Resumed border blockade talks between the Gambia and neighbouring Senegal ended in the early hours of Monday with a note of uncertainty after delegates of both countries failed to reach an agreement.
“We are compelled to live together because of our geographical location. We should strive for an harmonious, peaceful coexistence through dialogue, permanent and constructive consultation. It is our common destiny,” Senegal’s Foreign Affairs Minister Mankeur NDIAYE told newsmen at the end of a 14-hour marathon meeting held in Dakar.
Last Sunday, Gambian Foreign Minister Neneh Macdouall Gaye held talks with her Senegalese counterpart Mankeur Ndiaye over the 12-week blockade that has left many businesses in dire shape.
In February this year, President Yahya Jammeh took a ‘controversial decision’ to increase the cost of ferry tariffs across all the country’s crossing points. The decision gave rise to significant political and public reactions in Senegal, with the national transport union deciding to block the traffic within the borders in protest.
Mankeur Ndiaye revealed that the Gambia and Senegal have agreed to meet in July in order to overcome obstacles and stumbling blocks. He welcomed the decision taken by Gambian authorities to rescind ferry crossing ticket prices which jumped from 4000 to 400000 CFA francs thanks to the Gambian leader whose self-bestowed nickname is Babili Mansa, “Bridge Builder”
On allegations made by his Gambian counterpart that ECOWAS transporters were being charged exorbitantly in Senegal, prompting Banjul to increase tickets prices in reciprocity as there have been instances where Gambian drivers paid up to 400, 000 CFA francs, Senegalese Foreign Minister said “an investigation was carried out and we were able to confirm that these allegations are unfounded. They are not true.”
The crippling trends regarding the construction of the bridge have compelled many experts to say the bridge on river Gambia that President Yahya Jammeh is not interested in the project endorsed by African Development Bank (ADB) to the tune of 50 billions CFA, is the way to resolve issues of integration, regional trade and free flow of people, goods and services.
When asked by this reporter whether the construction of the bridge poses a threat to Gambia’s sovereignty, Neneh Macdouall Gaye dodged the question, but was quick to reiterate remarks made in plenary session indicating that the main problem for the Gambian side is about the navigability of river Gambia. “The design of the bridge does not allow navigability,” she told reporters.
The final communique that was issued at the end of the meeting remained mute over the Banjul-based Senegalo-Gambian Secretariat tasked with the responsibility to address issues affecting the interests of both countries.
The two foreign ministers reiterated their resolve to strive for the end of the border blockade. But their call is yet to be implemented as the standoff stillcontinuess.
The border should remain closed as long as Yaya Jammeh is in power . NO to border opening . They should close the southern border too and seal off The Gambia from the rest of the world . In addition to that , they should close their air space for all the incoming and outgoing flights to Gambia .
Max, suffocating the entire population by closing land and air borders is not the solution any Gambian should be advocating.
What you are suggesting is basically, to suffocate the entire population until Jammeh falls and that, in my view, is too harsh and counterproductive. It.would only add and aggravate the suffering of the whole population, except Jammeh and his officials. They will be the last to suffer.
Bax , you are aganist everything that is going to lead to Jammeh’s downfall . Tell me a single method which will remove Jammeh from power without consequences , that is people dying in the process . You and your types failed to understand that Jammeh is a dictator who will use anything to stay in power . You are against the following
1. Peaceful protest for electoral reform
2. Military or Armed insurgency
3. Popular uprising
4. Economic sanction
5. Border closure including air space
6. Biggest party led coalition or alliance
7. Killing of Jammeh by any means
So please for God sake , tell us what you are for ?
The mere election process without electoral reforms is not going to remove Jammeh . If you believe that mere election will remove Jammeh from power without electoral reforms then your argument fit into the following descriptions
2. Hypocritical , my favorite word because it is the main reason we still have Jammeh
4, deliberate distractor
5, clear stupidity or igonrance of history of dictatorship throughout the world
6. Legitimize dictatorship
Please tell us what is the best method to remove Jammeh without consequences .
Yero ba, you never think outside the box . Just think beyond your normal thinking process . Let me know what comes to your mind .
You have misrepresented my views on the following :
“peaceful protest, popular uprising, economic sanctions, border closure and party alliance..”.
It is not true that I am entirely against any of the above, though I hold a different view on each from you, but that is not the same as you are claiming here.
You are, however, right on your claims that I oppose any form of the following :
(1) -Military or Armed insurgency
(2) -Killing of Jammeh by any means
Why I oppose (1) : We are in the situation we find ourselves in today because of precisely the intervention of the military in our domestic politics.
Military intervention, like its sibling, Armed insurrection, instantly propels individuals whom the population know nothing about (politically speaking), into positions of power and in most cases, as evidenced by history, these turn out to be power hungry individuals, who do not show any desire to vacate public office once in, and don’t hesitate to abuse, torture, maim or kill to stay in power.
Out of the hundreds of cases of military or armed intervention in our continent and else where, I can only remember the (Captain Tumani Touray) coup in Mali, that resulted to a quick handover to civilian rule.
It makes me wonder what you know that makes you think that any such intervention in The Gambia would result to a quick handover to civilian rule. My own guess is that whoever comes in through the gun will probably never want to leave so soon, and may use every excuse under the sun to justify themselves.
Also, armed or military intervention is a departure from the established and legitimate route of transfer of power in any nation built on the foundations of democracy and no citizens, regardless of the circumstances (except the abrogation of our rights to decide our manner of government), should justify a route to power that contravenes the very laws we set for ourselves, as a civilised nation.
Why I oppose (2) :
(a)…There is no doubt that Yaya Jammeh is presiding over a regime that is either directly or indirectly responsible for the loss of many lives, not to mention the numerous cases of abuse, but from a legal point of view, as well as, from that of civilised behaviour of any community of modern nations, all accusations against him are mere allegations until proven otherwise, in a court of law, and I hope you will agree with me that The Gambia is indeed a nation of civilised people.
Viewed from the above perspective, I will oppose any calls for his extra-judicial execution but encourage and support calls for his arrest and prosecution, as the best outcome for The Gambia and his alleged victims, where that is possible. Killing Jammeh will also leave many unanswered questions, that may impact negatively on the national healing process, after him.
(b)… Two decades of Jammeh’s autocratic rule has created a certain reality in our governance structures and system today, where all powers emanate, revolve and reside in him alone. Individuals operating within this system and at whatever level, have to show absolute loyalty to him, whether genuine or not, and under such an environment, it will not be far fetched to assume that there will be many with subjued ambitions and motives, but all kept in check by the fear, of the power, of the dictator.
These individuals, also powerful in their own rights and with their own pockets of loyalists under their spheres of influence, are often suspicious of each other and at most times, harbour conflicting and competing motives and ambitions.
Once you remove the power that is keeping them in check, through assassination or some other violent means, you create a void and a vacuum and how this vacuum is filled is entirely out of your control. So you may up with a political situation and reality that is far worse than the one you aimed to change.
We in The Gambia have a viable and realistic option we can pursue to effect orderly political change but we need maturity, patience, a common and selflessness to succeed. This can be achieved if we put our nation first, and everything else, behind it…
There is no point in pressuring individuals, organisations or parties into rash decisions that has little or no chance of achieving anything meaningful that could not, otherwise, be achieved in an orderly and responsible manner.
Bax , in your postings , you engage in fear mongering and deliberate effort to discourage others who might pursue any method to remove Jammeh . I do not understand why you need to tell us to be patience and matured before we can succeed. Truly speaking when I read your posting , I always believe that you are too naive or deliberately distraction in this forum . You failed to understand that those who used violence means are pressured to do so because there is no level playing field which will ensure peaceful change of regime . Nobody want violence but the political condition of the country is the very one which call for it . You have dismissed every effort such as attacks at statehouse , farafenni and recent peaceful protest as not making any positive impact but it just help to worsen the situation . You do not know that Jammeh feel threaten and he is worry which is why he continue to threaten people. I do not believe that Gambia is nation of civilized people . This is because civilized society do not allow illegal killings of citizens and other Human right violations and rampant corruptions while majority sit down and careless about it . It is uncivilized and inhuman to allow such brutality to go on while majority including political leaders in Aprc , religious and community leaders keep quite . Gambia is a nation of coward because it is cowardice that our religious leaders , majority of political leaders in Aprc and majority of ordinary citizens continue to be silent and indifference to human rights violations and corruption in our country . Our cowardice is reflected on the majority of political and religious leaders who blindly follow what the dictator say or do . we have few brave men and women who continue to put their life on the line while the rest of the population sit and watch .
In your advocacy of political change through ballotbox , you failed to understand that it is least viable option considering the current political environment, even with that method there is serious consequences as evidence by recent peaceful protest . Hence you do not care about electoral reform to ensure free and fair election . All you care about is mere election and negative peace without tension . This is why i always believe that you prefer the status quo because you do not have any desire to confront it . I bet if you have a armed robber in your house , would you wait and see till he leaves on his own term while he never intend to leave your house because he claimed that the house belong to him and he can do anything he want . What would you do ? Would you leave him to live in your house with your wife and children while he continue to terrorize your family ?
Bax , have some courage in your life . Your thinking is very dangerous to world peace and security . Even the God you claimed to believe in , has allowed self defense and confrontation of evil. This is why even in the holy Quran , it was stated that those who are silenced about atrocities are liable and advocate for the crime . Islam inform and teaches the believers that they have the right to resist and confront those who oppressing them because it is part of natural laws and religious beliefs to defend themselves .
The Quran said ” As for those who after having been treated badly , bring about justice themselves , against them no action can be taken . Action will only be taken against those who are unjust to men and who without reason , become violent on the earth – these are the ones who will receive a painful punishment ” (42:41-42).
So if you truly believe in God , Quran has authorized weak and oppressed to confront oppressor therefore , your claimed that you do not support and believe in confrontations is simply hypocritical and is in defiant to the word of God .
I do not usually like to bring God in our political discourse but having study your behavior , writings or postings here , I think it is high time I confront your hypocritical positions using the the same religious you claimed to believe in . Telling truth , honesty and decency is what Islam is all about . This is why it is complete way of life . Please revisit the Quran and educate yourself .
I am not a schoolar in Islam but I heard that those who are illegally killed such as solo Sanderg have very high chance of entering paradise . So defending your rights to live your life according to your wish is indeed a natural law and religious belief . If I missed quote anything , please get back to me .
Bax , you see you stay mute because you stand for nothing . Tell us what you are for ?
The navigability of the Gambia river mustn’t at all be compromised at any costs; as this is equally essential for the very integration, trade in goods & services & free flow of people in the communities which is unique to Gambians as a people….
The river Gambia is a historic symbol whose navigability is essential to Gambians & mustn’t be altered for any reasons whatsoever in as much as ECOWAS strives to integrate the regions as a people….
However, that reason alone mustn’t be advanced, used & hide behind by EVIL yaya Killer-DEVIL & devilish advocates to score political points for their evil devilish intentions which aren’t of any interests to ordinary Gambians & ECOWAS citizens as a whole; ECOWAS should be made to invest & fund a bridge which must incorporate, retain & maintain the navigability of the Gambian river at all costs….
Bajaw , navigability of The Gambian river is not the issue or reason why Jammeh is reluctant to build the bridge . Jammeh’s refusal to build the bridge has to do with his selfish personal security reasons . The building of the bridge will be an excellent strategic interest for the weaking of Jammeh’s security within and outside The Gambia thereby makes him vulnerable for the collapse of his regime . Looking at geography of The Gambia , there are two main entries points which can be used by any insurgency , rebels or any future attackers on Jammeh’s security , one is the Barra crossing which is impossible considering the crossing distance to statehouse and the other is Bamba tenda crossing which can be easily accessible to get to kanillia and the rest of the country if there is a bridge . Jammeh believe that his security will be jeopardized when we have a bridge at Bamba tenda . Already he feel secure at the south Bank because there are rebel forces at the southern Senegal whom he rely on for his security . When we have a bridge at the Bamba tenda , it will also help Senegalese military to easily get access to rebel fighting areas in cassamance . Remember that farafenni attackers could have succeeded if there is bridge at Bamba tenda because they have already taken the military barracks in farafenni But luckily they couldn’t get access to south Bank or kanillia . It is because of these strategic security reasons that Jammeh will never allowed the bridge to be built . Neneh Macdouall is just plain lying .
In terms of economic and transportation benefits , the bridge will help to increase trade as good and services can move freely between the countries and within Gambia . It will make life so easy for travelers across the country . Gambia can also get revenue when vehicles or people cross the bridge . Nowadays , those outdated ferries in both the Barra and Bamba Tenda crossing are making life difficult for travelers and it is a disaster in waiting to happen soon if those ferries continue to operate . But unfortunately , Dictator Jammeh did not care about the security and general welfare of Gambians . Any decision taken by Yaya Jammeh is purely for his personal interest which include his political , security and economic interest . This is how Jammeh operate in the past 21 years .
Max what Bax doesn’t seem to understand is that fighting Jammeh should and can be multifaceted, lets try multiple fronts, closing the border is the financial front, the Senegalese know Jammeh gets his funding from illegal sale of timer, marijuana and God knows what else from Cassamace. Where do you think he gets the funds which he uses to buy Gambians from. Trust me when that well dries those after him for his crumbs will disappear.
The diaspora when we cut the crap should form a coordinating group to fight him on the international stage. For example when we speak with one voice we can send representatives to meet ambassadors, the US State Department, Congress, Senate UN, EU and other international organizations. I know there are well educated Gambians how wont mind taking this task on.
This strategy when combined with a serious, sincere united opposition will uproot the Pig and his cancerous APRC.
First of all we have to be serious, choose and defend to be Gambians first. It is about time we adopt a by all means necessary approach.
@Hammer : “Max what Bax doesn’t seem to understand is that fighting Jammeh should and can be multifaceted…”
It all depends on what is incorporated in this “Multi-faceted” approach. I certainly don’t agree with some of the strategies that Max advocates and I cannot agree with calls to completely suffocate The Gambian People by closing the land, air (and probably sea) routes.
I do agree with financial restrictions and other measures that target specific areas of the economy and certain individuals within the regime, but not a blanket closure of border and air space to everyone and everything..Such measures could have far more damaging effects on the general population than on state officials.
There is no or very little merit in the argumnet that Jammeh does not want to build the bridge because of his persoanl security interest alone. No country can stop its infrastructural development because of security interest alone. Senegal is far more advanced militarily and technically and therefore even without a bridge they could easily invade the Gambia by land, sea and air if they so desire and overthrow a government as they had done in 1981.
My view is that Neneh Macduall Gaye used the bridge issue just to score a point by saying ‘we want a change in the design of the bridge’. Why should the Gambia government not advance that thinking to their partners instead of keeping quiet for all these while so that they could look into that instead of waiting up till a discussion on the border crisis?
The idea of an open bridge was advanced to the Gambia government well before an agreement was reached regarding the construction of the bridge. Why didn’t they not put that before their counterparts if that was what they desire?
If it is the consideration of the rebellion in Cassamance, the Senegalese military has already got a foothold and sandwiched the rebels in a small area. So Cassamance is of little consequence here.
Definitely true Maxs; we all know the navigability of the Gambia river isn’t the real issue; in fact EVIL yaya DEVIL & devilish enablers won’t have hesitated to construct the bridge had it involved any personal gains or interests for yaya KILLER jammeh without considering the river’s navigability in the first place regardless of what or how anyone feels…..
However, it’s in Gambian territorial interest for the navigability of the Gambian river not to be obstructed for whatever reasons; there’re all sorts of bridge models, being draw, open or static bridge that can be built over Yelli & Bamba tenda without obstructing or limiting the navigability of the river which is equally essential & vital to retaining our country’s natural features & uniqueness for us as a people….
The kanilai KILLER DEVIL & devilish cohorts are just using the issue politically to hide behind….
It is important to discuss the issue of the bridge at Farafenni and the reasons for its delay. For those wishing to read the background papers here is the link to the outlines http://bit.ly/1RdV6X4 and the social and environmental impact study. http://bit.ly/27IYg15 it is simply not credible to now say the design does not allow river transport. Where were the Gambian experts where the bridge was being consulted on? Did they all over look this? Unbelievable!
Mabali Bansa, thanks for the link . I think looking at the project document , it is in the best interest of Gambians to have this bridge . That is what its report even concluded . The only thing I didn’t see here is the security implications , may be I didn’t read well but that is the only thing left out in my view . Jammeh being paranoid and fearful , is always thinking about his security in any major project in The Gambia . Let us look at the Arch 22 , why did he never allow Vehicle to pass through ? It is because he is fearful and paranoid . Unless we recognize that security is the main issue in Jammeh’s mind , he will continue to outsmart us in every aspect . If it is his economic interest , he would allow it because many of his businesses will see significant improvement when we have bridge since it is close to his home village and cassamance . But it is security concern that is why he is delaying it .
There are different types of bridge . A draw bridge will be a good one which will have limited impact on navigability of Gambian river . In many advance countries , you have such bridge.
Yero Ba , please try to think outside the box in every thing you do . A rigged mentality you developed as a result of pdois indoctrination is limiting your horizons about how you see national issue . This is the problem of Pdois and mr sallah . So please I would encourage you to take a moment and try to think how Jammeh might be thinking . You also need to do what political strategists or pundits called ” opposition research ” because you need to know the enemy very well in order to defeat him . My counters with any of disciples indicated to me that you do not care to know the common enemy , dictator Jammeh .
@Max….”Please tell us what is the best method to remove Jammeh without consequences .”
Comment : If you care to listen to what others are saying, rather than being immersed (in mind) in your own little world, you would not have asked the above question.
I have stated many, many times that my preferred method of seeking political change is through the ballot box and I believe it presents the most realistic option, under our Gambian circumstances.
I acknowledge the fact that many hold different views, and I respect that, but unless they can show why their choice of preferred change is better and more realistic than mine, I will continue to differ.
I don’t know where you are going with this “no consequences” thing, but I hope you are not suggesting that to be my views, because I have never stated that effecting change in The Gambia can be done without consequences. This is because there is no activity in life that has no consequences, so it’s a bit daft to even ask such a question.
But if you mean death as a consequence of political actions to seek change, then my view on that is simple :
I will NOT SUPPORT calls to abandon the sensible democratic means and adopt unnecessary strategy of confrontation with a regime that has made its intentions very clear to everyone, unless all avenues to our expression for democratic change has been closed off.
Nevertheless, I respect the rights of anybody who wants to adopt their own strategy for change, but I will disagree and caution against any strategy that is adopted just for its own sake. And I will certainly criticise those who call for a confrontation but have no desire to partake in any such actions.
Furthermore, I do not dismiss the need to sacrifice for one’s country, but any sacrifice of human life, under Gambia’s current circumstances. cannot be worthy (to me) if the gains are insignificant. Human life is too precious to be lost for virtually nothing and those who say this is alright, should look at themselves again.
I know you will disagree with me but personally, I do not see the gains that the Farafeni, Kartong and State House attacks have achieved for the anti-Jammeh struggle, when the price paid is considered, and whilst no definitive observations can be made about the 14th & 16th incidents, as events are still ongoing, the gains up to this stage, are unfortunately, very hard to see.
Sacrifice of lives only makes sense when the gains far outweigh the price paid. If there irrupts mass popular actions that either topples the regime or forces it to amend its ways and start behaving like a government, then the sacrifices would be worthy.
Can you tell me what has changed since that fateful tragedy of December 30th or April 14th & 16th..? Isn’t Jammeh on tour at this very moment and as ever defiant as anytime before..? Isn’t business continuing as usual for the regime, though lives have been lost and others tortured, whilst others are being prosecuted..?
Finally, in your usual misreading of events leading to wrong conclusions, you claimed that the Farafeni attack failed because there was no bridge. Nothing could be further from the truth. That operation and the ones after/before it failed because they could not build upon their initial successes.
They were anticipating that members of the armed forces and the population would support them once they capture a particular military installation and the process of change would begin, but they miscalculated badly, either from failed intelligence or misreading of the Gambian situation, and so they failed, regardless of absence of a bridge.
Bax , Dictators in anywhere are always defiant . Have you seen a dictator who is so cool and never being defiant . Defiant is the trademark of any dictator . Saddam Hussain and Gaddafie were all defiant to their graves . Dictatorship is phenomena
Which is characterize by defiant , arrogant , divisiveness , intolerance , mystification and lies . You need to study dictatorship then you will have an idea about what we have in The Gambia ., you and your fellow disciples have no idea what a dictatorship is .,
Dealing with you is very difficult because there is no coherence in your approach to subjects under discussion. I know dictators are arrogant, defiant, etc but that doesn’t answer my query.
My query was that recent happenings in The Gambia were meant to force the dictator to change his ways (ie, carry out electoral reform and release detainees) but to date, that has not happened.
I pointed to his tour of the country and defiant mood, to proof to you that nothing has changed in the behaviour of Yaya Jammeh, leading me to ask whether the price (lose of life, torture of some and incarceration and prosecution of others) is worth paying for whatever gains you want to conjure up, as a result of these events.
A coherent approach to the discussion would have been responding to that particular query, rather than veering off into what Saddam and Gaddafi were like. Do you know how long those two have been in power before they were deposed, which would probably not have happened, without foreign military intervention.?
That actually vindicates my calls for patience because uprooting an entrenched dictatorship is not an easy feat, and whether you believe it or not, the nature of Gambia’s dictatorship is more complex than that of both Saddam and Gaddafi, because of our political history and close knit cultural and family ties, due to obviously, our very small size and inter-relatedness.
I agree that the electoral system is not free and fair, but I will put it to you that the electoral system, even under the PPP, has never been free and fair, but the players kept participating in it, whilst pointing out the flaws and fighting for reforms at the same time.
Of course, the UDP, NRP and GPDP were not around then, but there must be plenty of material in PDOIS/Foroyaa archives, detailing the corruption, flagrant and rampant violations of an already unfair and skewed electoral system. So unfair and flawed electoral system is no excuse to call for the complete abandoning of the elections route.
But dictatorships can be defeated through the ballot box when the right strategies are deployed, and I would use this opportunity to ask you to familiarise yourself with one particular dictatorship in Africa, because of its remarkable resemblance to our own.
Please take time and read about the rise of Major Mathew Kerekou to power in Dahoney in1972 (which he changed to Benin), his style of leadership, the struggles against his dictatorship (including coup attempts and armed incursion) and how he was forced to accept reforms and was eventually defeated at the polls in 1991.
And of course, Allah (swt) commands that injustice be fought by all believers, but I will caution you to be careful when you wish to use Quranic quotations to make political points, because Quranic Verses have context which gives them their meanings, and unless you have a profound understanding of these, it is unwise to quote from the Quran in other to make a point..
since you are calling for patience, when do you think is the best time in your mind to uproot Jammeh’s dictatorship? Do you think 22 years is not enough?
Bax, if you know dictators are always defiant and arrogance then why are you asking if anything change since the protest? Do you see your contradiction in your own statement and questions ? Your question is irrelevant and this is why I stated that Saddam and Gaddafie were defiant to their graves. Jammeh being defiant is not an intelligent factor to assess the outcome of the peaceful protest. He will always be defiant and that is why he is a dictator. But confused people like you never considered him a dictator.
It is foolish to bring up the PPP political and governance era to showcase Jammeh’s electoral fraud. Jammeh claimed that he came to rectify the PPP regime and now if you are using the same silly argument to discourage electoral reform or to advocate for election without electoral reforms.
Your call for patience is the latest effort of your continue propaganda to maintain the status quo.
It shows your indifference and lack of interest to bring change in The Gambia . History has shown that you are the type of people who believe that ” oppressed people must remain oppress ” which is why you continue to call for patience and question the rationality and the outcome of the peaceful protest . If the world had listened to your type of people , today most African countries and Black people in USA would still be in colonialism and slavery. It is weak and naive mindset you have . It is mindset of skeptics and cynics who didn’t believe in improbable journey of Human desire to freedom and who continue to discourage people of good will .
It is not true to claim that the nature of Gambian dictatorship is more complex than Saddam and Gaddafie’s dictatorship . Saddam and Gaddafie’s dictatorship had political , tribal and cultural similarities to The Gambia . Just like Gambian dictator, both of these dictators came from minority tribe which were used in military as leaders , in government as ministers and many top positions to oppress citizens and became key part of military dictatorship in both countries .You need to read my article on Baba k Jobe then you will fully understand Gambian dictatorship . Saddam and Gaddafie has more international connections , support , or anything than Jammeh . Burkina Faso’s dictator also had more complex dictatorship than Jammeh because of its powerful military and international connections and support but he is gone now thanks to ordinary people .
Regarding the religious belief in politics , As expected , you went straight to the play book of those religious hypocrites who only talk about the word of God when it is convenient and it suit their political interest . I don’t expect anything different from you on that topic .