Sunday, February 5

Is Defense Minister Sheikh Omar Faye Allergic To Facts?

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By Samsudeen Sarr

Having thoroughly listened to the whole video interview on the Fatou Rahman Coker social media outlet where the Gambia Defense Minister Shiekh Omar Faye virtually gave a PR stunt to promote his personal and professional career from boyhood to manhood, I once again thought it obligatory to expose this habitual liar. If they can’t stop the persistent dishonesty, hey, I have all the time and energy to come after their chicanery.

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I don’t care about his fairy tales of his noble roots from Sine Saloum, Kayor to Bawol or how Allah endowed his forebears with the gift of mastering and understanding all verses in the Quran, key to enjoying the high-rises in paradise; but it indeed annoys me that this fellow has the audacity to always advance unfounded theories or, to put it bluntly, just lie with a straight face.

It was absolutely staggering to hear Shiekh Omar Faye, cognizant of the gullibility of his hosts whom he first disarmed with endless praises of their superior Banjul-ancestry, inextricably linked to his holy family, inundated them with one false statement after another just to make himself look perfect.

Take for example, the question he was asked about the indefinite and seemingly occupying role of ECOMIG in the Gambia especially when duplicated by Senegalese forces. I think most readers of Gambian newspapers and followers of social media were at one time aware of a press release from the ECOMIG headquarters showing the face of their spokesman, a Ghanian explaining to concerned Gambians that the extra Senegalese forces in the Foni part of our country had nothing to do with them but a deployment hinged on a bilateral agreement between the Gambia and Senegal. If the host had reminded him of that ECOMIG press release I believe Faye would not have had the boldness to lie that the idea of two foreign forces, ECOMIG and the Senegalese Forces doesn’t exist in the Gambia and was not something he was aware of as defense minister. That the “single force of ECOMIG” now in the country was an idea conceived from the UN Security Council Resolution 2331 that was sought by the AU and ECOWAS and composed of Senegalese, Ghanaian and Nigerian troops. One would have expected the hosts to remind him of the Ghanian spokesman’s press release contradicting that hypothesis but they either spared him the embarrassment of exposing a whole defense minister’s ignorance or were ill-prepared to challenge his deception.

Well-prepared hosts would have known that the UN Security Council Resolution 2331 he cited, dated December 20, 2016, Code named: S/RES/2331, 2016, that he said mandated the deployment of “one ECOMIG” force in the country was never about the Gambia. It was a resolution specifically criminalizing “trafficking persons in armed-conflict zones in the whole world”. So Faye must have left with a big “Alhamdulilah” for not being caught on his ugly lies or ignorance.

How can anyone seriously believe in anything this man utters? Remember the document on the hot pursuit pact he once displayed at the Fatunetwork, “authorizing Senegalese security forces to cross into our country without permission and shoot or arrest Gambian suspects in any village or town”? Ask Omar Faye today about that agreement or how far the two governments have come to its ratification that he said was “stalled by the pandemic” and he will sweet talk you into believing that he had never displayed any document like that or said so as the “great great grandson of Bynyass who mastered the history of all prophets of Islam”.

Omar again shamelessly lied that he didn’t know anything out of the ordinary when he became the first APRC ambassador to tender his resignation in 2016 asking Jammeh to step-down. He actually published that defiant letter days after the UN Security Council delivered their historic press statement on December 10, 2016 the day after Jammeh annulled the election results and was reported on every international mainstream and social media outlet (see content below).

However, Judas number one, Protocol Officer Alagie Ceesay from his TRRC appearance confessed his spying activities on First Lady Zainab Jammeh whom he had accompanied to America at the time and had reported every confidential information she had received from her husband to the Senegalese Ambassador in Washington D.C, Babacar Diagne and the Senegalese government. Ambassador Omar Faye, Ambassador Babacar Diagne and Protocol Judas Officer Alagie Ceesay had all worked together throughout the impasse and after until he, Omar Faye, was recalled by the Coalition government. So telling us that he didn’t know anything exceptional but merely invoked his sense of impartiality to switch his loyalty from Jammeh to the “popularly elected leader, Adama Barrow” is at best dishonest and at worst treasonable.

Last but not the least, Defense Minister Faye is no longer placing much importance in the urgently awaited Security Sector Reform (SSR) that every Gambian is made to believe holds the key to overhauling the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) whose reform will ultimately translate into the departure of the foreign troops in the country.

It is however evident that the foreign experts they had depended on to show them how and what to do have all returned home due to the coronavirus pandemic. President Barrow has also said that the Germans who were financially supporting the SSR have ceased doing so for reasons not explained.

Maybe the Germans were listening to some of our arguments that the SSR was unachievable because the logic on which it was conceived that the GAF was full of MFDC rebels from Cassamance was after all proven as false as the character of the defense minister.

When we called him out on his baseless assertion that the Gambia never had a defense policy since independence by asking him what we had had with Senegal during the confederation from 1981 to 1989, Faye now changed the nomenclature from “defense policy” to “National Security policy” just to continue saying that it was something new that never existed in the country since independence.

But in this so-called new Gambian National Security Policy, that he said is almost completed, the work covers a broader “Reform” for the country not limited to the SSR but on every essential organ of government. Watch the video or listen to the audio to hear his nutty ideas.

It accordingly includes even the core values of what Gambia’s ancestors expected of true Gambian characters and values.

And it teaches members of the security forces their duties to the nation and how to behave to the civilians plus so many things out of this world.

He of course erred in his “talking and forgetting” responses that he had already said that the army had in their possession the GAFA and TACOS that clearly stated the duties of the armed forces as being among other things to protect the territorial integrity and sovereignty of the nation while the Gambia Police Force was primarily tasked with handling internal security and law and order enforcement.

For the readers to know, we were also taught how protecting the Gambia’s territorial and national integrity includes defending it against foreign and domestic enemies.

However, I just cannot wrap my mind around what Faye means after he had listed the names of all the Imam Ratibs of Banjul and those of his ancestors since the Island of Banjul was founded by the British colonialists and then moved to certain national “core values” derived from that Islamic history and culture which emphatically defines who we are, all featured in the new “National Security Policy”.

Did they conduct a nationwide consultation to get a consensus on such core values that should shape the mindset of typical Gambians or was there a benchmark to craft it from Banjul culture, history and “Fayene” heritage?

Hopefully the document will be sent to the National Assembly for scrutiny before its adoption.

I even doubt as whether the executive will ever endorse such a controversial document.

It is a pity that President Barrow cannot still see through this fake character he appoints as his defense minister who is good at nothing but twisting facts and praise-singing gullible people to promote his personal agenda.

eforms with Reforms in the Gambia was the dumbest thing he had said in that interview. It is just like when he tries to compare the presence of ECOMIG, a combat force in the Gambia with nothing to fight against with ECOMOG peacekeepers during the 1990 Liberian civil war where over 250,000 people were killed and over a million forced into exile. As incomparable as those two are, Faye can convince any naive and low IQ listener that the conditions and missions are the same or even worse in the Gambia.

Below is a copy of the original text of the UN Security Council Press release on December 10, 2016, spearheaded by Senegal with the collaboration of the APRC Judas ambassadors including of course Shiekh Omar Faye, days before he published his treacherous letter asking Jammeh to step-down. Nowhere was the invasion of the Gambia authorized or the deployment of armed troops called ECOMIG mentioned. But Faye will fearlessly lie about how the AU and ECOWAS through UN Resolution 2331 were mandated for the illegal deployment.

Security Council press statement on the Gambia Elections

The following Security Council press statement was issued today by Council President Roman Oyarzun Marchesi (Spain):

The members of the Security Council commended the people of the Islamic Republic of the Gambia for the peaceful and transparent holding of elections on 1 December 2016.

In this regard the members of the Security Council strongly condemned the statement by the outgoing President of the Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, on 9 December rejecting the 1 December official election results proclaimed by the Independent Electoral Commission and calling for new elections.

They called on him to respect the choice of the sovereign people of the Gambia, as he did on 2 December 2016, and to transfer, without condition and undue delay, power to the President-elect, Adama Barrow.

The Members of the Security Council urged the outgoing President to carry out a peaceful and orderly transition process and they requested that the security of the President-elect, Adama Barrow, and that of all Gambian citizen be fully ensured.

The members of the Security Council called on outgoing President Jammeh to respect the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) protocol on democracy and good governance and the African Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance, notably the rejection of unconstitutional changes of Government, and recalled the relevant provisions of Article 23 (4) of the African Union Charter on Democracy, Elections and Governance.

The members of the Security Council urged all parties to exercise maximum restraint, refrain from violence and remain calm.

The members of the Security Council called on the support by the United Nations Office for West Africa (UNOWAS) and international partners, especially ECOWAS, to preserve stability in the Gambia and work towards the installation of a democratically elected Government in the country.

They further expressed their commitment to continue to follow closely the evolution of the situation in The Gambia.

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