Gambians in the Greater Banjul Area and West Coast Region early Saturday morning saw columns of military vehicles moving fast to the coastal village of Kartong. The government’s failure to announce the reasons for the deployment of armed soldiers in hundreds in the strategic Kombo South village has left many people wondering what might be going on. Armed military men, deployed in key positions in the country, appeared to be in a war mood.
Surprisingly, even soldiers who have been forced to go on standby, were not told the reasons. “All of us have been asked to report to military barracks across the country,” one senior military official confirmed. “But we are yet to be told the reasons. Henceforth, all of us will be on standby until Monday,” he said.
For the first time in history that even Fire and Ambulance Service officers have been asked to also join the impromptu standby. “The police and National Intelligence Agents also are not spared. Those who work in offices have be called to report to work immediately,” said a security source.
Most people who spoke to Kairo News likened the impromptu standby to “a state of emergency.” The only difference is that the government fell short of declaring a state of emergency. One source blamed the development on President Yahya Jammeh’s fears of being attacked by Senegalese forces. “He is scared by the mass protest of Gambians and Senegalese against his government in Senegal,” a source said. “Like cowards all over the world, Jammeh is scared of even his shadows. Fear has entered his soul and occupied it.”
President Jammeh, who travels to his birth place of Kanilai, is reported to have been alarmed by the presence of several Senegalese military at the Gambia-Senegal border. The borders have closed for more than two months after Yahya Jammeh increased ferry tariff 1000%.