EYEAFRICA TV: Banjul, The Gambia: Leader of The Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) said he is shocked by the unfolding events happening in Guinea Conakry, calling the efforts by president Alpha Conde to subvert the will of the Guinean people by way of attempting to amend the constitution for an unconstitutional third term as unacceptable.
“I and the Gambia Democratic Congress party are in solidarity with the people of Guinea in their quest for rule of law and constitutional order,” Mamma Kandeh said in a statement this week.
He said he and his party condemn the brutality meted out to unarmed civilian protesters and call on president Alpha Conde to respect the constitution and the people of Guinea and to drop his sham referendum for a third presidential term.
Reports from the West African nation indicate that police shot dead nine pro-democracy protesters in the country this week, leading to a more revolt.
International human rights groups were more unequivocal. François Patuel of Amnesty International denounced “a shameful attempt by Guinean authorities to stifle dissent by any means necessary.” But one major power seemed unperturbed.
Mr Conde’s ruthless response to protests against his apparent efforts to cling to power not only suited Russia, it seems probable that they were tacitly endorsed by the Kremlin.
On Wednesday, Russia’s president Vladimir Putin, will host leaders from 35 African states at a summit in the Black Sea resort of Sochi as he seeks to consolidate Moscow’s growing influence in the world’s poorest continent.
Russia may lack the heft of its rivals, able neither to match the West in aid nor China in terms of infrastructure financing, but it does have other resources with which to woo African leaders, particularly those of a more authoritarian bent.
“It is utterly shocking that a statesman who visited The Gambia several times in 2017 to broker a political deal and brought an end to the impasse in The Gambia will now cause so much pain and bloodshed in his own country just to remain in power,” Mr Kandeh, who is also the GDC secretary general said.
He said he is a firm believer of an unaltered presidential term limit and therefore call on regional powers, ECOWAS, AU and the UN to urge President Conde to step down at the end of his second term, saying any attempt to fraudulently amend the constitution for a supposed third term will be an affront to the sub regional efforts for a multi-party and presidential term limit democracies.