The announcement came a day after provisional election results projected he would win a sixth term in office.The government and parliament have been dissolved. A curfew has also been imposed and the borders have been shut.
Déby, 68, spent more than three decades in power and was one of Africa's longest-serving leaders.
An army officer by training, he came to power in 1990 through an armed uprising. He was a long-time ally of France and other Western powers in the battle against jihadist groups in the Sahel region of Africa.
Déby "breathed his last defending the sovereign nation on the battlefield", an army general said on state TV on Tuesday.
He had gone to the front line, several hundred kilometres north of the capital N'Djamena, at the weekend to visit troops battling rebels belonging to a group calling itself Fact (the Front for Change and Concord in Chad).
A military council led by Déby's son, a 37-year-old four star general, will govern for the next 18 months.
Mahamat Idriss Déby Itno will lead the council but "free and democratic" elections will be held once the transition period is over, the army said in its statement.
Ahead of the election on 11 April, Déby campaigned on a platform of bringing peace and security to the region.
But there has been growing unhappiness over his government's management of Chad's oil resources. Source: BBC
Apr 21, 2021, 12:06 PM | Article By: Pa Modou Cham
The former Attorney General of the 1994 Junta, Edrissa Fafa Mbai, on Tuesday continued his testimony, insisting he did not take part in the drafting of the draconian decrees for the Junta government that led many Gambians into problems and violated the rights of people, saying he had only served as adviser to the council.Dwelling on the 10th of November 1994 decree that targeted former senior government officials’ financial status and living conditions, Mbai said the decree was important in the quest to promote transparency and accountability.
However, the lead Counsel Essa Faal put to him that this was the decree most people complained about because people were forcefully removed from their properties. However, the witness said he was once a victim of property eviction and later admitted that the decree violated the rights of people.
Faal added that they condemned the bad application of the decree to other people as well as Mbai, adding “it seemed some individuals were targeted during the draft of the decree.” The witness, however, responded he never attended a meeting where people were named to be targeted.
Counsel Faal said the decree of asset freezing drafted on 15 November 1994, affected Momodou Lamin Daffeh, Dembo Kanteh, Malick Njie, Sarra Janha, Abu Denton, Daddy Jobe, Omar B. Cham and others.
Decree 16 that emphasised the economic crime, Faal said enabled the government to detain individuals for 30 days without taking them to court. The witness accepted that, saying that decree was bad but was not very bad. However, Faal told him whether bad or very bad, all are bad and ought not to happen.
With regard to Decree 25 that lower the powers of the courts, Mr. Mbai said he was a victim of the decree, as he was charged for not paying tax amounting to D1.5 million.
Commenting on the decree that mandated the freezing of accounts of people, the witness admitted that the bad decrees were drafted by his office and enacted by the council.
“The decrees were established some days before my appointment and some days after my appointment and I was not part of the drafters. At the office of the Attorney General, there was an office responsible for the drafting of the decrees that the council believed were rights and I was only to give advice. I have advised them to the decrees that would have violated the rights of people but my advices were never taken.”
“The soldiers marked the way for the fundamental issues on how to rule. Both the soldiers and the people wanted accountability on the country’s economy and that is part of human rights.”
On the execution of soldiers who were alleged of attempted coup on November 11, the witness made it clear that he was never named by any witness for taking part in that incident.
Counsel Faal agreed with him that there was no evidence to show he was involved. “November 11 was never discussed at the level of the council.”
The veteran lawyer continued that in 1996, he was arrested by police officers at the Farrafenni Ferry Crossing Point without charges.
“The following day, I was taken to Banjul and received by CMC Jawara. The next day, the Observer Newspaper’s headline stated that I wanted to abscond. It pains me and I reacted that I am very old to leave the country and if I wanted to abscond, then I wouldn’t have waited too long or even used the Farrafeeni road. All my houses and furniture with cars were seized by the council.”
He confirmed to the commission that his compound was later returned to him by Jammeh led government after writing a letter of appeal.
Apr 21, 2021, 12:31 PM | Article By: Yusupha Jobe
Secretary general and leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP), has admitted that his greatest regret in life was shouting at Ebrima Solo Sandeng on the phone before he was allegedly killed by former state agents.Lawyer Ousainou Darboe made the confession in an interview with the Fatu Network over the killing of UDP party's National Organising Secretary Ebrima Solo Sandeng in April 2016 after he and other members of the UDP party took to the streets to demand reforms on the electoral laws during former President Jammeh's reign. He thus described Mr. Sandeng and others who sacrificed for the nation as patriots and selfless citizens.
He stated that the incident always reminds him of the efforts and sacrifices Ebrima Solo Sandeng and other members of the party made to manifest the unfriendly electoral laws put in place by the former government, which he said has ultimately given a free and conducive electoral environment to the country before he was killed by the former regime.
"One of my greatest regret in life and I keep saying this was the moment I yelled and shouted at Ebrima Solo Sandeng to go and check in all our party bureaus, which the Independent Electoral Commission IEC tasked all political parties to have their bureaus established and in proper condition before elections.”
"I called him on the phone to go and bring in the office keys and go along with the IEC officials to check all our bureaus. And when he picked-up the phone, I shouted at him and asked his whereabouts because I knew that any small mistake, the government would put pressure on the IEC to deregister the UDP from contesting the elections.”
"So that was the moment I will ever regret in my life; shouting at him because I did not know he’s going to be taken; beaten and killed by the state agents after he and others protested against the electoral laws," he said.
Speaking on the draft constitution, the UDP leader said it was killed by President Adama Barrow and his government.
"It is the president and his government who killed the draft constitution based on their interest and this I can say was never voiced by any politician except the civil society groups.”
"And to say I boarded the plane to Nigeria for talks on the draft constitution because of fear of comments that people might say against the UDP that we give no regard for negotiating; the return of the draft constitution is never the case. I boarded the plane on the request of the former president Good- Luck Jonathan," he stated.
By Lamin Cham
The deputy Governor of West Coast Region, Musa Suso has denied claims by United Democratic Party leader Ousianu Darboe that he (Suso) visited the police station where a man driving a UDP vehicle was allegedly arrested with cannabis was being detained with the car.
On Monday, the UDP leader addressed a press conference to declare that the reported arrest of a UDP vehicle carrying cannabis could have been politically motivated and the purported drugs might have been planted, claiming he had information that such scheme was being cooked targeting him and other UDP officials.
Darboe further alleged that each time UDP people have issues with the police, National Peoples Party officials would visit the police station. “We have seen that whenever UDP executives have issues at the police, top NPP officials will go to the police. Musa Suso, the deputy governor of West Coast Region, my own friend, went to the police station on this matter. “He was right there; he cannot deny it. Why would he go there as deputy governor? He should not be seen to be advocating for the election of any political leader or the re-election of Adama Barrow. I think the Public Service Commission should really take the appropriate steps and I believe the chairman of the commission is a very principled person and very honest and anything that will be tainting the image of the commission, he will do something about it,” the UDP leader told journalists Monday.
However last night, Musu Suso called up The Standard to deny he went to any police station as claimed by Darboe.
”I want to make it clear that I have not gone to any police station and I sincerely believe that the Honourable Ousainu Darboe was wrongly informed. I have reached out to Mr Darboe when I heard his claims and I think I have satisfactorily convinced him that the information he received was wrong and the matter is now laid to rest. I just want to be on record publicly that I was never at the station for clarity purpose. But the mater is now clear,” Musa Suso told The Standard, rather laconically.
ALHAJI JADAMA DIBBA
Gov’t reacts to RSF Press Freedom ranking Apr 26, 2021, 11:00 AM
The 2020 Press Freedom Index of the France-based human rights watchdog, Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF), has confirmed the significant gains The Gambia has so far recorded in advancing media freedoms. Of some 180 countries surveyed in 2020, The Gambia is ranked 85, which is a two-point improvement from 87 in 2020 – a credit The Gambia Government takes. From the 55 African countries assessed, The Gambia is ranked 9 in West Africa and 10 in sub-Saharan Africa; a remarkable achievement for a nation that for two decades, trailed behind most countries. “Convinced by the inherent power in information dissemination and access to information as crucial elements in a transparent, democratic state, the Barrow Government since assuming power, modified The Gambia media regulatory framework,” Office of the Government Spokesperson states in a press release in reaction to this development. “The impact of this modification in terms of media pluralism is felt nationwide with the presence of over 33 radio stations, 6TV channels, 4 daily newspapers, 1 tri-weekly publication and numerous online media platforms that are actively stimulating public discourse towards consolidating our post-totalitarian democracy.” “Over 30 journalists who were exiled for decades during the dictatorship from 1994-2016, have since returned home and contributing meaningfully in the New Democratic Dispensation.” “The Gambia Government under the stewardship of President Adama Barrow continues to encourage responsible media freedom to restore The Gambia’s past glory of a fledgling democratic state with respect for human and people’s rights.” Reacting to this, Pap Saine, the co-publisher of The Point Newspaper and also the RSF correspondent, appeals to government for timely payments of their dues owed to media houses. “Since December, media houses have not been paid by government and this hampers their daily productions and salaries of their staff.” “Draconian media laws should also be abolished,” he challenged the government.