APRC leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta, FTJ, has said The Gambia has lost so much of its sovereignty to Senegal that “if we are not careful, we may probably have to fight a guerilla war to regain our independence”.
Speaking on the highly-rated West Coast Radio morning talk-show, Coffee Time With Peter Gomez yesterday, FTJ said this is likely because Gambians will never succumb to the apparent control of the country by Senegal. “If we do so, then our children and grandchildren will curse us when we are in our graves,” FTJ said.
The APRC leader claimed that The Gambia under President Barrow, “has by all indications” morphed into a province of Senegal. “We are not a sovereign state by all indications. Senegalese soldiers would come into The Gambia, shoot and arrest Gambians and take them to Senegal and no repercussions would follow. Senegalese soldiers would be transiting The Gambia, they would be held with drugs, it would be negotiated and they are handed over to the main office in Senegal. Gambian courts would give orders for the release of vehicles and the Senegalese soldiers would say we would not do it. The Gambian president would go and kneel before Macky Sall to release it. So we are a province. If you go to State House, the soldiers there are Senegalese. Gambian security is just put away; no trust, no confidence. These are facts. Our sea resources are being squandered by foreigners under the Senegalese guise. So a lot of things are happening and are well known,” FTJ said. The APRC leader said President Barrow must realise that he has to trust Gambian security forces “as foreigners cannot define our sovereignty as they would not lay down their lives for us.”
But reacting to these comments, Information minister Ebrima Sillah said it is unfortunate that a political leader of FTJ’s standing should make such incendiary statements. “I am disappointed with Fabakary Tombong Jatta when he said that our relations with Senegal was based on the benefit of only President Barrow and that if this government is not careful we may have to start guerilla warfare to regain our sovereignty. Senegal and The Gambia are people of the same origin. Besides, the African Union is doing all efforts to ensure the removal of these imaginary borders to integrate all people. So it is unfortunate that a political leader like FTJ should even think of things outside the constitutional arrangement,” Sillah said.
He further argued that the Senegalese troops in The Gambia came through a sub-regional arrangement and as long as those arrangements are in place they are legitimately placed here. I think what we should all do is to make sure that we build confidence in our armed forces,” Sillah said.