DECOMMISSION THE FRAUDULENT SECURITY SECTOR REFORM VENTURE
This paper is to discuss among other things the Gambia’s unachievable and fraudulent Security-Sector Reform (SSR) dragging for almost three years now with nothing significant to show for the protracted venture. I don’t believe in its feasibility due to the fictitious conjecture on which the whole conviction was conceived.
But bear with me to first reflect on the distressful activities of the Senegalese Transport Union that recently broke all national and international protocols, to provocatively shut down our borders again, triggering succession of cautionary remarks from disappointed Gambians with almost everyone directly blaming President Mackey Sall and his government of verging on betraying the trust of President Adama Barrow who has been unflinchingly loyal to him since Senegal’s leading role in removing the APRC government out of power in 2016.
I was in fact forwarded an interesting video trending on social media where the eloquent Mr Nyang Njie, bemoaning it in lucid Wolof and sounding very persuasive, cautioning President Mackey Sall to dutifully intervene and resolve the problem as soon as possible; although on a broader perspective, a good number of equally concerned Gambians seemed far more rancorous over the persistent badgering, demanding nothing short of the Gambia Transport Union carrying out their threat of reciprocating the deplorable behavior by closing our borders to Senegalese commercial traffic as well.
Folks, how long ago was it for us not to be able to recall the numerous times Ex-President Jammeh had resorted to such extreme retaliatory measures against this shenanigan without any tangible outcome? Or are we that blinded by the resentment concealed against him to consciously block our memories of those past incidents? The Senegalese then, having no control over our government had repeatedly flouted every remedy proffered let alone when they are presently in full control of our government. Just fancy the composition and specifically the head of the team dispatched to Senegal to negotiate for a settlement and tell me what kind of favorable bargain Gambians should expect from such disingenuous brokers.
Sadly, the mission was prematurely aborted due to the sudden death of Mr. Yahya Jallow (RIP) the deputy to the Senegalese delegation leader Mr. Foday Seck, a tragedy I believe was conveniently exploited to temporarily sweep the quandary under the carpet. It simply mirrors the quintessential maxim of putting an ordinary bandage on a septic wound hoping it to heal without proper medication.
Can we find some professional journalists to investigate what the heck has been going on since Mr. Jallow was laid to rest?
Thus, no matter how well intended the Nyang Njies are with all the empirical evidences illustrated to Mackey Sall, emphasizing how deeply interrelated Gambians are with Senegalese by virtue of culture, heritage and all whatnot, down to our most common genome, the crux of the matter is that Senegal will never compromise their dogmatic stance on this border siege. I don’t know what part of the genesis of this blockade effectuated against the Gambia since September 1989 can’t we still comprehend. Sir Dawda Jawara’s government from 1989 to 1994 and Jammeh’s, 1994 to 2016 had on numerous occasions litigated its illegality at subregional (ECOWAS), continental(AU) and global (UN) arbitration-boards but always had failed to gain their compliance.
Of course, they had during the PPP era routinely justified it by accusing President Sir Dawda Jawara of betraying their confederation agreement in 1989; whereas during the APRC era they blamed it on President Jammeh’s funding and harboring of MFDC insurgents from Cassamance. I am keenly waiting to hear their excuse for doing the same thing to President Adama Barrow.
Then to their delight came the 2016 election impasse that provided them the golden opportunity to finally take ownership of the government of the Gambia headed by President Adama Barrow, making sure he was inaugurated and properly indoctrinated in Dakar, a reality our average politicians don’t ever want to concede.
I will continue reiterating Senegal’s ownership of the current Gambia government since witnessing in New York how that was treacherously acquired from capitalizing on the naivety of certain unscrupulous Gambians, precisely our own diplomats who are now rewarded with strategic appointments in key government positions, at home and abroad, to maintain the deception for as long as endurable by the Gambian people.
For later analysis, I wish to reflect on an interesting debate held in 2019 at the UTG involving again Mr. Nyang Njie and Mr. Madi Joberteh on an interesting political topic.
A captivating question from the audience, sarcastically answered by Mr. Njie asked why the stakeholders had to settle for the caliber of President Adama Barrow out of the bottomless reservoir of intellectuals and politically astute candidates available in 2016 when nominating the Coalition Party’s flag bearer. A rather condescending reference of the president.
“We would have even settled for Mickey Mouse just to get rid of Yahya Jammeh”, was Mr. Njie’s response sparking off choral applause and laughter from the floor.
Speaking impartiality, I will add that President Barrow, at one time challenged the source of such humiliating remarks when he denounced all his post-election critics questioning his intellectual competence as people of no substance other than being bunch of cowards, scared to death of confronting Jammeh the lion during the heat of the struggle until with raw guts he grabbed his shield and sword and killed the feared cat in the political arena.
Hence, attributing his victory primarily to his fortitude, coupled with his indoctrination in Dakar, he, in time, had to let his fellow stakeholders appreciate his supreme ambition of fulfilling the binding agreements he had signed in Senegal as being more important for his survival than all protocols initially endorsed with his coalition partners; because given how events had unfolded, he had no doubt in his mind that the pivotal support that actually put him in the presidential seat originated from nobody but from his “Brother” President Mackey Sall, period. And claiming anything otherwise by Gambians, male or female, young or old would be utter nonsense and a ploy to undermine his Allah-gifted “Mansayaa”.
Unquestionably, if Senegal didn’t spearhead the aggressive deception wielded to mobilize the international community into approving the ECOMIG military force that invaded and occupied the Gambia in 2017, the Coalition Party members alone wouldn’t have stood a chance of forcing the APRC out of power. No matter how we like to defend it the two different election results announced by the IEC on December 2 & 5, 2016, provided ample good reasons for President Jammeh to challenge and dispute the credibility of the conduct of the elections.
But the real “atteh Nyakka” happened when Senegal’s ambassador to the UN, Mr. Foday Seck arrived at the Gambian Embassy office on the 7th Floor of Building 336 East on 45th Street in New York City on December 9, 2016 to seek and got the cooperation of the Gambian ambassadors abroad, mandating Senegal to remove the APRC government from power by force; unfortunately, the puppets excluded in the transaction any terms and conditions for the juicy offer and never cared for the ramifications as long as they were guaranteed good jobs.
That was the very day the Coalition-party stakeholders lost all control of their leadership and dream government, subsequently cracking the alliances into flagrant job seekers and apathetic mavericks, unwilling to admit the obvious that Senegal had actually outmaneuvered them in the tactic of political deception.
That said, I think a sincere and unselfish agreement by our pawns with Mr. Foday Seck should have incorporated our national aspiration of ultimately lifting the border embargo that had for over thirty years suffocated the Gambian economy both under Jawara and Jammeh and now under vulnerable Alagie Adama Barrow.
If my memory serves me right I think Honorable Hamat Bah, after being pushed to his limit over the issue, once mustered the courage to call on the Senegalese government to stop the mischief but was perhaps emphatically waned to desist from the criticism or else……….. Why wasn’t the honorable minister so passionate about the tribulation a part of the negotiating emissaries to Dakar? Or still, why was he so quiet in the latest incident more serious than the experience he had protested about?
Come what may, I still stand by my contention that surrendering our presidential guard duties to Senegalese forces is by intention and practice unacceptable and unsustainable. It is equally nauseating to have Senegalese warmongers disguised as “ECOMIG”, indefinitely occupying our land with their full knowledge that our young army was founded and maintained purely on peacekeeping and peace building operations and not at all for fighting reckless wars.
In his inaugural speech delivered in my presence, the current UN Secretary General , Antonio Guterres on January 1, 2017, condemned all wars fought now as being un-winnable and too reckless to wage. He never endorsed the Mackey Sall plan to fight a war in the Gambia although the European Union and Dr. Muhammad Ibn Chambers harboring ultra motives were poised to support it to the last dead Gambia.
That brings me to the main theme of this discussion.
Regrettably, in December 2016, the falsehood choreographed by our disgraceful diplomats with charlatan Mr. Foday Seck and marketed all over the world proclaimed that the Gambia Armed Forces was a militia hub for recruiting, training and harboring MFDC rebels from Cassamance, strengthened by a sizable remnant of Charles Taylor’s hardcore-Liberian guerrilla fighters.
All those “insurgents” were to be killed or captured according to the operation orders prepared at the Senegalese Armed Forces Headquarters in Dakar. As for the survivors, if any, a comprehensive shakedown of the Gambia Armed Forces was to follow starting from the confiscation of the undeserved ranks worn by almost every senior officer, promoted by Jammeh on standards incompatible with global military practice. The real MFDC rebels in the payroll- all Jolas- were to be dismissed and deported. Yes, this was the fabricated tale on which the Gambia was to be invaded, occupied and earmarked for the ongoing bogus Security Sector Reform.
Analytically though, whereas dissidents were exhilarated over the prospects of removing Jammeh and replacing him with “even Mickey Mouse”, our ambassadors, ocean away, overwhelmed by greed were signing the Gambia’s political abdication treaty with Mr. Foday Seck empowering Senegal to take over the Gambia politically and militarily. An action that they didn’t know would be weaponized to slowly and surely destroy our economy until we finally succumb to their long-pursued dream of federating the two countries on their own terms, a nightmare stiffly rejected by Jawara and Jammeh to the end.
Thanks to the peaceful orientation on which the Gambia Armed forces was constituted and sustained over the past twenty-five years, our civilized soldiers avoided falling for the trap of being butchered as “Cassamance rebels & Liberian guerrillas” and instead peacefully welcomed the dogs-of war with opened arms and even warmly organized receptions and banquets for their officers.
To be completed in the next publication. Thanks for reading.
New York City