#National News

Beakanyang Convenes National Confab on Hate Speech

Nov 10, 2021, 1:18 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

A day-long national confab on combating hate speech ahead of the December 4th presidential elections was recently held at the Paradise Suites hotel in Kololi.

 

The conference was organised by a NGO Beakanyang and attracted participants from all regions of the country.

The conference was funded by the UN Peacebuilding Fund through UNDP and enjoyed the participation of all relevant stakeholders including security personnel, political party representatives, CSOs, media, government officials, students and rural delegates.

In his welcome remarks, Mr. Nfamara Jawneh, the Executive Director of Beakanyang said as the race to the December 4th elections heightens, they thought it is important to engage all relevant stakeholders in a dialogue to promote decent language or tolerant speech as opposed to hate speech. 

According to him, they were worried and concerned about the level of hate speech in the country and called on all and sundry to stop promoting hatred. 

He stated that politicians in particular have to measure their words, be civil and avoid going into issues that would promote hatred in this country.

Jawneh urged all candidates to keep an eye on their supporters and ensure they conduct themselves in a manner that would promote peace and national cohesion.

“Basically, we are trying to promote social cohesion in this country and a peaceful election to ensure that there is peace before, during and after the election. We know that issues of hate speech are becoming a cause for concern and that is why we have a project trying to address it and social bullying,” he said.

According to Jawneh, one of the objectives of the national dialogue was to build a national consensus as to what may constitute hate speech in Gambian context. 

Speaking earlier, the board Chairperson of Beakanyang Mr. Omar Malmo Sambo reaffirmed his organisation’s commitment in promoting peace in the country.

He noted that as a people and country we have no alternative to peace thus the need to nurture it.

Deputising for the Executive Director of National Youth Council, Mr. Omar Bah, Programme Officer for Peace and Justice applauded Beakanyang for what he called a timely and relevant convergence of stakeholders.

He called on young people in particular to desist from promoting hate speech and safeguard the peace and stability of the country.

Also deputising for the Director of NGO Affairs Agency, Mr. Famara Jarju, Programme Officer hailed Beakanyang for its proactiveness.

“For us at NGO Affairs Agency, Beakanyang is one of the three most performing and proactive human rights NGOs in the country,” he said. 

He called on the organisation to keep delivering on its mission while calling on participants to take the dialogue seriously. 

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