Gambia: Latest News
Dana Sanchez, 10:15 am
Many migrants who make it to Italy don’t tell friends and family about the hardship. A campaign that exposes the realities is now targeting potential African migrants on social media in 15 West and Central African countries — where most arrivals in Italy originate. Posts on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram give testimonials created by migrants in multiple languages. All end with the warning, “Be aware, brother” and “Be aware, sister.” A record 181,000 migrants crossed the Mediterranean in 2016 on flimsy boats operated by smugglers. Of those, 25,000 were mostly unaccompanied children. Arrivals in Italy are up 66% so far in 2017.
Dana Sanchez, 3:11 pm
The Gambian village of Sareh Pateh, population 4,000, turned on solar street lights for the first time Sunday, thanks to Akon’s $1 billion line of credit. “I want to leave a legacy,” the Senegalese-American Akon told reporters in Banjul. “Africans work harder in everything and they work harder to live and to sustain themselves.” Akon spent part of his childhood in a Senegalese village with no electricity before moving to the U.S. In 2011, Forbes ranked him fifth out of 40 Most Powerful Celebrities in Africa. He says he’s a businessman first and a musician second.
Dana Sanchez, 3:28 pm
Those who want to leave the ICC will have to take their case to parliament, which is dominated by the ANC. The ANC has been strongly in favor or leaving, and is expected to fight to withdraw. The opposition will fight back. The issue will come down to politics. The court’s ruling will force the parliament to open up the decision to the public — a critical part of the debate, a constitutional rights stakeholder said. Withdrawing from the ICC would be an abuse of justice and a sign that a government only cares about the accused, another expert said.
Dana Sanchez, 1:49 pm
The A.U. is divided on whether or not to collectively adopt a plan that Human Rights Watch described as having no timeline and “few concrete recommendations for action.” Unless the ICC undergoes reforms, African countries should make a coordinated withdrawal, according to the resolution. A proposal refers to the creation of an alternate regional African war crimes court. South Africa and Kenya have pushed for withdrawal. “They’ll be disappointed that the discussions about completely severing ties with the ICC will have to wait another six months for the next summit,” an analyst said.
Staff, 9:33 am
What’s been billed as the world’s most luxurious cruise ship, the 750-passenger Seven Seas Explorer, in 2018 will operate a voyage down the west coast of Africa — rare in the cruise world. The voyage will bring one of the priciest cruise ships in the world to one of the globe’s poorest regions. The per capita income of many of the countries on the itinerary is less than $2,000 per year. The most expensive luxury ship ever built, it features some of the largest, most elaborate accommodations at sea, including a 4,443-square-foot suite — nearly 50% larger than the average home in the U.S. The ship spa is operated by Canyon Ranch.
Dana Sanchez, 11:09 am
ECOWAS is credited with persuading Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh to give up power. If there’s a lesson to be learned, it’s that it takes some external persuasion to remove a dictator. “Forget Trump,” a commentator said. “We in Africa were watching the Gambia and the drama there as African leadership for once, stood up to a tyrant and insisted he respect the outcome of an election.” This regional intervention represents a paradigm shift in African governance, an exiled Zimbabwean judge said. It’s no longer dictatorship as usual in Africa.
Dana Sanchez, 1:15 pm
Tourism has been the fastest-growing sector of The Gambia’s economy until now, accounting for 18-to-20% of the country’s revenue. The country, population about 2 million, is marketed to vacationers as “the smiling coast of West Africa.” In the wake of the current political unrest, tourism revenue will likely fall 50%, a stakeholder said. The sector will have to rebuilt just as it was after the 1994 coup that brought longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh to power. “I feel sorry for everybody here,” an evacuating Brit said. “It’s going to take years for tourism to pick up again.”
Staff, 1:01 am
As a Chinese official dangled the possible reward of $40-billion US in desperately needed investments, Nigeria this week hastily ordered the shutdown of a trade office by China’s rival, Taiwan. The Chinese diplomatic offensive has ramped up sharply since last year, when the independence-minded Democratic Progressive Party emerged victorious in Taiwan’s election. Since then, Beijing has lured two more African countries away from Taiwan’s embrace, while also battling to weaken Taiwan’s links to individual African politicians.
Karen Elowitt, 12:01 am
In the 1920s when this photo was taken of a Xhosa man with a pipe, the South African government was busy reinforcing the foundations of apartheid. The government reserved skilled work for whites and denied black workers the right to organize. Legislation in the Natives Urban Areas Act of 1923 entrenched urban segregation and controlled movement by means of pass laws. The hated pass laws were designed to force blacks into labor and to keep them at wage levels that suited white employers.
Staff, 8:50 am
Longtime Gambian ruler Yahya Jammeh took power in a coup 22 years ago. He lost the country’s Dec. 1 election, and initially conceded defeat, congratulating opposition leader Adama Barrow for his “clear victory.”Jammeh said, “I will help him work towards the transition. Then Jammeh changed his mind. The 15-country Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is threatening military intervention with troops led by Senegal.
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