Fatou Bensouda the Chief Prosecutor of the International Criminal Court at the Hague, in the Netherlands have spoken for the first time since the criminal and unlawful crackdown on the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) militants and their executives in the Gambia by Dictator Yahya Jammeh’s regime in mid-April. Mrs Bensouda was interviewed by Sheriff Junior Bojang, a Gambia journalist who is in exile in Dakar, Senegal. She was asked about her take on the ongoing political events in the country and to the astonishment of the world, Fatou Bensouda refused to acknowledge the brutality Jammeh is unleashing on Gambians.
In fairness, we have to commend Mrs Bensouda for coming out to state her and her office position, which goes to show hypocrisy of the highest proportion. Fatou claimed that, because of the ICC’s mandate, it is not due for her to make a statement, because her jurisdiction is war crime, crime against humanity and genocide.
Now one needs to ask, was there any war crimes, crime against humanity or genocide when she made a statement on the Nigerian election or Guinea warning the parties involved? Of course not, but according to her, they have information or believed there will be. Why is Gambia’s situation different from those countries, when the head of state Dictator Yahya Jammeh threatened to kill people and bury them 9 feet deep, again hypocrisy of the highest proportion.
Just as recent as Friday 4th June 2016, Yahya Jammeh has threaten to kill Mandinkas, the biggest tribe in the country, because he claimed, Mandinkas to be threat to Gambia. Jammeh went as far as claiming that the biggest tribe in the country are not even Gambians, so we beg the question, what is difference between Jammeh’s threats and that of the threats issued in Rwanda in 1994 which led to the genocide in that country? Of course none.
Fatou have shown her incompetency to be the chair of the chief prosecutor of ICC, or her office is futile and it needs to be dissolved since she claimed her office to be reactive instead of proactive in preventing crime in the first place. For the argument sake, let’s accept Fatou’s argument that she does not have a mandate as chief prosecutor to intervene in Gambia, however, she is a Gambian and it doesn’t matter what her job and position is, she is entitled to an opinion which she could use as a private individual and condemn Jammeh’s brutality. But Gambians are not surprise because she was part of the system and for her to come and take on Jammeh in such matters, would mean she risk the wrath of Jammeh or an exposure from him.
Nevertheless, for Madam Bensouda to suggest that the UN supremo’s comments was because this issue is a human rights matter goes to show how naive or negligent she is. If anyone reads Fatoumata Jawara and Nogoi Njie’s statements, it would matter how heartless you may be, it must draw a reaction from you. So for Fatou Bensouda to brush this current problems under the rug as not having the gravity and severity to draw a statement from her is farcical to say the least. As a woman, mother, aunt, sister, Gambian or a chief prosecutor for that matter, who had intervened in other countries political matters in number of occasions and does not have the will to warn Jammeh about his conducts should be a big concern to all the parties involved with the ICC.