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As Gambia Celebrates a New President, Africa Watches

Things are changing fast in the Gambia but it is almost certain that president Yahya Jammeh's reign is over.

Things are changing quickly in The Gambia right now and across the African continent people are following closely. As of writing, the president elect Adama Barrow has just taken an oath in Gambian embassy in Dakar, while President Yahya Jammeh still refuses to step down despite the cards being stacked against him. Six ministers of his cabinet have already left the country.


According the French radio, RFI the United Nations Security Council unanimously voted for the resolution giving the authorization to the coalition of Senegalese and Nigerian army to overthrow the power of Yahya Jammeh using military forces. A few minutes later the coalition crossed the borders into the Gambia.

Jainaba a Gambian resident in New York told OkayAfrica “We are glad that the new president Barrow was sworn in but I am worried, I have my family there, they are sending us the photos of what’s happening on social media. Let’s hope that Yahya’s army will surrender without any loss of our people's’ life”

Ibrahima Camara, reached in the Gambian capital of Banjul tells OkayAfrica that they are following what’s going on closely. “People are celebrating in the streets here in Banjul. We are aware that the troops of the Economic Community of West African States are heading to Banjul without any resistance of Yahya Jammeh’s army. Since yesterday we have not seen Yahya on TV. Maybe he left.”

In Dakar the foreign diplomats attended the swearing in ceremony of Barrow today, but outside the people were not paying attention a lot on what’s happening now in Gambia; “Right now the many people in Dakar are watching the African Cup of Nations,” Jean, who didn't want his last name used told OkayAfrica from Dakar. “They know well that the Gambian army can’t resist the ECOWAS coalition army. The main topic now here in Dakar is which country is going to offer Yahya Jammeh exile.”

While the president of Tanzania Dr John Pombe Magufuli tweeted; “We will no longer recognize Yahya Jammeh as the president of the Republic of Gambia. We don’t support unjust values & dictatorship”

In East Africa people are also watching intently. Didier Mukaleng Makal Kanteg, a Congolese journalist tells OkayAfrica that in his city of Lubumbashi people are following the situation in Gambia; “we are going in the same situation that Gambians were facing under Yahya Jammeh, especially in our region. The local media are not talking about the situation in Gambia but people here, especially the youth in Lubumbashi, are following the international news from BBC, VOA and RFI. This should be the lesson to our leaders who don’t want to leave power. I salute the courage of the ECOWAS army coalition, the East African Community should had reacted likewise in Burundi… Same here in Congo we saw lots of victims who were protesting against the third term of Kabila… Bravo to the Gambian people”

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Image by Mohamed Nanabhay via Flickr.

Activists Demand the Release of Omoyele Sowore and Other Political Detainees, Amidst Growing Attacks on Freedom of Press In Nigeria

"It feels like the '90s again," says Sowore's wife Opeyemi Sowore, about the recent crackdowns on political dissidents in Nigeria.

On August 3, activist and founder of Sahara Reporters, and former presidential candidate Omoyele Sowere was arrested for planning a peaceful protest in Nigeria. Fifty-four days later, he remains in custody.

Sowere has been hit with a seven-count charge, including money laundering, treason, as well as "cyberstalking the president," Sahara News reports. He is scheduled to appear in court tomorrow after being jailed for nearly two months, according to his wife Opeyemi Sowore.

He, along with several activists who have voiced political dissent in recent months have been detained by Nigerian authorities, denoting an upward shift on crackdowns on members of the press and attacks on basic civil liberties in Nigeria under President Muhammadu Buhari's administration. "This truly is a threat to freedom of press, freedom of speech and expression," Sowore tells OkayAfrica. "As much progress as we thought we had made, a lot of the events truly sadden me."

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The Gambian Government Has Called on Women to Report Sexual Crimes Committed by Former President Yahya Jammeh

This is in response to former beauty queen Fatou Jallow having publicly accused Jammeh of rape.

Fatou 'Toufah' Jallow, a former beauty queen in a state-sponsored beauty pageant, has recently accused former President Yahya Jammeh of rape during his time in office back in June of 2015. The Gambian government have now established a commission of inquiry to investigate human rights violations that occurred during Jammeh's two-decade stay in office. The have also called on women in the country to come forward and report sexual crimes committed against them by Jammeh.

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Stormzy, Ed Sheeran and Burna Boy in "Own It" (Youtube)

Stormzy Recruits Burna Boy & Ed Sheeran For 'Own It'

Watch the new music video from Stormzy's upcoming new album.

Stormzy is readying the release of his second album, Heavy Is the Head, due December 13.

He's now come through with the new music video and single for "Own It," an electronic head-nodder collaboration with the Burna Boy and Ed Sheeran.

The addictive new song is accompanied by a new music video, directed by Nathan James Tettey. It follows Stormzy, Burna Boy, and Ed Sheeran as they perform on rainy London rooftops, warehouses and club dance floors—simply put, it looks like a fun time.

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(Photo credit should read PIUS UTOMI EKPEI/AFP via Getty Images)

#SayNoToSocialMediaBill: Nigerians Protest Proposed Law Allowing Government to Block the Internet

Nigerians are saying no to the 'Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill' that they say will give the government the power to silence them.

A bill that could limit democratic expression amongst social media users in Nigeria, has been proposed in the senate for the second time this year, Techcabal reports. Several Nigerians are now speaking out against it.

The bill, called the "Protection from Internet Falsehood and Manipulation Bill 2019 (SB 132)," would essentially allow the government to shutdown the internet whenever it sees fit. It was proposed by Senator Muhammadu Sani Musa of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), who claimed that the measure was necessary to prevent the spread of "hate speech" and extremist ideologies through online channels. "Individuals and groups influenced by ideologies and deep-seated prejudices in different countries are using internet falsehood to surreptitiously promote their causes, as we have seen in Nigeria with the insurgency of Boko haram," he said.

A clip of Senator Elisha Abbo another vocal supporter of the bill, who is currently under investigation for an alleged assault after being caught on video slapping a woman at a sex shop in July—shows him passionately defending the bill on the floor and condemning what he calls "fake news" from being spread to different countries. "It is a cancer waiting to consume all of us," said Abbo.

A similar bill was proposed back in 2015, but was widely criticized and never passed.

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