At the peak of the then Guinea Bissau war, the late General Ansumana Manneh’s base came under heavy attack from the Senegalese troops backed by the French army. General Manneh’s main armory was burnt into ashes. The Senegalese troops fired a missile, which set ablaze General Manneh’s armory. Hence, Manneh’s fighters became redundant due to lack of ammunition. Mr. Manneh turned to The Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh, who is reputed to be fueling arm conflicts in the region for help. Ansumana pleaded with Jammeh to arm his military junta. Jammeh responded in kind by supplying deadly weapons to General Manneh.
At the time, Jammeh had fallen out with his longtime drug ally and close friend, the late President Nino Veiera. His strained relationship with Nino largely centered on drug consignment handling and Nino’s attempts to befriend his neighbors Senegal. Nino used to supply drugs to Jammeh. We will get into how Jammeh was networking with the MFDC leader Salifu Sarjo, the late Baba Jobe, and Ansumana Manneh to further wreck the war ravaged nation of Guinea Bissau.
When General Manneh’s men started running out of arms, Jammeh decided to come to his rescue. Jammeh was coordinating with his NIA Liaison officer, one Singhateh, who was attached to The Gambian Embassy in Bissau at the time, including some of General Manneh’s close aides. Singhateh’s job was to provide intelligence briefings to Jammeh about the progress being made by Ansumana’s men in the war field.
“Thus, Ansuman’s men ran out of ammunition because the ammunition depot was completely burnt down. Ansumana cried to Jammeh for help and he accepted to help him. This was the time when The Gambia Government tried to send loaded container trucks to Bissau upon the pretext of helping victims of the conflict with food and water whiles the trucks were loaded with ammunition,” said our source at the Foreign Ministry in Banjul.
“I do not know the number of trucks set for this trip, but we were told that many trucks were loaded with arms. Before the trucks departed, somebody informed the Senegalese authorities that the trucks which The Gambia Government says are loaded with food stuff and was sending them to Bissau to help the war victims is a lie. The informant informed the Senegalese authorities that instead of food stuff, the containers were loaded with ammunition three quarter way and then completed with food items and water to the mouth to cover the ammunition,” Our Foreign Ministry source added.
According to our source, a Senegalese security agent, who is believed to be working for the Jammeh regime as a spy, alerted The Gambian government about Senegal’s plans to intercept Jammeh’s trucks filled with arms destined for Bissau.
“So the Senegalese authorities were ready for it. But somebody also within the Senegalese security set up also informed The Gambian authorities that the Senegalese authorities are going to pound on the container trucks when they enter the Senegalese territory and they will conduct a thorough search. This was the very evening the container trucks were supposed to depart for the journey to Bissau. Ansumana was already informed that the ammunition will soon get to him and if that did not happened then Ansumana would see Yaya as a president who lies. Pa, that very night, a cargo was hired quickly and the trucks were off loaded into the cargo. And the cargo left through the sea that very night for Bissau. As the cargo goes through the sea, Jammeh did not stop the container trucks. The trucks proceeded for the journey but was completely off loaded with ammunition. Only food, water and medical items were stuffed in them,” our source said.
When the container trucks entered Senegal, said our source, they were escorted heavily up to Ziguinchor. In Ziguinchor, our source went on, while the Senegalese authorities were busy with the trucks, the cargo had already docked down in the waters the area controlled by the Military Junta.
When Jammeh was informed that General Manneh’s men had already received the ammunition, he was very delighted by the news. Jammeh then took a swipe at the Senegalese press, accusing them of defamation of character.
“Pa, this was the time when Yaya went to Senegal, and uttered insulting remarks at Wolfagiri journalist because Wolfagiri was the one who announced that Yaya is aiding Ansumana and the military Junta in Bissau with ammunition stuffed in container trucks. Jammeh helped the military Junta in Bissau upon an agreement that when Ansumana is in power then he will be able to control the timber logging. Pa, this is one of the methods Jammeh used to help fuel the conflict in Bissau,” my source at the Foreign Ministry told me.
“Many more to come, How Salif Sarjo and his men came to help Ansumana and the Junta, what BABA JOBE did when he was sent to Ansumana, Ansumana’s trip to Charles Tailor in Liberia connected by Jammeh about the blood diamonds. Trips were also made to the Mauritanian President, who was behind the connection and why trips to Libya, what role Jammeh played to get Nino escape out of Bissau, and many more,” our source added.
Written By Pa Nderry M”Bai