With reference to the political tug of war looming over Gambians and The Gambia, there is the need to lash out some of the concerns of peace loving Gambians who see the involvement of Senegalese media and political authorities as inflammatory, malicious and uncalled for from a country Gambians recognize as a sister country and neighbor. The recent comments and remarks from both their government and media is not doing anything to help in the political situations but inciting hate and violence amongst The Gambians. The Gambia and Gambians have always respected Senegal, but not this time when they are not wishing all to end well in The Gambia and breaching its sovereignty.With reference to the political tug of war looming over Gambians and The Gambia, there is the need to lash out some of the concerns of peace loving Gambians who see the involvement of Senegalese media and political authorities as inflammatory, malicious and uncalled for from a country Gambians recognize as a sister country and neighbor. The recent comments and remarks from both their government and media is not doing anything to help in the political situations but inciting hate and violence amongst The Gambians. The Gambia and Gambians have always respected Senegal, but not this time when they are not wishing all to end well in The Gambia and breaching its sovereignty.
These are not attitudes Gambians expected from a sister country as Senegal, whose citizens have ever been welcomed and hosted in The Gambia as brothers because of our cultural and tribal relations. Senegalese and their political authorities need to aware of the fact that their interference in the 1981 conflict, even though hailed by Gambians as the means to peace, amounts to war crimes and atrocities that went unpunished. This is not because Gambians are not aware of those crimes their soldiers committed against innocent civilians but because of the sisterly ties of our two countries. There are mass graves that attest to their crimes, atrocities, arbitrary arrests, detentions and death sentences without trials executed by their armed forces. Those war crimes, though buried with the past, can never be forgotten by most Gambians who witnessed the 1981 conflict. These attitudes are not expected of a country hailed as democratic with its citizenry highly educated.
When the political tug of war broke out in the Gambia it seems it has been the wish of all Senegalese media and their political authority to see an outbreak of conflict and violence as they have been broadcasting very malicious information throughout with the wish to see The Gambia in conflict. We have even heard of their armed forces flexing muscles with contempt agitated to invade our country with the pretext of goodwill and a helping hand. This is not the case with our neighbors beyond as, Ghana, Liberia, Nigeria and Sierra Leone who manifested the real gesture of goodwill that Senegal should have manifested. Senegal has so far trampled upon The Gambia’s trademark of patience, peace, perseverance and tolerance that over a hundred thousand Senegalese citizens have been enjoying in this country. They have really insulted our patience and goodwill by replacing it for cowardice and ignorance. Was it not a mere football match that the Senegalese public viciously attacked Gambian supporters almost escalating violence the Gambian authorities were able to handle more than they did?
Senegal has a lot of unsettled matters within their boundaries and beyond that they are not qualified to usher peace and tranquility in The Gambia. Casamance, crimes within their country, Mali and Ivory Coast are matters they need to be more concern that little and small Gambia.
Their involvement in the Yemeni crises is another evidence of the confusions, misconceptions and hypocrisy of the Senegalese political authority. The steps the Senegalese media and political authorities are taking in The Gambia’s political tug of war are unacceptable and must be withdrawn immediately and more matured steps taken. The steps they are taking are not exemplary of a neighbor and sister country hailed for its democratic values and discipline. Democratic values can never be instituted by violence or incitement of violence and conflict. It is not the quality of good neighborliness and equals to a political crime. The present political authority in Senegal may not be aware of the meaning of true sovereignty because they are a vassal state or province of France. So they may be misguided by their misconceptions and take Gambia as a province of Senegal. The Gambia is not Casamance and the unsuccessful measures take against Casamance cannot be taken against The Gambia. The war crimes they committed in 1981 if not raised at The Hague can no longer be tolerated by Gambians. The Gambia has never meddled in the internal conflicts of Senegal and for the sake of mutual respect Senegal must take very cautious measures in the political tug of war in the Gambia if they want to be regarded as goodwill neighbors and relatives. They are manifesting the highest degree of hatred for The Gambia and Gambians.
Gone are the days when Gambians cannot take care of their political differences in peace. Gambians are more capable of solving their political differences and conflicts in peace than Senegal whose political solutions have always turned violent with loss of lives. This is the culture of Senegal’s ways of solving their problems, it has never been in peace for it is only violence they know and so want to judge Gambians with their standards of violent conflict solutions. No and never, this is not The Gambia’s way and if taken is very alien or foreign. Even though the majority of Senegalese want to see The Gambia turned violence, there are a few Senegalese goodwill and God-fearing friends and partners who want to see a peaceful solution to the political standstill. Any political authority, media house or entity in Senegal that wants to see a violent solution to The Gambian political tug of war has no concern and love for his people and country because over tens of thousands of Senegalese, their relatives or family members reside in The Gambia as their only home and have nowhere to go, because Senegal with all its development and industrialization has over hundred thousand Senegalese grazing in The Gambia’s meager resources, underdevelopment and poverty where Gambians cannot in Senegal. Therefore all Senegalese including their political authorities need to give maximum respect to all Gambians as Gambia is a subsidiary grazing ground not only for poor Senegalese but even their entertainment elite. War crimes can never be avoided or prevented by military or armed interventions. It is gross stupidity to quench a fire with petrol or gasoline though it is liquid; it is only water that can quench it. So any military or armed intervention is a very primitive and barbaric decision that can only be suggested by very desperate and ignorant people or political figures in the 21st century. It has failed in all situations it has been used as the means to solve political problems and so must not even be thought of in small but peaceful Gambia.
There is also an appeal from all goodwill Gambians, friends and partners to all the sides in the political tug of war to reason and understand that without the people there is no reason to rule, so the tranquility and peace of The Gambia and its people need to be given priority in solving the problem and the sooner the better for The Gambia our homeland and its diverse peoples. The trademark of Gambian nationality needs to be safeguarded and preserved at all times no matter what. There needs to be not only faith, but the TRUST and FEAR of The Almighty Allah to achieve this. God bless The Gambia, preserve its peace and guide and protect The Gambia from the evil and perils that roam the dark and depths.
By Celestine Kujabi,