After three months of sustained consultations and meetings, we the undersigned Gambian human and civil rights organizations have agreed to form a coalition, hence forth known as Civil Society Associations Gambia (CSAG). The decision to form a coalition is driven by an intense desire to join our individual efforts in order to maximize our effectiveness in dealing with the daunting problems of human rights abuses in The Gambia. In the seventeen years since the overthrow of the democratically elected government in The Gambia, human rights violations have become a constant feature in the daily life of Gambians. The founding of Civil Society Associations Gambia (CSAG) is, therefore, an endeavor to address the menace of human and civil rights violations and the restoration of democracy and the rule of law. Today, it has become evident from the history of the past sixteen years that we must continue to expose and find remedy for the lack of democracy, the rule of law and the perennial human rights abuses, which have become an issue of overarching concern to Gambian as well as our regional and international human rights partners and friend of The Gambia around the world. The proliferation of Gambian human rights organizations around the world, and outside Gambian shores is a testament to the sheer magnitude of the problem we face as a country. In order to help address these concerns, the Civil Society Associations Gambia, as a coalition, will endeavor to:
· Facilitate and enhance our individual activities aimed at restoring Democracy, the Rule of Law, Sovereignty of the Gambian people, and the establishment of Good Governance that guarantees the Freedoms and Rights of Gambian citizens.
· Co-ordinate our collective actions and activities in all areas of the defense of the Human Rights of the Gambian people, regardless of political affiliation, nationality, regional and ethnic affinities and affiliations.
· Monitor Human Rights issues, exchange protocols and devise joint action to maximize the impact and outcome of our efforts.
· Engage in all efforts that will ensure that all national institutions in Gambia adhere to the Rule of Law, Due Process and fair and equitable treatment of citizens and without fear and favor.
· Monitor all binding international agreements entered by into by The Gambia such as The African Charter of Human Rights, UN Convention on the Rights of citizens etc. with a view to ensure compliance to the letter and spirit of these Agreements.
· Exchange, inform and share with likeminded organizations around the world all matters as deemed appropriate, relating to the realization of CSAG’s broad aims and objectives.
· Identify all areas of injustice, inequality and discrimination that engender and breed Abuses of the Rights of citizens and communities, with a view to engage in public debates in order to end all such practices.
Signatory member organizations of Civil Society Associations Gambia (CSAG)
Campaign for Human Rights in Gambia UK(CHRG)
Save The Gambia Democracy Project-STGDP (US)
Coalition for Human Rights The Gambia-CHRTG (UK)
Human Rights for All HUMRA (Sweden)
National Movement for the Restoration of Democracy in Gambia-NMRDG (US)
United Gambia for Democracy and Freedom-UGDF (Senegal)
Coalition for Change-Gambia-CCG (Gambia)
CSAG is open to all Gambian civil society organizations that wish to become a part of the struggle to restore the rule of law in The Gambia, and we further ecourage Gambians and friends of The Gambia around the world to join us in this struggle.
Banka Manneh Ndey Tapha-Sosseh
Chairman Secretary General