The military action launched by Dakar to eradicate marijuana-producing fields in Casamance seems to have ignited strong reactions from politicians, activists and ordinary citizens who describe the move as yet another ‘serious blow’ to President Yahya Jammeh.
“Dislodging the rebel factions and destroying their marijuana farms has indeed dealt a major blow to Yahya Jammeh and his circle. No more
marijuana, no more timber, no more illicit flow of small arms which is another income generating avenue for Yahya Jammeh. He will ultimately be exposed as a belligerent armed bandit,” former Gambia plenipotentiary to Taiwan Essa Bokkar Sey said.
Last Sunday, the Senegalese army communication unit issued a news
dispatch confirming to have carried out a successful military operation aimed targeting marijuana-producing fields located along the Gambia-Senegal border in Southern Casamance. Rebel factions linked with the Movement for Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) are suspected to be behind what appears to be a ‘lucrative business’ sustaining a war economy
deeply rooted in Gambian territory.
Ambassador Sey has been following recent developments in troubled Casamance region where Senegalese army resume military
offensive against separatists rebels running marijuana fields to bankroll the more than thtee decade long conflict.
“You know MFDC as an entity or a movement itself as a “victim” of compelling and negative forces. These compelling forces are adverse effects stemming from the activities of interest groups like Jammeh’s government and unruly rebel factions like the ones led by Salif Sadio,” he said.
Sey seized the opportunity to emphasize that MFDC was originally formed for the sole purpose of turning it into a political party or
nationalist movement. “Some of the original founders are men like Ibou Diallo a native of Casamance. It is when extremists like Salif Sadio blended in that the movement was hijacked and then automatically turned into a so-called Jola hegemony,” he recalled.
Former Gambia Foreign Affairs Minister Sidi Sanneh who spoke to this reporter warned that ending the war economy will not necessary usher in permanent peace but it will greatly help to scale it back.
“It is common knowledge and an open secret that trafficking in marijuana has been a primary source of finance of the low-intensity rebel war that has been going on in that part of the Casamance region since the early 1980s,” he said.
Sanneh was quick to indicate that it was years after that illegal logging has been another lucrative source of financing the war. “While
cutting off these two primary sources of financing will have devastating impacts on the MFDC in prosecuting the war, it will not
decisively and permanently end it.”
Crops Substitution To Marijuana?
However, he acknowledged the fact that there is a risk lying ahead as sustainable alternatives such as crops substitution need to be provided to farmers linked with the growing marijuana business controlled by MFDC rebel factions in order to prevent them from resorting to banditism.
“If these sources are shut down, the rebels, as in the past, will resort to gangsterism.There will be an uptick in highway robberies, kidnappings, and terrorizing villagers to part with their livestock and small ruminants,” former minister Sidi Sanneh added.
He insisted on the fact that the focus will shift from marijuana and logging to terrorizing the local population and the traveling public
for both the sustenance of the rebel forces and carrying out incursions in and around villages in rebel strongholds.
Ruling out the idea that President Jammeh benefited directly from the cannabis trafficking, the Chairman of Senegambian Human Rights Defense League Malick Kah blasted members of the Gambian army and petty pushers for their alleged collaboration on the smuggling and selling of marijuana, with the MFDC rebels.
“For me, the sector in that region from which Jammeh benefited is the logging of trees, this is a very lucrative business and is less controversial, but more devastating to our flora and fauna,” he revealed.
He blamed Gambian authorities for giving licences to Chinese businessmen involved in logging activities in Senegal “These Chinese
companies having to satisfy the insatiable demand of their market take advantage on the porous border and pay very attractive licence fees which go directly to Jammeh to the tune of millions of Dalasi,” he said.
The recent arrest, subsequent trial, and release of Senegalese Environment Ministry officials have he said, put the spotlight on this
‘lucrative business’ that has been going on for the past 10 years impacting negatively on Casamance forests and the localpopulation
“In my last trip to Gambia, I saw almost ten centres of wood sawmills operated by the Chinese and there were trucks loaded of timbers coming from both Casamance and Bissau. These trades are one of the reasons why China is keen to forge diplomatic ties with Gambia. Gambia through Jammeh is making a lot of money.”
Efforts to reach out to Gambia Information Sheriff Bojang for comments remained unsuccessful as he declined to respond to our numerous calls.
Written by Abdoulie JOHN
Malick Kah’s last statement of “Gambia through Jammeh is making a lot of money” is indeed untrue….
The statement should be “Jammeh through Gambia is making a lot of money”….
Yaya jammeh is a Bloodsucking Locust eating everything in it’s way on Gambian state meagre resources, loans, grants & revenues alike; as well as into the natural resources, & bloods of the people of our neighbours in the subregion….
However; it’s a good move with recent developments to tighten all & any avenues which are prone to manipulative exploitation for kanilai KILLER-DEVIL’s fleecing…
Long live the Gambia……
Long live Senegambia…..
Long live Africa…..
This is a very significant step which will give final financial blow to the Dictator who relied on jola rebel forces in cassamance . Jammeh depend on this separatist movement for security and financial needs . Drug-dealing is huge profit for Jammeh and his militia forces . Rebel forces have infiltrated our military and they have always engaged in drug-dealing for the Dictator .
Good job mr Sall and Senegalese people for standing up for oppressed citizens . Yaya Asombi Jammeh must go .
Jammeh’s escape route in kanillia :
Kanillia is a major transit center for drug smuggling and also where Jammeh has planned his escape route in The Gambia ., Jammeh is a coward who should be hunted down and captured before it is too late .
In kanillia , Jammeh live in secret underground in a bungalow . This particular place is the hiding ground for Jammeh whenever there is chaos or he feels insecure . This bungalow is near the mosque in kanillia and the mosque is painted green and white . To get to this bungalow in kanillia . Here is the description of the way :
Upon entering the main entrance heading to the rest of the White House or statehouse in kanillia, there is a main gate guarded by soldiers from the top named the tower guard. After crossing this gate, you will be looking at a two routes on the left and right separated by a lion statue in the middle. Before which there is a public square on the right hand side of the road where festivals or programs takes place. The road on the right hand side is where building Four is located. Building four is the main hideout for the Dictator . It is located on left side of the road on the right road from the lion
statue . Opposite the ‘building four’ is the protocol houses. Now, in building four, There is another military checkpoint at main entrance to This territory. Bear in mind that, it is called building four but it is like a whole community with different sections of offices and houses. The Building is huge and has another guard house like that of the state house in Banjul. Upon entrance on the left, their is a car parking lot or garage and opposite to it, there are offices meant for official purposes. There is also a mosque in building four located after the parking lot on the right . The mosque is also opposite the houses of military or soliders who live in kanillia. The mosque is painted in green and white colors like most bluidings in kanillia .Building four is a very interesting compound . Adjacent to the mosque in the compound four or commonly called bluiding four , there is a house which is the main hideout for the Dictator and there is underground . The color inside of this particular underground is painted black and white . There is getaway red small car inside this underground . The gate of the underground is located in the kitchen which has a white tiles as ground floor tiles . This is how Dictator Jammeh has planned his escape route . It is very few Jammeh’s closed protection officers like King papa and Saul Badgie who are aware of this underground in the house in bluiding four .
Dictator Jammeh should know that we are aware of his security measures and plans he has put in place . Jammeh always feels comfortable in kanillia where he believe he is secured . What he failed to understand is that Kanillia is the border with Senegal . It is also the best place to launch any military strike because it is far from the densely population centers . Dictator Jammeh you cannot hide from Gambians , you will surely be captured soon .