The political impasse in The Gambia, is a worrisome development. There is no indication to suggest that dictator Yahya Jammeh will relinquish power for the sake of peaceful transfer of power to President elect Adama Barrow. Jammeh wants to cling onto power no matter what. He doesn’t care about the consequences associated with his conduct.
The Gambian political crisis is a delicate one. Dislodging Jammeh requires tactical and sober reflection to avoid potential collateral damage.
Jammeh’s goal is to render The Gambia, ungovernable now and after he is out of the political equation. He is lobbying support from some of his hardcore hypnotized loyalists in the army, and elsewhere within the security forces to crush any external invasion.
If there should be any future invasion to capture and disrupt Jammeh’s regime, it requires good operation and intelligence collection on the man bent on destabilizing not only The Gambia, but Senegal as well. Any faulty or intelligence missteps, could plunge The Gambia and the region into an unfinished political turmoil.
Jammeh’s twenty two years reign, has ushered hate, mistrust, tribal bigotry, and political extremism. Forcing Jammeh to leave might not necessarily be the endgame of Gambia’s political, societal and economic problems. Dictators in Africa, occasionally leave an ugly legacy of instability, and political divisiveness behind.
President elect Adama Barrow and his team should not naively think that with Jammeh out of the equation, Gambia’s political problems are over. There is an army that Jammeh has constituted based on ethnic line. If the said army is not retrained, reoriented, and restructured, the democratic process risked being disrupted by disgruntled soldiers in the foreseeable future.
Gambia’s case is a sad one. The security forces are complicit to Jammeh’s desperate attempt to subvert power. They are still “loyal” to Jammeh, despite the fact that Jammeh has no constitutional mandate to rule The Gambia, beyond January, 19th. Now, how can President elect Barrow and his team trust such traitors on the face of Jammeh’s defiant attitude to hand over power? The same security forces are expected to protect President elect Barrow and his incoming administration if Jammeh is out of the picture.
Having foreign troops on the ground to remedy the political impasse is something imperative, but it is another thing for Gambians to be able to sustain the democratic process after Jammeh is gone. God save The Gambia and her people. Wish you well Gambia!
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai