See also:
» 11.11.2010 - Gambia coup "only matter of time"
» 27.09.2010 - Gambia Dictator "lied about Obama award"
» 15.07.2010 - Gambian "coup plotters" sentenced to death
» 04.03.2010 - $8 million support for agric production
» 04.03.2010 - Six security officials sacked
» 16.02.2010 - Gambia expels UNICEF envoy
» 07.01.2010 - Kenya deports controversial Muslim cleric
» 19.11.2009 - Gambian president withdraws from Commonwealth meeting

China wholesale online through

Houlihan's coupons

Finn autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden på
Gazpacho Børek Kartoffelsalat Taboulé Gulasj Albóndigas Cevapi Rougaille Japrak sarma Zwiebelbrot Klopse Giouvetsi Paella Pljeskavica Pica pau Pulpo a la gallega Flammkuchen Langosj Tapenade Chatsjapuri Pasulj Lassi Kartoffelpuffer Tortilla Raznjici Knödel Lentejas Bœuf bourguignon Korianderchutney Brenneslesuppe Proia Sæbsi kavurma Sardinske calamares

Autentiske matoppskrifter fra hele verden finner du på
Réunion Portugal Aserbajdsjan Serbia Tyskland Seychellene Bosnia Spania Libanon Belgia India Kroatia Hellas Italia Ungarn Komorene Georgia Mauritius Østerrike Romania Frankrike

Politics | Society | Labour

Fear overcomes Gambian civil servants

afrol News, 13 November - Following his re-election to the Gambian presidency, Yahya Jammeh has started on a large-scale sacking operation of political and civilian senior staff in the Banjul administration. With even the loyal intelligence chief being fired, Gambian civil servants are uncertain who will be next in line.

Gambian President Jammeh recently succeeded in his third term bid to power. He had an edge over his contenders in the September 2006 presidential election, which according to observers was not free from intimidation and harassment of opposition supporters.

It seems the victory has given President Jammeh - a soldier-turned-civilian leader - the leverage to continue his usual hiring and firing spree in the country. A month after his re-election, Mr Jammeh dissolved and reconstituted his cabinet. This process left at least seven ministers and some government heads out of job.

Knowing that the director of The Gambia's most feared intelligence agency has accomplished his mission to set the stage for his re-election, President Jammeh decided to show him the back door.

Mr Harry Sambou - who took over the directorial post heading the National Intelligence Agency (NIA) nine months ago - had his services terminated at the weekend, official sources that begged for cover confirmed.

He is replaced by his deputy, Momodou Hydara, who has formerly worked with the Gambian embassy in Morocco.

President Jammeh also fired seven other civil servants - directors and permanent secretaries. And as usual, The Gambia government maintains tight-lipped about the reasons responsible for the mass sackings.

But what is certain is that top officials in both the civil and public service in The Gambia are living in a state of fear. Critics believe that Mr Jammeh appoints most officials to top positions because he is in a hurry to use them so that they execute his personal mission for him. And guess what happens upon accomplishing that mission? Firing, arrest and detention become their reward.

A desperate top civil servant, who wanted to remain anonymous, said: "We have been terrorised by President Jammeh's frequent hiring and firing. You can never know when it will happen but we always expect it any time. Imagine that you went to represent the government in a function and found your termination letter waiting for you on your table."

Since Mr Jammeh came to power through the barrel of a gun in 1994, he fired over seven directors of the feared NIA. Until the early 1990s, police had been playing the intelligence role. But President Jammeh empowered the institution through promulgating a decree in 1995 and changed its name from National Security Service to National Intelligence Agency.

Because they have created a state of fear among people of all classes, in particular, the opponents of the regime, the sacked NIA officials usually get nothing from the Gambian public other than curses. They are also put under strict surveillance to the extent that their friends and associates abandon them for security reasons.

Harry Sambou had had his services terminated at the NIA and Ministry of Health in the past. He was an official of the National Electoral Commission at the time of his appointment in March, when there was allegation by the government that it had foiled a coup d'état at an "advanced stage."

Mr Sambou's appointment had attracted widespread criticisms in the country, with Mr Jammeh's critics accusing him for being bias in his appointment of security heads who all belong to his minority Jola people, which constitutes less than 10 percent of the population. Currently, President Jammeh's tribesmen are the chiefs of police, army and other sensitive security positions.

Certainly, Mr Jammeh has a purpose for bringing Mr Sambou on board. It is been alleged that the Gambian President had got proofs that the sacked NIA boss had earlier said a lot of damaging things about his government.

Before he became NIA director, a lot of intelligence gathering was done about Mr Sambou. He was accused of tampering his intelligence file as soon as he became NIA director.

Mr Sambou replaced Mr Daba Marena, who was believed to have been executed alongside four other security officers implicated in the 21 March purported coup.

Limping with a divided security, the regime depends on it intelligence to the fullest. This is evidenced by the powers vested on the NIA - an institution whose presence is felt in all security units, government departments, ministries and every sector of Gambian society. The institution is answerable only to the President's office and enjoys huge budget allocation and incentives.

- Create an e-mail alert for Gambia news
- Create an e-mail alert for Politics news
- Create an e-mail alert for Society news
- Create an e-mail alert for Labour news

    Printable version

On the Afrol News front page now

Rwanda succeeds including citizens in formal financial sector

afrol News - It is called "financial inclusion", and it is a key government policy in Rwanda. The goal is that, by 2020, 90 percent of the population is to have and actively use bank accounts. And in only four years, financial inclusion has doubled in Rwanda.

Famine warning: "South Sudan is imploding"

afrol News - The UN's humanitarian agencies now warn about a devastating famine in Sudan and especially in South Sudan, where the situation is said to be "imploding". Relief officials are appealing to donors to urgently fund life-saving activities in the two countries.
Panic in West Africa after Ebola outbreak in Guinea

afrol News - Fear is spreading all over West Africa after the health ministry in Guinea confirmed the first Ebola outbreak in this part of Africa. According to official numbers, at least 86 are infected and 59 are dead as a result of this very contagious disease.
Ethiopia tightens its already strict anti-gay laws

afrol News - It is already a crime being homosexual in Ethiopia, but parliament is now making sure the anti-gay laws will be applied in practical life. No pardoning of gays will be allowed in future, but activist fear this only is a signal of further repression being prepared.
Ethiopia plans Africa's biggest dam

afrol News / Africa Renewal - Ethiopia's ambitious plan to build a US$ 4.2 billion dam in the Benishangul-Gumuz region, 40 km from its border with Sudan, is expected to provide 6,000 megawatts of electricity, enough for its population plus some excess it can sell to neighbouring countries.

front page | news | countries | archive | currencies | news alerts login | about afrol News | contact | advertise | español 

©  afrol News. Reproducing or buying afrol News' articles.

   You can contact us at