African Women Urge Gambia’s Military to Show True Patriotism

PETITION TO THE WIVES OF GAMBIAN ARMY OFFICERS

January 17th 2017

Dear Wives of Gambian Army Officers,
We, concerned women of The Gambia and Africa, write this letter to appeal to you, to ensure that as wives and mothers, you insist that your husbands, officers of the Gambia National Army respect the will of the Gambian people. Their loyalty should be to the country and not one individual, outgoing President Yahya Jammeh.

You are no doubt aware of the critical situation in The Gambia as your husbands have all been on high alert since December 9 2016, when outgoing President Yahya Jammeh, decided to reject the election results; results which he had previously accepted as the “will of God” on December 2.

Jammeh’s continued posture to remain in power even after his mandate ends on 18th January 2017 as long as the Supreme Court does not rule on his petition and the risk of a regional military intervention to implement the outcome of the polls if negotiations fail, leave many, including your husbands in a very uncomfortable position. Because of this, some of you have already left the country; others have left the barracks and have gone to stay in safe homes with your children.

This untenable situation should not have occurred in the first place. A President that wishes to perpetuate himself in power by force is a threat to the peace and stability. A President who cares about his country would not want to kill his own people simply because they have told him that enough is enough and that after 22 years of misrule they now want to regain their lives and freedoms. The only group of Gambians that have so far not distanced themselves from the outgoing President’s dangerous posture is your husbands.

Hence, the purpose of this open letter is to ask you to dissuade your husbands from fighting against the people of the Gambia on any election related matter- be it peaceful demonstrations, sit-ins or any other activity. Neither should they act on any instruction relating to the closure of offices of any media house, the arrests and detentions of politicians or any member of a Civil Society Organisations, Trade Unions, Educational Facilities or Business Entities that has expressed support for change or has written to the outgoing President asking him to relinquish power and hand over the reins of office to the President Elect, Adama Barrow.

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