aid to The Gambia, the media in The Gambia are kept in the dark. Foroyaa has received information disseminated by Reuters that the EU has withdrawn millions of euros of funding from The Gambia due to its poor human rights record. According to Reuters, “13 million euros ($16 million) of aid has been blocked due to lack of progress in several areas of human rights.”The news agency described this as “the last slice of a 75 million euro aid package that was set to run for six years from 2007.” Relations between The EU and The Gambia have deteriorated recently and the political dialogue under the Lome Convention did not get anywhere. Foroyaa has got in touch with the office of the EU Charge d’Affaire to find out the truth of the information and the reason for this. We forwarded questions which asked about which projects are affected and the state of those projects. We also asked whether the measure is temporary (pending an outcome) or final. More than a week ago Foroyaa had forwarded questions relating to Gambia/EU relations to the Minister of Foreign Affairs after he had read a declaration denouncing the EU. The questions are as follows: 1. You said “EPA [Economic Partnership Agreement], with the European, is designed to continue exploiting and impoverishment of the African continent.” Are you suggesting that the EU’s relation with The Gambia is exploitative? 2. What about the projects are they exploitative? 3. Do you wish to end your relation with the EU and ask them to stop the aid because they are exploitative? 4. Article 8 of the EPA is about political dialogue and it states, “The parties shall regularly engage in a comprehensive, balanced and deep political dialogue leading to commitments on both sides. The objective of this dialogue shall be to exchange information, to foster mutual understanding and to facilitate the establishment of agreed priorities and shared agendas, in particular by recognising existing links between the different aspects of the relations between the parties and the various areas of cooperation as laid down in this agreement….” What is your opinion on Article 8? Are you opposed to it? 5. If you are opposed to Article 8, please explain why and what you are going to do about it? 6. If you are not opposed to political dialogue then how soon will you resume political dialogue through which you can raise your concerns? When we delivered the letter of request for interview together with the questions we were informed that the minister had travelled. When we returned on Monday to make a follow-up we were told that the minister had just arrived and the secretary promised to get in touch with us. This has not happened. We will continue to make effort and inform our readers of development accordingly.]]>
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QUESTION OF THE DAY The Coalition aimed to have a non-partisan transitional government that has no other mandate but to ensure constitutional, institutional, civil service,...
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