Of Gambia’s Protesting Soldiers

By Suma Jaffuneh

The video of a Gambian soldier publicly expressing hatred for ECOWAS forces in Foni is indicative of the serious intellectual and psychological damages caused by Yahya Jammeh on all the fringes of the main force in charge of maintaining our territorial integrity. When a soldier is unable to hold his tongue and pronounces a discourse that ignites discord at the helm of a crisis situation, it is a clear sign to the state authorities that the danger is eminent and more than real.

What the populations of Kanilai and the Fonis are asking for is nothing less than the rejection of both the ECOWAS stabilization forces and the troops of the Gambian army in their area. It is simply a rejection of the men who represent the facial outfit of what is perceive by them as a humiliation and disgrace following the incredible downfall and forced exile of Yahya Jammeh.

Suffice to note that the timing of this last challenge to the State by Kanilai and the Foni is not accidental. It happens after the freezing of Yahya Jammeh’s assets and properties, and the huge disappointment of his die-hard APRC supporters after Yahya Jammeh did not return to The Gambia to celebrate his birthday, despite the rumors and the rehearsal recently organized in Kanilai by his party. Which is a real psychological shock that clearly indicates to his factions in the Foni that Yahya Jammeh is now part of the history of The Gambia.

The question now remains whether the authorities had anticipated this scenario and address the situation while taking into account Yahya Jammeh’s catastrophic legacy which remnants are still toxically operational? The truth is that the revolts in the Foni, Kartong, Gunjur, Bakoteh, Farato or Bakau are of various causes and origins. But each constitutes a challenge of which the response by Gambian authorities is very smartly assessed by Jammeh die-hards. Any bad response to a crisis is an opportunity for them to construct the next stage of defying the authority of the State.

While it is true that the use of force punctually solved a problem on Friday in Kanilai, the danger remains and continues to be serious. That’s why Adama Barrow’s government should be encourage to consider more cabinet teamwork and a more coordinated government action on all the issues that can cause tension in areas of potential uprising due to Yahya Jammeh’s legacy. This must be done with the local elected representatives, the traditional chiefs and the heads of associations of these areas. It is all about being inclusive and proactive than reactive.



  1. I don’t know where you reside in the Gambia, but it a sure bet that if you had Senegalese soldiers breathing down your next in your neighbourhood, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, you too would sooner of latter be hauling insults at them. People live in civil communities, and though may not wish to stop strangers from visiting, naturally will feel edgy if they feel surrounded by machine gun toting soldiers no matter the reason, and that’s the real problem. How would you like it though innocent of any wrong doing, for your community to be kept under intense surveillance for a capital crime 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days in the year? Sooner or latter the penny is bound to drop!
    Yaha Jammeh’s crimes are not soley Foni’s crimes, through out the length and breath of the country Yahya won votes over 22 years.

  2. The biggest mistake was to allow Jammeh to go Scott free and the new administration did not immediately seize his ill-gotten assets. President Barrow and the Coalition should have allowed Ecomig forces to bomb kanillia to Stone Age and completely destroy the whole housing complex which Jammeh build over the years. You cannot negotiate with an evil dictator because he will always have plans to do evil things . Gambians needs to get rid of naivety and understand that Jammeh and his Jola rebels in cassamance are Existential threat to Gambia we know right now . Jammeh’s dream is to secede Foni from The Gambia and annex with cassamance. Unless the new administration completely destroys kanillia or take complete control of all of kanillia, arrest all the criminals , there will be threat . Right now people like Vice President and Fabakary Jatta should be arrested. These people are still communicating with Jammeh .

  3. Scared
    Just like your pen name; “…Do good; nothing happens to you…” If you aren’t in the know & not born then; by the 1981 Kukoi samba Sanyang MURDEROUS rebellion the same Senegalese soldiers were hosted right in the midst of settlements before; especially in the Kombos but all peaceful Gambians hosted & lived with them happily until end of their mandate; as recent as before your EVIL kanilai IBILZ(A) Lucifer was flushed down the toilet out of Gambia soldiers were deployed in every corner in Banjul & Kombos; yet, throughout the 22 BLOOD-DRENCHED MURDEROUS kanilai FIEFDOM years soldiers were “breathing down your very necks” in Foni? Maybe instead of the Nyangkatang (bare-rice) you & your likes had your infectious tentacles buried into the ill-gotten rice, meat & stew (Benna-chin/Jollofrice) freely strewn about; stolen from the hard-earned taxpayers’ moneys; which you the infectious bunch unreasonably assume was to continue unending for life…??

    “The penny only dropped” with the recent freezing of the ill-gotten funds & assets with the rude awakening of some of you the pathetic bunch just like your EVIL kanilai KILLER master DEVIL who thought was only on some holiday sort, only to sneak through the back in some amnesty brokerage to come & preside over the MURDEROUS rebellion which is now mainly hibernate underground temporarily to resume back to the habitual butchering of innocent blood & lives…???

    You the pathetic bunch & your MURDEROUS kanilai EVIL demigod must be in “coo-coo” or yet voodoo -land if you assume Gambians, taught from recent past DEVILISH experience, will take anything for granted again from now on…

    • Trust me, We hated, and still hate Jammeh’s murderous regime as much as anyone. I personally have lost people to his regime. But that is hardly the issue now. If Jammeh’s regime was divisive, Its stands to reason that this regime should be unifying, and that means carrying everyone along with us. And as I wrote elsewhere, two wrongs have never made a right. We should stop thinking of Foni as Jammeh, it is not. I was an Agricultural extension worker for many years in the Gambia and have worked throughout the length and breath of the country including Foni, and that was before Jammeh’s murderous regime, and I can only say what I have learnt experienced in Foni and other places – united today, we stand to go forward – divided we will surely fall. Its no longer about the past but where we go as a nation from here!

  4. Baks Tamba

    Let the Foni people come to terms with the realities and desist from trouble making. We are all watching them. Let them make no mistake of causing any civil strive in the Gambia, Their actions are disgusting. We know the jola people of being very hard working, friendly selfless and honest. Jammeh has really bastardized these characteristics of a real Jola

  5. Now is the time for the Government to give Civic Education Council and any other person who has the capability free access to GRTS on daily basis to be educating our people on all issues to prevent incidents like the ones in Farato and Kanilai. All of us need to be enlightened otherwise incidents like these will be re-occurring in our country no matter what the government do and I’m afraid they could lead to a civil strive.

    The standoff with Yahya Jammeh seem to be over now but we are still at a risk of going into another crises if the situation is not handle well by government. In my view the best way to do so is for the state to embark on Civil Education right away and also to give people hope by coming up with a transition programme which will be preoccupying their minds. Without this I am afraid for our future.

  6. Scared
    With whosoever you can pretentiously claim to be on here, you sound unreal exposing your pathetic self more anytime you open your gob…
    You people claim to be concerned to be “left-out” but were never ever concerned that the whole Gambia were left-out for the past 22 MURDEROUS kanilai FIEFDOM years; whilst you busied your senseless pathetic selves scrambling for biscuits, rice, meat, stew & dates (tamaray) being thrown at you in exchange for the MURDEROUS BARBARITIES & cold-blood murders of innocent lives including some “relatives” of yours as you pretentiously claiming; are you listening to yourself…?
    You never ever protested/demonstrated, yet even mentioned anything on the media pages then…??
    You protest against the selfless ECOMIG soldiers & GNA “breathing down your necks” but were never ever concerned about the criminal landmines blowing decent innocent lives in the very same neighbourhood; because some of your pathetic bunch are in the know & can avoid where these despicable devices are buried about for the innocent decent inhabitants & others plying the regions…???
    It’s NOT government’s Only, BUT incumbent upon ALL decent peoples, citizens &/ otherwise, to engage in civic awareness for the peaceful harmonious coexistence of the whole Gambia especially with the supposed “wealth of experience” of the calibre of who you claim here to be; for our relatives, neighbours & communities listens & pays more attention to one of their own, than anybody else…
    Mohammed (SAW) teaches – “…help your neighbour…” Followers responded “…we know how to help by sticking together & standby, with &/ for, when the neighbour is wronged but what if the neighbour wrongs?…” The NOBLE Soul (God bless him & us all) responded – “…tell the neighbour the (naked) truth as it is…” Which can be implied – to go against your neighbour when they transgressed &/ gone astray…

    • Government been the entity entrusted with running the affairs of the people, it is it’s responsibility to ensure that they are conscious of all the issues that affect their life. The blame for the ignorance of our people on many issues affecting their lives today lay on the previous governments of PPP and APRC not individual citizens.

      This is so because they are the ones who were in charge of the Radio and the television and all the wealth of the country. They had all the means and the opportunity to ensure that the people are enlightened. I think they fail in their responsibility because they did not see that as their interest to do so. All what they were interested in was how to cling on to power. This present government must be different from the previous ones in that regard.

      Civic Education Council have the capacity to do so but they were constrained by finance and access to the public media which belong to the people. These are the issues they put before president Barrow yesterday when they visited him. I only hope he will also not pay lip-service to civic education like his predecessors.

      Let’ think and act as ” One Gambia, One Nation, One People”

  7. But who is got a right to be believed? Come on… we only have a right to reason from each other. Guess what others think of you when you refute their claims of being innocent victims of the murderous Kaninlai……so so so and so…..Man, it’s people’s right to reason and hold an opinion. It’s​ people’s right to buy them or not. No one is compelled to acquiesce to how others think or believe in others’ claims. However, it is our senses of reasonings and understandings we hope can go from strength to strength.

  8. Bourne
    Simple logic of truth establishment in Scared’s claims would require at least some request if NOT a demand for investigations, redress & justice for his/her own “peoples” claimed to have been butchered by the kanilai KILLER DEVIL; NOT just brushed away as “not hardly an issue now” anymore as stated above…
    You’ll wonder if that is indeed realistic or made-up; won’t ya…?

  9. Especially when they are on here demanding for justice for the shot demonstrators, as we all do; what makes the lives of those shot by ECOMIG “special & better than” his/her own “people killed by DEVIL yaya” before…??
    What makes it “cool” & acceptable for EVIL kanilai DEVIL to kill Scared’s own people but that can now turn quite unacceptable for whatsoever reasons…???

  10. Sure Fabaks; read my above statement again, you’ll construe that we’re both saying the same differently; can’t agree more on the abdication of responsibilities by the last two governments, whilst imploring on the current government to live up to expectations…
    Mine went further to inclusively indicate that it’s not necessarily governments’ ONLY BUT ALL & everyone are mandatorily bound Constitutionally to take upon ourselves individually to engage & compliment the government efforts wherever & whenever possible, for those resources can never be sufficient to finish the job alone; for our communities listens & pays closer attentions to one of their very own…
    Thank you.

  11. Fabaks

    I hastily responded when I got to work this morning; now on my dinner break, can add that…
    The logic & relevance behind my call for individuals engagements into Civic Awareness of communities alongside government is that; hence governments can dictate, manipulate, &/ influence the contents of the civic awareness programs or even under-fund &/ refuse to fund in some instances, independent individuals can’t fall to such dictates &/ manipulations…
    With the individual engagements from scratch under the first (PPP) government that would’ve taken care of awareness issues which would’ve surely averted the vacuum leading to the past 22 barbaric years &/ catastrophic murderous hooliganism inappropriately referred to as “aprc government”…
    We don’t require specific state funds for such most effective ways of bettering our communal society collectively…
    Thank you

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