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ACHPR CONVENES 79th ORDINARY SESSION

African Commission on Human and People’s Rights convened the opening of the 79th ordinary session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights. The convention in Banjul, brought dignitaries and stakeholders across the African continent to discuss thematic matters for the sustainability of human rights advocacy.The 79th session of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights unveils a crucial theme anchored on ‘Educating an African fit for human rights.’The speech of Remy Ngoy Lumbu, chairperson of ACHPR, centred on the unrest and conflicts facing the African continent. He cited challenges affecting women, such as sexual violence and discrimination, as he urged the Gambia government to scale up efforts to repeal FGM laws.Addressing the convention, Dr. Mamadou Tangara, Gambia’s Foreign Affairs MinisterSaid the Gambia government is committed to promoting human rights to boost reforms that include the implementation of plans presented by the Truth Commission - TRRC.For over two decades of dictatorship, the Gambia under former President Yahya Jammeh witnessed a pervasive system of forceful disappearances and extrajudicial executions that required effective transitional justice and reforms to reshape the country’s emerging democracy.As enshrined in the Charter of the African Commission on Human and People’s Rights, the commission is moving to strengthen human rights structure and mechanisms alongside the promotion of friendly settlement of disputes grappling the African continent.ACHPR is a charter established by the African Union to advocate for human rights, democracy and good governance on the continent. The commission has built a robust legacy of transformative impact, empowering individuals and organizations. 

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FORMER GRTS DG MALICK JENG DIES

We regret to announce the passing of our former Director General, Malick Jeng. He passed away on Saturday morning at his residence. Mr Jeng has served with diligence and commitment as the D.G. of the State Broadcaster. He presided over the return of GRTS to satellite transmission. He equally worked to ensure GRTS covered major national and international events involving The Gambia.The late Malick Jeng was a devoted Muslim who was greatly concerned about staff welfare. A jovial and compassionate individual who treats the staff with so much respect and care. GRTS Management is saddened by the passing of Mr Jeng, who greatly contributed to the transformation of GRTS. Management extends its condolences to the family and the entire country and pray that Allah have mercy on his soul and grants him Janatul Firdausi. 

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INFORMATION MINISTER HAILS GOVERNMENT'S EFFORTS TO RESHAPE RELATIONS WITH THE PRESS

The new Minister for Information Dr Ismaila Ceesay told journalists during the briefing that his ministry aims to renew commitment to the development of the media landscape to bolster relations between the press and the government.In a period of increasing misinformation and disinformation, the Ministry has also launched its website and social media handles. An initiative meant to boost the much-long-awaited access to information.Serving as the main mediator between the government and the public, the Information Minister said his ministry is committed to building the website of all other ministries – a strategic move to enhance relations with the media and chart a way forward for the government to communicate to the public. Access to information is a crucial component of a strong democracy building a strong, vibrant society that enables the media to deliver accurate and reliable information to the general public.Despite the lack of support from the government through subventions like other countries, the Gambian media plays a critical role in its drive to deliver accurate information to the public. Yankuba Saidy, the Deputy Permanent Secretary at the Information Ministry, said the government is working to ensure the media outlets are subvented to be able to sustain their operations. Since the country transitioned to democracy and good governance in 2017, the Barrow administration has registered significant progress in terms of strengthening press freedom. This press briefing is meant to reset relations between the government and the media.

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CDS CHAM BEGINS NATIONWIDE TOUR OF MILITARY DEPLOYMENTS

Lieutenant General Mamat O. Cham, Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) of The Gambia Armed Forces, along with the Defense Minister and a delegation from the military, commenced a nationwide tour of military deployments across the country. The objective of this tour is to facilitate direct interaction between the CDS and troops under his command, enabling him to assess their work environments, living conditions, and challenges firsthand. As the professional head of the Armed Forces, this visit signifies the first of its kind since Lieutenant General Cham's appointment as Chief of Defence Staff. His first stop was at Barra, where he visited the ECOMIG forces of Gancoy 7 at Fort Bullen, where he was accorded a warm welcome by the Ghanaian soldiers.  CDS Cham was briefed in detail on the tasks and duties assigned to the Ghanaian troops stationed there. Additionally, he witnessed a special presentation by the Ghanaian ECOMIG forces, showcasing their methods for handling riot control operations within the North Bank region.  CDS Cham commended the Ghanaian soldiers for their exemplary role, highlighting them as a contingent that epitomizes professionalism within the Ghanaian Armed Forces. He noted that the Ghanaian Armed Forces had successfully won the hearts and minds of the local population within the North Bank region.  The Defense Minister also addressed the gathering, emphasizing the importance of unity and professionalism among the Ghanaian soldiers in their duties.  The delegation conducted a tour of the facility before proceeding to Njongon's military post. Activity at Njongon was distinctive as CDS Cham engaged with the local community, focusing on the imperative of maintaining and fostering peace.  Villagers expressed gratitude to the Gambian troops stationed at Njongon, citing their presence as a source of safety and security.   Army troops also had the opportunity to voice their concerns during discussions with the Army Chief. Issues raised included capacity building, improvement of hygiene standards, and motivation. This aligns with CDS Cham's objective of gathering firsthand information on their working conditions.  CDS Cham assured the troops that their challenges would be ‘addressed,’ emphasizing the importance of the men in uniform as role models of discipline and commitment.

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GINA CONQUERS 100M IN KENYA

After dominating the women's 100&200m events in the 13th African Games in Ghana last month.Gambia's sprint sensation Gina Mariam Bass continues to prove her worth in the continent. She wins the women's 100m of the Keip Keino Classic Athletics Championship in Kenya with a timing of 11.33 seconds on Saturday afternoon in Kenya. 

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WORKS MINISTER EMBARKS ON NATIONWIDE ASSESSMENT TOUR

The Minister for Transport, Works and Infrastructure, Ebrima Sillah is on tour to assess the level of progress of road construction projects across the country.In what was day one of his tour, the minister inspected works on the ‘Hakalang Road’ in Nuimi and other access roads in ‘Baddibu’ in the North Bank Region to access first-hand. The famous  ‘Hakalang Road’ linking communities in Upper and Lower Niumi, is an 84 km stretch that has already been completed according to contractors. The Minister said he was satisfied with the level of progress, and hoped that it would be completed within time. Several residents in the area who are the direct beneficiaries of the road expressed delight in the historic roads, describing them as a life-changing project for the people of Niumi. From ‘Niumi’ to ‘Badibou’ where the minister and delegation inspected the ‘Kerewan Njawara Access Road’ which connects 17 communities in the catchment area to the main highway. Day one of the tour climaxed with a visit to the Banni-Salikenni road. This particular project was awarded to a Gambian contractor. The Minister said he is equally impressed with the level of work done at 70 percent. The tour continues to the Central and Upper River Regions

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