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City of Banjul
Saturday, March 2, 2024
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War in Gaza – new questions

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The war in Gaza has been going on much longer than most would have liked. None expected it to last this long considering the relative lethal strength of the parties involved. In the process, it has become a difficult situation to watch, hear or think about comfortably. Politically it seems stubbornly sticky to resolve. The death rate within a short space of time is colossal and has never been seen before in that region.

There have been relentless efforts, political and social protests, with very little effect. The death toll kept rising and the cries of children becoming louder. International collaborations are showing signs of divisions. The weakness of the umbrella and guardian organization of world peace – UN – for saving mankind from a global war has become more exposed. The theories of maintaining peace through deterrent mechanisms have become questionable.

How the world could emerge from the effects of a large scale and intensive warfare becomes worrisome. The extent of use of AI technology in warfare is quite a bother whilst the debate on the use and development of such a technology in general is generating concern.

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Mankind is considered the height of creation with an abundance of enviable and priceless natural gifts – to reason and with a conscience. It has led life under various circumstances and where reason fails, conscience led the way using universal codes of morality.

The sufferings of man have been documented over time under circumstance of less developed means of exposure and coverage. Today, the power of technology, through the ingenuity of man, the recordings of events are covered with utmost vividness of the circumstances. That should have made such recordings more impactful on the human conscience especially in the events of abject suffering.

However, the war on Gaza appears to be re-defining the character of mankind. It seems to be defining the global conscience of mankind. It is defining the manner of use of standards of morality and moral obligations. It stretches the objectives of war to a limitless means of attainment. It raises the question as to the extent of destruction required to attain an objective – loss of life, loss of habitat and loss of compassion.

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Such circumstances, indeed, lower the threshold for deterrence for the use of the most feared arsenal of man. It weakens the status of obligations to international law and it thickens the fine line defining the protection of sovereignty and national interest against an international order. It sets new thresholds for human survival at an alarming lower level of endurance.

It is a difficult period for mankind. Generally, the assault on human survival is becoming immense – the destruction of the natural environment, persistence of poverty and hunger, the intensity and frequency of natural disasters, pandemics, banal occurrences of abuses of human rights in human trafficking, human displacements for refuge.

These circumstances seem to be a validation of the Malthusian theory all over again on the competition of a population to survive but at a new threshold that overstretches, if not undermines, human ingenuity. The question embedded in such a theory now generates the need for new answers. Human survival in the absence of compassion can have the most abhorred consequences.

Just thinking Aloud

Lamino Lang Comma

Brikama

The Bambara migrant community in Banjul: Unsung and forgotten heroes of The Gambia

Often times, people intimate that migration is justified on the grounds that there are jobs that the indigenous, even indigents, are unwilling to do. So workers from less wealthy countries also tend to be keen to do the work.

Cut off, more often than not, from their loved ones and family support, often unable to speak the local languages and unaware of local norms and customs; frequently denied the same rights as national workers, the migrant workers are particularly vulnerable to abuse and exploitation.

Treated in Banjul as objects of public gaze, scorn and ridicule and with the social stigma of “Daddy Po”, “Chey Moho”, “Mafuro Deggeh” and all kinds of name-calling, the industrious, persevering, hard-working Bambara migrants performed, day in day out.

They not only took on all the menial jobs of keeping the capital city of Banjul clean and hygienic but even the thankless tasks of “night service men”, not to mention the other household chores which they were willing to do, as cheap labour in various homes for a pittance.

What is commonly termed as 3D (Dirty, Dangerous, Demeaning) jobs were assiduously performed, without any protection, by the Bambaras of Banjul.

Putting their nose to the grindstone, these unsung heroes of Bambara descent knew too well that there is dignity in labour. A sobering lesson that their somewhat conceited, arrogant and indeed vain Banjulian hosts had failed to grasp.

In the most laudable effort of blending with local culture and traditions, the Bambara “Marigo”, “Bambajigida”, “Fatou Jamana” masked figures and dances of the late 50s/early 60s was an impressive, unforgettable, regular and refreshing sight to behold during the Xmas and New Year joyful and exuberant festivities and celebrations in Banjul.

Indeed, the Bambara community’s invaluable contribution to our beloved Gambia, its economy and society, over the years, had been of incalculable value and, in truth, immeasurable.

Our most thankful and indebted gratefulness to the Bambara community in The Gambia and Mali, as well as the Mandé ethnic people in general.

Let our own progeny take lessons and learn from the foregoing past experience of our good old capital city of Banjul.

Let the readers also understand!!!!!

Hassan Gibril

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