Gambians React To Jammeh’s Anti-Mandinka Remarks

The president of the republic of the Gambia Yahya Jammeh during his meet the people tour in Tallinding June this year, made a hate speech against Mandingos (the largest tribe in the Gambia). He accused them of opposing him despite his achievements, and describing them enemies, foreigners, and threatened to kill them one by one and place them where even a fly won’t see them if they dare to protest against his regime.

‘Mandingos are fond belittling other tribes because they thought the country belongs to them, and if they don’t change that concept I will deal with them by killing them all and no human rights organisation or foreign country can do anything out of it’ .

However due to this hateful speech, many Mandingos in the Diaspora got annoyed and some reacted, in an interview this is what they said:

Kebba Manneh, an influential leader within the Gambian community in Birmingham said: “For those of us who witnessed the First Republic in the Gambia, politics was not this way. The previous President Jawara has never threatened an ethnic group in such a manner.”

He added: “This means life will never be the same for our Mandingo brothers and sisters back home who are living in an unfortunate and volatile political situation.”

Many amongst the  exiled Gambian community across the globe who stormed the country`s online radios linked Mr Jammeh`s threats to the recent opposition protest in the streets of Serrekunda, which was predominantly masterminded by members of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP), whose leader is from the Mandingo ethnic group.

Jainaba Touray also residence of Birmingham said “I think we the Mandingos like any other Gambians have the right to support any party we want. Before he kills all of us, Mandingo soldiers in the army should kill him first, because he declared a war on us.”

She added: “We should all rise against him as genuine citizens; he is very scary and dangerous.”

‘This hate remarks is against our respect and dignity as Mandingos and shouldn’t be condone. Jammeh’s main fear is us, because according to national statistic figures, Mandingos formed the largest tribe in the Gambia, this is why Jammeh is always locking horns with us. Most of his officials both civil and security are Mandingos yet Jammeh has the audacity to insult us. Worst of all, he uses some Mandingos to insult molest and torture their own tribesmen and women’, said Ebrima Darbo, residence of Worcester.

Amadou Dibba graduate – International Relations and Social Policy, Aston University has this to say. ‘Looking at the subject matter of this issue – Yahya Jammeh’s degeneracy and incredible show of irresponsibility – I refer to his recent well-publicised speech castigating the Mandingos. Notable more for its punctuation with self-contradiction, utter triviality and, above all perhaps, lack of lucid and eloquent reasoning, Yahya Jammeh spewed rubbish in the form of lies and vile threats to vent his gnawing frustration with what can be seen as his congenital inability to use the art of rhetoric, as seasoned political leaders are able to do effortlessly, to win people’s hearts and minds by appealing to their emotions, reason and passions, rather than pitiably pretending that he is the ultimate benefactor who is using his self-made wealth to build paradise for all Gambians.

It is a common knowledge in the Gambia that the president uses state power as an instrument of coercion to clampdown on innocent defenceless citizens anyhow, and no one dares challenge him; this is due to his habit of dictator ruling. However this time around some Mandingos in Diaspora had decided to challenge him as they believed it is high time to react as those in the Gambia cannot speak due to safety reasons.


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