Peace Ambassadors – The Gambia, Statement on Electoral Violence and Call for Peaceful Elections 

Baboucarr Sambou, President of PAG

As the Presidential Elections in the Gambia get nearer, Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia’s commitment to peaceful and all-inclusive elections gets stronger.

As a Peacebuilding and advocacy entity, we are troubled with the recent upsurge of hate speech by politicians and party supporters.
At this critical point of our democratic process, the least that we require from our leaders is to spread love, tolerance and the ethos of unity admits a diverse people that constitute our beautiful Gambia. We have a strong value on respect for diversity and believe in the peaceful coexistence of all, regardless of background.
Having deployed 59 observers across the country for the presidential election (campaign, voting and counting) Peace Ambassadors-The Gambia is very concerned about receiving reports of dangerous, defamatory, and degrading statements from certain politicians. The most recent of it is the statement made by Mr. Dembo Bojang (Dembo By-force) at a political rally calling on some ethnic groups to get ready to be sent out of The Gambia when certain candidates win the election.
Mr. Bojang’s derogatory remarks directed at a specific ethnic group are tantamount to hate speech, inciting hatred among peace-loving Gambians, thus is a threat to our democratic process.
PAG is aware that The Gambia has laws that protect the fundamental rights and freedoms of all citizens and residents of The Gambia. No single person or entity has the power to send any citizen out of their own country.
We ardently condemn this statement by Mr. Bojang as we did to others in our last Election Watch press conference. We reiterate our call for all politicians to desist from making bigotry statements capable of putting fear in people’s minds or dividing the population and leading the citizenry into politics of deceit.
We urge every Gambian to jealously guard the existing strong relationship and love among tribes in The Gambia since time immemorial.
We conclude by praying for a very peaceful and transparent election on December 4th, 2021.
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Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.

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