As we write with heavy hearts and glimmer of hopes that our country is on the brink of being turned to ashes, one cannot certainly say that we haven’t exhausted all necessary means to avoid a potential catastrophe. The young children, women, old, sick and poor are the ones that pay the heaviest prices and thus the reason why Gambians have always chosen the right and peaceful way to express their dissent and change of government via the ballot box. While some around the hinterland cannot be reached or as a naive mind may dismiss as being safe since the central skirmishes appears to be in Banjul, the State House, we are equally concerned and wish to coordinate with every Diasporan who can reach loved ones for information dissemination and emergency assistance as needed.
The situation in The Gambia is tense, unpredictable and we are doing everything possible to provide information and assistance to loved ones and the diaspora. The declaration of Emergency unfortunately heightened the security of the nation and have therefore plunged Gambia into a refugee crisis. We are calling on the UNDP,UNHCR, IMF, WB,Red Cross and all other disaster preparedness agencies to draft a contingency plan for Gambians. We are calling the Obama administration to provide humanitarian assistance to the Senegalese as our host for thousands of Gambians fleeing their country. We are also calling on the British government to provide technical assistance in satellite feeds, setting up refugee camps around the borders,food, healthcare and transportation. We are also calling on the SeneGambian diaspora to join hands and raise needed funds to help their fellow citizens currently in harms way. As per World Bank, the Gambian diaspora contributed over 20% of GDP and such task of sustaining Gambian lives is not Herculean especially when lives depend on your efforts. It will be hard as no one can anticipate in the foreseeable future if such turmoil will end in days, weeks or months. We are calling on GDF to start a fundraising campaign or liaise with other organizations to help save Gambian lives. https://www.gofundme.com/gambia-humanitarian-crisis
We will create an information bank to track and report Gambians missing through forcefully disappearance or not reachable due to personal protection and safety.(https://gambiar2k2016.crowdmap.com/?full=1). We are working with the coalition team to give you updates from Gambia and vetting proper information coming from news sources.We urge calm in the diaspora and let’s join hands together during these hard times.We will be working with international organizations and governments to closely monitor the activities of the current regime and their current mandate by the National Assembly to maintain peace and order.
We want to assure every Gambian that we shall all rise again. The future is bright and what was insurmountable was done on December 1st. We spoke loudly and clearly and rejected despotism and monarchical rule.We have one of the youngest population in the Western Africa and can therefore definitively declare that the our country shall rise again with tenacious resolution for freedom, democracy and rule of law. Gone are the days where a Gambian will not speak freely and responsibly about the affairs of the state. We were never represented fairly and equally as the ones we trusted to steer The Gambia were devoid of character and morality. We have elected a new president and soon we shall join him in rebuilding constitutional, electoral, governmental reforms. A birth of a new nation is here and we are thanking every member state of ECOWAS for such altruistic endeavor as one could have easily concluded that it was a sovereign matter and stayed away but the respect for the Gambian people and their decision is what prompted good ambassadors of justice to put soldiers in harms way to preserve African democracy. We thank the AU, UN, EU and especially Senegal for not only hosting others militarily, opening their borders, transporting refugees and opening their homes but giving the Gambians platforms to talk to the world. We shall rise again. Thank you.
We will go into a special situation in Gambia, as the ECOWAS (Economic Community Of West African States) have stationed troops in a joint operation from the West African Co-Operative of Nations. These have sent their forces and armies to Senegal as it borders to Gambia. The nation that had an election in the November 2016, where President-Elect Adama Barrow who won the election, Barrow we’re declared on the 2nd of December.
Aftermath of the time after the election is that President Yayha Jammeh has said he apparently didn’t want to leave office. Therefore the have been high esteemed visitors from ECOWAS, Communiques from African Union and others who hasn’t accepted that Jammeh want to overstay his mandate after losing an election. The Army has said their behind Jammeh, while many officials and ministers has resigned and fled to Senegal.
Just of yesterday the President Jammeh stated a ‘State of Emergency’ as the loyalist are staying behind him and the ones who wants him to linger in power. There are many other who feels he has done his duty over 2 decades, this happen after his bloodless coup d’état in 1994. Jammeh has with the latest order can postpone the transition to an administration of Barrow.
So Jammeh is in a long line of executives doing what they can to overstay. This has happen during the recent years and with all sorts of means. If so, being for instance Museveni in Uganda, Nkurunziza in Burundi and now also Kabila in the DRC. Jammeh is just pulling the trick after a lost election and using his knowledge of the army where he came from and the national assembly to continue to reign.
The ECOWAS is making the difference as the fleeing leadership and resigning ministers in the cabinet of Jammeh, proves that his time is up. If they are meaning business, as the ECOWAS has stated that the Barrow will be officiated or sworn-in as President of Gambia tomorrow.
The reports are that troops from Mali, Togo, Ghana, Nigeria and Senegal are in Senegal to prepare to invade Gambia if their executive doesn’t stepdown. Ghana and Nigeria have themselves committed 200 troops to the effort. Nigeria has even pulled their Nigerian Air Force close to the border.
“The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) has deployed to Senegal as part of Nigerian contingent of Economic Community of West African States Military Intervention in Gambia (ECOMIG) – a standby force tasked by ECOWAS Heads of State to enforce the December 1, 2016 election mandate in the The Gambia. The NAF today moved a contingent of 200 men and air assets comprising fighter jets, transport aircraft, Light Utility Helicopter as well as Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance aircraft to Dakar from where it is expected to operate into Gambia. The deployment is also to forestall hostilities or breakdown of law and order that may result from the current political impasse in The Gambia” (Shewesky Media, 18.01.2017)
Other numbers from the ECOWAs is 530 from Senegal, 600 from Ghana, 100 from Sierra Leone and 1,000 Nigerians. Also 200 soldiers in total from France, United Kingdom and Germany as well! In this joint operations there are also reported to have 30 Fighter Jets and 300 B2 Fighters to ensure the surrendering of Jammeh in Gambia.
That is unique and special in our time that ECOWAS an foreign force will invade so the Republic will actually respect its current and declared winner of the nearly month old Presidential election. Jammeh has already claimed during December that no army can beat his, his Gambian army. So he will not back-down from a showdown. ECOWAS proves their behind their words when the stable an army in such quick way and put them on the border to Gambia. This in the same week as the Kingdom of Morocco has already offered Jammeh a “golden retirement”, but big-men like him only leaves when they have too. Even Napoleon had to return and create havoc in Europe. The same could Jammeh be capable of as he went from being a Lieutenant to become a President.
Jammeh, is really in trouble as hackers have even hacked the State House web-page and switched Barrow to be President on it. As he is sitting in the Palace or whatnot planning and wondering how the ECOWAS will strike him. Surely he could be paranoid in Banjul, as many loyal cadres in the cabinet have resigned of late, because of fear within and they will not stand beside a man who doesn’t have the mandate for a new term.
There reports in Banjul that soldiers have left their arms, as the reports of the ECOWAS army beside their border. The soldiers are actually deserters from the army as there are even circulated uniforms in the streets. That is happening as the Jammeh family itself flees the capital.
So the reality is that ECOWAS is intervening in way we haven’t seen, a collective quick effort to oust an illegitimate president from power. As an answer to the lingering reign of one man in one Republic, The Gambia deserves better and they should get their righteous Executive. Though it shouldn’t be needed to the Joint Military Operation in Gambia isn’t a wishful ceasing of Jammeh’s mandate. Well, then Jammeh hasn’t been the most steady character or leader. So these acts would be seen as reasonable for him. Jammeh has for instance said he would step-down to back-down from it in under a week’s time.
Jammeh, is truly out of time and the ones that will lose their lives are innocent Gambians, Gambians who lose economic future and businesses hit by the lacking of tourism while the crisis lingers. Also these soldiers from the international community who loses valuable soldiers to get rid of an executive who doesn’t want to leave his office.
ECOWAS shouldn’t need this, but maybe the one who takes power with the gun, only will leave when bigger guns are put to his face. Therefore the warships, fighter-jets and battalions in Senegal from dozens of nations might help to give sufficient pressure of a power-hungry individual. The Gambia and the Republic deserves somebody who they wanted to lead. Now they have a man who is trespassing. President Jammeh is now using his time in office to try to trade more time. Seems like the ECOWAS acts on behalf of the citizens and if the reports from Banjul are true, than the soldiers have been dropping their guns. That will ease the loses and the tactical drama of the besieging Jammeh. We will only know when the reports keep piling in. Peace.