorship and restore basic freedoms in The Gambia through nonviolent action. Gambia
The Coalition's formation is necessitated by the repressive political environment in which Gambians find themselves. Virtually all avenues of orderly political change have been shut by a despot determined to cling on to power by any means necessary.
Under normal circumstances, the CCG would have been registered with authority to engage in peaceful protests, submit grievances to the authorities, and hope that they would act to redress them. But The
’s story the past sixteen years has been all but conducive to the free expression of ideas. The political atmosphere in the country is extremely toxic for media practitioners, and journalists who dare criticize President Yahya Jammeh face risks ranging from arrest and prolonged detention to death. To add insult to injury, political parties are routinely denied permission to hold public meetings and leaders who dare defy Yahya Jammeh's orders face arrest and jail. Gambia
Despite the repression, corruption and economic hardship Gambians are faced with, no one dares organize peaceful political protests against the regime. The last time peaceful protests were organized in April 2000, at least 14 innocent young students were gunned down by security agents. Additionally, opposition leaders have been rounded up only to be released after languishing in detention for exercising their democratic rights. No institution or interest group is safe from the regime’s overreach. As a result, Gambians have by and large succumbed to fear as a result of the regime's ruthlessness.
CCG is calling on all groups and individuals from every sector of the community, in The
and abroad, to join us in the struggle to dislodge the dictator from the helm in order to restore democracy and the rule of law. It is a challenge we must overcome. Members of the security services are particularly encouraged to join the struggle to save the dignity and honour of their profession. Gambia
And with the regime's total control of the media, CCG will employ a combination of social media and setting up of an FM station, Radio Free
. These mediums will be used to spread CCG’s messages before embarking on peaceful marches designed to end Jammeh's reign of terror. Information about specific venues and actions to be taken will be provided as the situation warrants. Gambia
CCG members are bound together by a common objective of ending The
’s dictatorship and as well as the climate of fear that has so consumed Gambian society. Gambia
The CCG calls on the regime to immediately:
· Repeal laws that unduly restrict freedom of expression
· Ensure equal access to public media for all political establishments
· Organize a referendum to institute Presidential term limits
· Free all political prisoners
· End the arbitrary arrests, detentions, torture and murders
· Investigate all mysterious deaths and disappearances
· Respect freedom of assembly
We pray for success and look forward with hope for the support and participation of all Gambians in this noble and daunting task.
(2) TWITTER: @ChangeGambia, @KomboMansa, @theGambiaVoice
(3) Face-book group: Coalition for Change – The Gambia
, The Banjul , April 2nd, 2011. (CCG). Gambia