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GAMBIA: MADI AND WESTMINSTER FOUNDATION FOR DEMOCRACY HAVE PARTED WAYS OVER THE PALESTINE ISSUE

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Last Friday, Madi Jobarteh acknowledged that he and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) have ended their working relationship.

Mr. Jobarteh has been the country director for the UK public body that is committed to “supporting democracy” globally for the last many years.
There has been speculation that Madi Jobarteh was fired after the foundation stated it was seeking a new country director to oversee the strategic development and management of its projects in The Gambia.

“I didn’t submit a resignation letter,” Madi Jobarteh stated when asked about the details of his departure. A mutual separation agreement was just signed by both of us. Our differences stem from our respective perspectives on the Israel-Palestine conflict, which is why we decided to split ways. I call for an immediate and complete cessation of Israeli occupation of Palestine and the punishment of every individual inside Israeli society that has a role in the occupation, human rights abuses, and the murder of Palestinians. Palestine must be granted the same degree of independence and freedom as the United Kingdom and Israel boast about in their international declarations of democracy. Additionally, I believe that the United Kingdom should have the heaviest burden of responsibility for this conflict, given its role as a colonial power in Palestine and its 1917 decision to provide Jewish settlement rights in the area.
Mr. Jobarteh stated that the Balfour Declaration of 1917, issued by the British government, declared that the rights of the Palestinian people should not be violated or revoked, but rather safeguarded and honoured.
Following the creation of Israel, the United Nations passed resolutions recognising, expressing, and guaranteeing the rights of the Palestinian people. However, since then, the United Kingdom has neglected to make sure that Israel follows these provisions. In contrast, the United Kingdom and its Western allies in the United States and the European Union knowingly and willfully armed Israel to occupy and oppress the Palestinian people while obstructing UN and international initiatives to establish a Palestinian state that is both free and independent. He spoke out against the worst kinds of colonialism and apartheid because, as a former colonised person, he could not stand idly by while they were practiced on other people.

He added the UK and WFD should make sure democracy wins out everywhere, especially in Palestine and Israel, as they say they promote democracy globally.

I have addressed these concerns with them. I am relieved to have departed without any guilt. The fight for democracy is far from over. It was an honour to collaborate with WFD for five years, during which time we accomplished remarkable things in advancing democracy in partnership with the National Assembly, civic society, political parties, and a plethora of state and federal agencies. In order to achieve a high standard of living for everyone and to ensure justice, equality, peace, security, and freedom for everyone, it is necessary to institutionalise good governance systems and practices. This can only be achieved by further strengthening democracy in The Gambia and around the world. That journey continues uninterrupted,” he declared.

The Office of Foreign, Commonwealth, and Development is the main sponsor of WFD.

The director of the country office in The Gambia is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations and programmes of the office.

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