Open letter to the African Union Commission Chairperson
Dear Excellency Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma,
On Friday 2nd September, 2016, less than twenty-four hours after declinng an appointment as Deputy Foreign Minister, Gambia’s notorious security services, National Intelligence Agency, (NIA), under Yahya Jammeh’s directives, abducted Ambassador Momodou Sajo Jallow. His Excellency M. Sajo Jallow served dual positions as Gambia’s Ambassador to Ethiopia, and the Permanent Representative to the African Union. Hon Jallow served the Gambia and the African Union representative with distinction and uncommon dedication. Ambassador Sajo Jallow is a workhorse who shuns the social life, and as typical dedicates his every waking moment to his life to work; consequently, it is out of character for Ambassador Sajo Jallow to indulge in anything not in tandem with his values as an exceptional human being.
Your Excellency, Ambassador M S Jallow enjoyed the friendships of many fellow Gambians, but his decision to work for the Gambia’s notorious military regime created divisions between him and some of his former friends and close associates. Consequently, he has lost contacts and has not communicated with many of his old friends; some in years; including me. Those who love and care about Ambassador M Sajo Jallow, have had unease with his decision to work with the Gambia’s military regime, in particular, knowing well Yahya Jammeh’s habit of falsely accusing, arresting and incarceration of a significant number of Gambians including senior civil servants. It is true that Yahya Jammeh has completely desensitized himself from the reality of the pain and agony that his security services, under his direction, commit against innocent citizens.
Your Excellency, a week after his abduction, neither his family nor his friends and associates have had any contact with Ambassador Sajo M Jallow, but this is not surprising. It is the classic and predictable habit of the National Security Services to abduct or kidnap and arrest, detain and hurt innocent citizens and hold them incommunicado detention for extended periods of time, without due process. This is in violation of the 72-hours stipulated by the Gambian constitution. This pattern of behavior is all too familiar, but the suffering Gambians people have endured so much agony over the years as a result of the regime’s reckless conduct. To say that Gambian have been overwhelmed by the rogue conduct of the military regime is an understatement.. It is worth noting that since 1995; nearly a hundred Gambians have gone missing after their arrest and incommunicado detention by the hated NIA
Your Excellency, Ambasador S Jallow’s wife and children live in distress and deep concern for his safety, as are his friends and associates. Equally troubling to all Gambians is not knowing why Ambassador Sajo M Jallow was abducted. It has been conjectured that it relates to his declining the offer to serve as Deputy Foreign Minister, which seems more plausable. Others theorize that to associating Ambassador Sajo M Jallow with a renowned dissident and member of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP); his wife, Ms Jainaba Bah, exiled in Sweden. It should be noted here all the senior members of the UDP are currently incarcerated in Gambia. that Finally, we implore Your Excellency to use your influence in securing Ambassador Jallow’s release and end the anguished of his family. Thank you, in anticipation.
Mathew K Jallow
President, ECOWAS, Abuja
The European Union, Brussels
US State Department, Washington, DC
Senegalese Foreign Minister, Dakar
Amnesty International, London