The Gambia is feared loosing millions of Euros in financial aid from its main donor – the European Union (EU), amid its President Jammeh’s outright rejection of the governance reforms that the EU has seen as an iron fist.
The block – comprising 27 member states – has demanded The Gambia government to reform it political governance and structure in order to improve the country’s governance and human rights situations.
The Eu has presented a 17-point demand to The Gambia government; but Jammeh has persistently rejected the proposal, viewing it as a foreign woven-mechanism, meddling in his rule of the West African state. The EU has also scheduled a meeting – EU Article 8 Intensified Political – with the government slated for January this year, during which the demands are to be discussed.
In a cabinet meeting on recently, President Jammeh denounced and rubbished all the demands by the EU saying that there is no need to meet with the EU because “none of their demands is subject for discussion”.
The EU says it demands are prompted by the significant deterioration in the human rights situation in The Gambia in recent months, notably the execution of nine death row inmates, the forced closure of independent radio stations and newspapers, the trial against persons on the basis of their sexual orientation and the arbitrary arrest and detention of journalists and human rights defenders.
Among the reforms that they are demanding from the government are: the upholding of moratorium on the death penalty with immediate effect, revision of laws on freedom of expression and media regulations within 24 months, provision of information regarding the recent executions, including location of burial to the families.
President Jammeh’s strong refusal of these reforms could render some ramifications on the government and the people of The Gambia.
Cutting aid to a country that has been high dependant on foreign aid, could pinched seriously on the government’s coffer, because it cannot fend for its 1.8 million people – two third of which live on the breadline.