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Gambia returns to democracy after 22 years

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Gambian President Yahya Jammeh holds a copy of the Quran while speaking to a poll worker at a polling station during the presidential election in Banjul, Gambia, December 1, 2016, Reuters/UNI

[vc_row][vc_column][vc_column_text]Dictator Jammeh ousted peacefully, exiled to Equatorial Guinea

By Abu Turab

Around the time of Donald Trump’s inauguration as the new US president, another elected president, some 6,500 km away in Gambia, West Africa, was struggling to come to power despite his legitimate election. Newly-elected president Adama Barrow was forced to take the oath of office in neighbouring Senegal on January 19 while the outgoing president, Yahya Jammeh, was being persuaded by regional leaders to leave the country to avert military intervention.

Ultimately, after weeks of pressure from regional players and the threat of arrest by West African troops, Jammeh and his wife left Banjul, the Gambian capital, late on January 21, for Equatorial Guinea, ending his 22-year rule. He was accompanied by Guinea’s President Alpha Conde, who played an important mediatory role.

President Barrow returned to Gambia on January 27 and chose to stay at his own home until the security clearance of State House, the official residence of the president. Later, there were reports of recovery of a huge quantity of arms from State House.

During his inaugural speech, Barrow called upon the Economic Council of West African States (ECOWAS), the African Union and the United Nations to “support the government and people of Gambia in enforcing their will”.

The swearing-in ceremony at the inauguration of Gambia President Adama Barrow at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, January 19, 2017, Reuters/UNI

The swearing-in ceremony at the inauguration of Gambia President Adama Barrow at the Gambian embassy in Dakar, January 19, 2017, Reuters/UNI

The three agencies were closely working for smooth transfer of power in the country. ECOWAS took the lead both in setting the agenda and launching the diplomatic exercise involving five rounds of presidential missions to Banjul and incorporating six heads of state, including Noble Peace laureate Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, president of Liberia.

According to Al Jazeera, Barrow, while addressing his first press conference in Banjul, said Gambia was a republic and “not an Islamic Republic”.  The country has an approximately 90 percent Muslim population. “Islamic” was added to the country’s name by Jammeh in 2015.

Barrow, while describing his proposed reforms, also vowed to reform the country’s notorious intelligence agency, the National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and promised to ensure media freedom.

ECOWAS, apart from its diplomatic efforts, also exerted pressure on Jammeh with a credible threat of military action. A December 17 summit of the regional leaders resolved to “undertake all necessary action” and mobilised their troops to enter Gambia on January 19, setting a deadline for Jammeh to relinquish power.

Returnees from Barra seen on arrival at Banjul Port a day after President Yahya Jammeh departed from Banjul, Gambia, for exile, January 22, Reuters/UNI

Returnees from Barra seen on arrival at Banjul Port a day after President Yahya Jammeh departed from Banjul, Gambia, for exile, January 22, Reuters/UNI

Equatorial Guinea, the exile destination of Jammeh, is not a signatory to the Rome statute enabling establishment of the International Criminal Court. This guaranteed that Jammeh would not be extradited if the new government decides to prosecute him.

Jammeh is the first president to peacefully hand over power in Gambia since its independence from British rulers in 1965.

After defeat in the December 1 election, Jammeh initially conceded defeat but later called the elections fake. But, as pressure mounted,  Jammeh, who had once said he would rule Gambia for a billion years, said he would stand down and that it was “not necessary that a single drop of blood be shed.”

Africa is full of longtime dictators or undemocratic heads of state. Equatorial Guinea and Angola are under continuous rule for 37 years by Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo and Jose Eduardo dos Santos, respectively; Cameroon has been ruled by Paul Biya for 34 years, Uganda by Yoweri Museveni for 31 years, Zimbabwe by Robert Mugabe for 29 years, Sudan by Omar al-Bashir for 27 years, Chad by Idriss Deby for 26 years, Eritrea by Isaias Afwerki for 23 years and Gambia was under Jammeh for 22 years.

Before assuming power Barrow assured Jammeh of all rights legally ensured to a former president including immunity from prosecution. He also confirmed that Jammeh will be permitted to keep a fleet of luxury cars.

According to the BBC, luxury cars and other items were seen being loaded onto a Chadian cargo plane on the night Jammeh left the country.

The change of guard in Gambia was an exemplary exercise in many ways. It was a rare occasion in history when a dictator was forced to leave through successfuldiplomacy without a drop of blood being shed.

According to a December 2016 ministry of external affairs report, some 600 Indians are engaged in trade and private business in Gambia. India’s relations with the country are marked with cooperation in the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and the United Nations. Indian exports to Gambia include cotton yarn, fabrics, cosmetics, drugs, pharmaceuticals and semi-finished iron and steel products whereas Gambia exports cashew and cotton to India.

Union Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi visited Gambia as a special envoy of Prime Minister Narendra Modi in September 2015. Gambian Vice-President Isatou Njie-Saidy participated in the India-Africa Forum Summit in New Delhi in October 2015.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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Woman sends her resume to Nike printed out on a cake, checkout the viral LinkedIn post

The cake resume got mixed reaction on the internet. Where some people appreciated her original thinking, while others termed it a gimmick.

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Woman sends her resume to Nike printed out on a cake

Trying to get in a job can be tough and intimidating at times. And people often try to do bold things to outshine others. But recently a funny incident from North Carolina has taken over the headlines, where a woman printed her resume on a cake.

Yes! you read that right. Trying to go an extra mile a woman named Karly Pavlinac Blackburn sent her resume printed on a cake to get a job in Nike. She also took to her LinkedIn handle to let the world know about the same.

While sharing the news with every, Karly wrote that a couple of weeks ago she sent her resume on a cake to Nike. The woman also took time to author an elaborate piece on the social networking site, explaining why she came up with the notion of printing her resume on a cake as opposed to the conventional method.

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Karly also wrote that the team was not hiring at that time but she wanted to find some good way for the team to know who she was. According to her, what better way it could have been than sending a cake to a big party.

The North Carolina woman also revealed that she received a recommendation from a friend to print her resume on top of a cake and mail it to the Nike World Headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon.

This act has got mixed reviews on the internet. While some said that the lady should work on enhancing her skills rather than trying to take up attention, While other told her that it was a great move. Some people commended her original thinking and said it was a wonderful concept, while others termed it a ‘gimmick.’

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Viral: Pakistan Prime Minister’s clumsiness triggers Putin’s laugh at SCO summit 2022, twitter reacts | Watch

During the dialogue between Russia and Pakistan, Putin expressed to the Pakistan’s Prime Minister that Russia is ready to extend gas supply to Pakistan as the necessary infrastructures have are already established.

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A video went viral where Pakistan’s prime minister, Shehbaz Sharif’s clumsiness made Russia’s President, Vladimir Putin burst into a laugh at the 22nd summit of the Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) at Samarkand.

In the video, the Pakistan’s prime minister can be seen struggling to put on his ear piece as the device couldn’t be placed on Sharif’s ears, after which he asked for help. As the dialogue between the nations commenced, Sharif’s earpiece again fell from his ears which made the Russian president slip out an audible chuckle.

Pakistan’s Prime Minister, since then, has been subjected to a lot of flak on social media where, largely the workers of former Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s party, proclaimed that the incident was an embarrassment for the country.

After Covid-19 impacting everything and forcing everything onto virtual platforms, the SCO 2022 summit was the first in-person meet in SCO history. The summit will witness the attendants of eight member nations, including Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The SCO is the successor to the Shanghai Five, a mutual security agreement formed in 1996 between the People’s Republic of China, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Russia, Tajikistan, and later on was expanded to Pakistan, India and Iran subsequently.

During the dialogue between Russia and Pakistan, Putin expressed to the Pakistan’s Prime Minister that Russia is ready to extend gas supply to Pakistan as the necessary infrastructures have are already established. Russia and Pakistan have other ambitious projects in the pipeline, largely in the energy sector.

Another video of a similar nature went viral back in January where Prime minister Narendra Modi abruptly paused his speech at the virtual world economic forum 2022. In the video, Prime Minister Narendra Modi was delivering his speech but he suddenly paused as he asked the facilitator if he was audible.

Many believe the abrupt stop at the prime minister’s speech was caused due to a teleprompter issue. The prime minister was trolled and scrutinized by the opposition as the hashtag Teleprompter PM trended in twitter.

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Queen Elizabeth II memorabilia: From her wax statue for $15,900 to teabag for $12,000, list of items on sale

Soon after her demise, the internet was flooded with Queen Elizabeth II memorabilia for sale.

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Queen Elizabeth II, UK’s longest-serving monarch passed away on Thursday at the age of 96. Soon after her demise, the internet was flooded with Queen Elizabeth II memorabilia for sale.

People have started flocking to social media to search for Royal Family memorabilia. According to the reports, a teabag used by the late Queen in 1998 is being sold for $12,000 on the e-commerce platform eBay. Reportedly, the teabag was smuggled out of Windsor Castle in 1998.

The seller of the teabag wrote in the description, This is the same teabag you would have seen on CNN in late 1998. It was used by Queen Elizabeth II of Regina Britannia and smuggled out of Windsor Castle by the special exterminator who was called in to assist her Majesty in dealing with the major London roach infestations of the 1990s, he added.

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With this, the seller even posted a Certificate of Authenticity issued by the prestigious IECA (Institute of Excellence in Certificates of Authenticity) which says it has determined beyond any doubt that the following statements are absolutely true: This is a teabag.

Items up for auction are attracting enormous interest, while set-price items are fetching eye-watering prices.

People are also selling life-sized wax statues of the Queen for $15,900 which claim to have real human hair, resin eyeballs, and resin teeth. Other than this, a Barbie doll of the Queen is currently listed for $1,299.99. A hand-signed autograph by the Queen is also selling for $11,249.

Not only this, online classifieds site Gumtree has a wide range of collectibles of the Royal Family. Queen Elizabeth II framed print is being sold for $45, Queen Elizabeth II Coronation Ribbon is up for sale for $50, and the coronation saucer is for $15.

One of the sellers is selling Queen Elizabeth Jubilee sterling silver and Calamander wood artist box for $51,597, which he claims to be a presentation gift to the late Queen on her Silver Jubilee in 1977.

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