“Dead men don’t vote,” said a Gambian political activist known as Mama Africa. She spoke during an event on the side-lines of the 59th Session of the African Commission on Human and Peoples Rights
(ACHPR) held in Gambia’s capital Banjul last month. The focus was the crackdown on freedom of expression and assembly ahead of the 2016 presidential elections.
In the middle of the mountains behind the border fence of Ceuta, the Spanish enclave in Morocco, and eight kilometres from the nearest Moroccan village of Fnideq, an uncertain number of migrants live in the woods. No one knows exactly how many they are but charity workers in Melilla, Spain’s other enclave in Morocco, say they could be in their thousands.
Women’s rights activists in the Gambia are insisting that more than 30 years of campaigning to raise awareness should be sufficient to move the government to outlaw female genital mutilation (FMG).
Last July marked 19 years of Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s inordinately long rule. His legacy during this time is to mark his country as one of the most unapologetically repressive states in Africa.