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The Libyan Transitional Cabinet

By Banka Manneh
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The Libyan Transitional Cabinet
Tripoli
The Republic of Libya

Dear Sir,

The Civil Society Associations Gambia (CSAG), a coalition of eight Gambian civil and human rights organizations spread across, Europe, United States and Senegal, takes great pleasure in writing to extend our heart-felt congratulations to members of your newly established transitional cabinet and to the entire people of your country; Libya. The people of The Republic of The Gambia share your joy and excitement for a new Libya that is at last free. The last forty-two years saw your beautiful country and its good people suffer some of the worst human rights atrocities in modern times. Over the past four decades, the long suffering people of Libya have mourned their dead in agony and silence, unable to fight back against the repressive forces that brought so much misery to your country. But today, your people breathe the air of freedom denied them for so long, and the cost in human life and resources over the last eight months have been enormous. Now, as your country prepares for the difficult task of rebuilding, Gambians can only wish you success, and hope that this time around, Libyans will at last get the government they deserve; a government that works in the service of its people. We are hopeful that the people of Libya will rebuild a new society on the foundation of democracy and the rule of law.

Sir, as many of your people already know, your late Head-of-State, Col. Mumar Khadafy established a significant presence in African south of the Sahara; spending billions of Libyan dollars to buy the loyalties of many corrupt African dictators. Our country, The Republic of The Gambia was one such country. Over the years, Col. Mumar Khadafy and Yahya Jammeh built a strong bond in which Yahya Jammeh became a disciple and a lapdog for Col Khadafy and in the process became an astute student of Col. Khaday's style of governing. What followed is a nightmare that continues to haunt our country to this day; executions, murders, mass incarcerations, forced disappearances, use of intimidation and terror to suppress dissent, lack of press freedom, a rubber-stamp National Assembly, and a judiciary that operates under the pleasure of Yahya Jammeh. Yahya Jammeh even adopted Col. Khadafy's signature color, green, as the Gambia military regime's party color too. In short, everything Col Mumar Khadafy did to ruin Libya, Yahya Jammeh learnt and is doing to our country as we speak. Col. Mumar Khadafy was such a frequent visitor to The Gambia that some Gambians began to call him the new unelected president of The Gambia.

As you know, Yahya Jammeh has through Gambia's Foreign Ministry reached out to Libya's Transitional Council, in recognition of the legitimacy of your new government. This gesture is both amusing and perplexing to Gambians, considering Yahya Jammeh's very close relationship with Col. Khadafy; so close in fact, that Yahya Jammeh not only relied on Col. Khadafy for moral support and protection, Col. Khadafy has invested heavily in The Gambia apart from giving Yahya Jammeh millions of dollars of Libyan peoples' money to sustain his regime and keep him in power against the wishes of the Gambian people. Soon after the fall of Col. Khadafy, Yahya Jammeh made a strange move to which Gambians are familiar; he attempted to appropriate all Libyan properties and business interests for himself, include hotels Col. Khadafy built in our country. And today, Gambians are suffering the same pain and agony your people suffered under Col. Khadafy, and we are also struggle to rid Yahya Jammeh, a man who, like Col. Khadafy his mentor, has become our monster. As the moral voice of the Gambian people, CSAG wishes to express concern about Yahya Jammeh's attempts to seek your country's friendship. CSAG cannot decide the countries your new government establishes friendship with, but at this point in time, the Gambian regime under the brutal Yahya Jammeh is not the kind of friends the new Libya wants. WE would implore you and the Libyan people to instead lend your support to our efforts to liberate our country. As a result, CSAG, the voice of the Gambian people, is desirous of opening a line of communication with the Libyan Transitional government. In the coming weeks, CSAG will reach out to the Libyan Ambassador to the United Nations and the Libyan Ambassador to the U.S. We thank you and hope that someday soon, a free Gambia will reestablish real true friendship with a free Libya.

Signed
Banka Manneh
Chairman, CSAG
Ndey Tapha-Sosseh
Secretary General, CSAG
cc
Libyan Emissary to the UN
Libyan Ambassador, US, Washington, DC
Libyan Ambassador, Dakar, Senegal
Secretary General, United nations
President, African Union, Addis ASbaba
President, ECOWAS, Abuja, Nigeria
President, Goodluck, Chairman ECOWAS, Abuja, Nigeria

Senegalese Foreign Minister, Dakar, Senegal