Gambia and Senegal are yet to reach an agreement on several issues as a second round of talks is scheduled to take place in July 2016 to chat the way forward.
“You cannot expect our country to endorse the entire points highlighted in the final communique without assessing how this would make a positive impact on the lives of Gambians,” a top gov’t official told this reporter under conditions of anonymity.
On May 15, Gambia Foreign Affairs minister Neneh Macdouall Gaye met with her Senegalese counterpart in Dakar to find ‘lasting solutions’ to a border crisis that occurred for the up tenth time. A final communique was endorsed by both diplomats with some unresolved issues including the case of Senegalese fugitive Baye Modou Fall nicknamed Boy Djinné. During the Dakar talks, Senegalese Foreign Minister Mankeur Ndiaye made reference to Boy Djinné case and reiterated his government demand.
The Gambian official further stated that it would be naive to believe that Baye Modou Fall, who made headlines in escaping from Senegalese prisons, will be extradited. “As long as Senegal will continue to harbour Gambian dissidents, Gambia will continue to be a peace haven for Baye Modou Fall,” he said.
The Secretary General of the Dakar-based human rights watchdog RADDHO Aboubacry Mbodji decried the way Gambia government is using the Senegalese fugitive case as a political bargaining chip.
He made it clear that Gambia should unconditionally extradite Boy Djinné. “You cannot compare the cases of dissidents, journalists and activists who fled Gambia for fear of persecution to the case of Senegalese criminal who was serving a jail-term.”
Senegalese music icon Ouza Diallo, who is well known for his support to President Yahya Jammeh, backs calls for Gambia to extradite Senegalese fugitive Baye Modou Fall.
“Boy Djinné does not worth anything and should not be allowed to cause diplomatic row between Senegal and Gambia,” Ouza Diallo told this reporter during an exclusive interview.
Ouza Diallo said he still cannot understand how Boy Djinné case has become one of the most fertile sources of discord between the two countries. “Why it continues to cast a shadow of uncertainty on Gambia Senegal relations?” he quizzed with exasperation in his tone.
Written by Abdoulie JOHN