As an unprecedented political crisis continues to grip the tiny West African nation, leading activist journalist has warned of possible attempt by the Jammeh regime to tribalize Gambian politics.
“Yahya Jammeh will try to make the crisis a Mandinka problem. He would do everything to stay in power,” US-based Gambian activist and anchor of Manfata.com news site told this reporter in an interview via Skype.
Since April 14, Gambia is engulfed in deep political trouble after security personnel launched a full-scale crackdown on peaceful protesters demanding “proper electoral reform”. Following their arrest youth leader Ebrima Solo Sandeng and three female party members are suspected being beaten to death by the paramilitaries. A situation that prompted on April 16 United Democratic Party leader Ousainou Darboe to take to the streets calling for the release of the people arrested. He was subsequently arrested along with some supporters and charged by a Gambian court. Their hearings have been punctuated by raging protests in Banjul with women on the frontlines brandishing calabash cups.
Fatou Jaw Manneh described the ongoing political crisis as ‘very frightening’ and expressed serious concerns over tentative signs of a tribalization of political antagonisms.
Over these past years,Jammeh has appointed people from his ethnic group as security chiefs, sending the wrong signals on Gambia.
FJ Manneh reiterated her call on Senegal’s Macky Sall act on Gambia in “pleading to Jammeh, and making some sense to him”.
“It is true that Senegal and Gambia are both sovereign countries, but we are the same Senegambian people. Whatever happens in Senegal would
affect Gambia and vice-versa. We are all interrelated,” she said in a poignant tone.
She voiced out that the world should not allow Jammeh to continue using his security apparatus to ‘shot randomly at people’.
“This is not right! We are in 21st century!” she exclaimed .
Gambia is ruled with an iron fist by Yahya Jammeh who seized power in a military coup in July 1994. His 21-year has been marred and
systematic violations of human rights. He poised to run for fifth term in December 2016.
Written by Abdoulie JOHN