The head of the US-based Democratic Union of Gambian Activists (DUGA) has clarified that her organisation is not a political party but will remain an active player in the country’s civil society.
Speaking at the launch ceremony of a Gambian DUGA branch on Wednesday at the auditorium of the Faculty of Law University of The Gambia, in Kanifing (about 7 km away from Banjul), Sohna A.Sallah reiterated her organisation’s commitment to promoting democracy, rule of law and social justice.
Over these past years, DUGA spearheaded a global campaign denouncing
the atrocities committed by the former Gambian regime of Yahya Jammeh. The campaigners also staged a series of demonstrations that led to the occupation of the Gambian Embassy in Washington D.C. They also partnered with Dakar-based Y’en
a Marre movement to expose Senegalese and Gambian musicians who were singing praises to former President Jammeh in exchange for money.
“There is no perfect democracy. We’ll continue our work to protect the rights of Gambians,” she said.
The new regime is facing mounting challenges as it continues to push with a reconciliation agenda amid rising call for justice.
Ms Sallah went further to remind the gathering that Gambia prevailed because of the collective sacrifice of the nation.
“We intend to continue our work and we will keep on fighting,”she added.
In his remarks, Justice Minister Aboubacarr Tambadou recalled how DUGA was able to draw the attention of the world to Gambians’ plight.
Tambadou warned that the easier task was to get rid of Jammeh, but the most difficult part is how to ensure that strong institutions are put in place.
“We must ensure that we lay solid foundation in allowing civil society organisations (CSOs) to take up their responsibility as partners of
government,” he stated.
The Justice Minister emphasised the need for CSOs to ‘conduct activism with responsibility’ as ‘Gambia has changed for better’.
He added: “That is your civic responsibility to make the Gambia heaven on earth.”