By Dida Halake
“The stars are aligned”, as astrologers and the superstitious might say:
- The Senegalese have endured 2 months of being re-routed around Gambia to reach their southern province;
Gambians have endured 2 months of the border closure that has created scarcity of major goods in the country;
And on top of all that, the killing of Solo Sandeng and colleagues, and the Defiant Darboe’s Heroic Stance have finally galvanized the Gambian people and the International Community against the Jammeh regime.
The Senegalese have FIVE things to gain by toppling Jammeh:-
- They will get a new Government which will certainly commence the building of the Trans-Gambia bridge – for the first time connecting Cassamance to the rest of Senegal across The Gambia River. They know Jammeh will never allow them this – partly for the next reason;
The Trans-Gambia bridge, and a change of Government in The Gambia, will make it easier for Senegal to end the Cassamance rebellion by a) enhancing Senegalese Military movements and b) removing Jammeh, a fellow tribesman of the Cassamance Rebels and a sympathiser, from power;
The Senegalese will earn the gratitude of Gambian people by ending what is becoming Jammeh’s nightmarish rule over the Gambians; The Demonstrations in Dakar, supported by the Senegalese, are clear evidence that Macky Sall too “has crossed the Rubicon” like Darboe.
Like Nyerere’s toppling of Idi Amin, Macky Sall and the Senegalese will enhance their own democratic credentials throughout ECOWAS – which President Sall currently leads.
Finally, Macky Sall will earn much credit from the West – the UK, USA, and EU all want Jammeh gone and will finance and financially assist Sall’s military operations against Jammeh and the Cassamance Rebels. Like his old friend Gaddafy, Jammeh has no friends left – even Pan-Africanist like myself who were earlier seduced by Jammeh’s Pan-African rhetoric have been alienated by Jammeh’s “Islamist” nonsense and the killing of fellow Africans. With Jammeh’s “Comrade Mugabe Pan-Africanist Aura” gone, even the West will be cheered for overthrowing him. Remember US and France have drones and military stationed in Senegal, Mali and Chad. An operation against Jammeh will just be a short afternoon stroll to the South.
If the reports are correct and Gambia’s military has been armed to face Senegal, that itself might be risky. Even Saddam Hussein waited until the very last moment of the USA invasion before he opened the armory for his soldiers – he was scared of a coup should his soldiers have live ammo! Senegal might achieve its goals through ratcheting up the pressure through troop movements – without firing a shot.
PS: I wish to say no more here, but it is my understanding that Edward Singhateh, the man who Jammeh nominated for the Vice-President of ECOWAS, is “Doing the Right Thing” via his New Boss – the Chairman of ECOWAS, President Macky Sall. Talk of “stars being aligned”!!!
And for those of you who may have seen my three-year old “Cartoon” of Jammeh and Bensouda (where she says: “I have lost Uhuru and Ruto” and he says “Better luck next time”) it may be a good idea to note that Fatou now has no high-profile African President to prosecute … and may just be waiting to pounce on her old friend to salvage her own reputation. Talk of “stars being aligned”!!!
Prayers for Lawyer Darboe and all the other detainees whose life and health is at risk while all these goes on.