Jammeh’s refusal to step down is raising fears of military intervention by external forces, being ECOMOG or by proxy, Senegal.
The likely “collateral damage” as the Americans call it, is causing genuine fear among Gambians who long for a peaceful transition. In short Gambians, don’t want to get hurt or see their property damaged. Unfortunately, Jammeh responds to only two things, force and money. The latter is unlikely to be forthcoming, so force is the only way to persuade him to leave. Anything else is wishful thinking, and each day he remains in power is more opportunity for him to create mischief causing more deaths and suffering in the long term.
In short Jammeh’s mind needs to be concentrated by effective action. The West have a term called a “surgical strike”, coming from a medical treatment for cancer. It means literally cutting out the cancer without treating the rest of the body with powerful and potentially harmful drugs. In military terms, it means attacking a sensitive target without a general invasion which would cause harm and suffering to the general population.
Kanilai is Jammeh’s spiritual and psychological home. It’s where he feels safe and retreats to when threatened, hence his desire to “retire and be a farmer in Kanilai”. From a military point of view, it could easily be destroyed either wholly or partially. Being the coward that he is, even destroying a single building or complex should have the desired effect. It’s been reported in the past of his little red car and escape plans showing that he has thought of an exit if all else it lost. Attacking Kanilai would cut the ground from under his feet, and convince his die-hard loyalists that the game is up.
War is the continuation of diplomacy by other means. Any country that is not prepared to fight for its freedom and interests does not deserve to be free. Mr. Barrow has been democratically elected and is now the de-facto leader of the Gambia. Unlike Jammeh, he has a legitimate mandate to protect the country from within and if necessary seek help from abroad. ECOWAS have agreed in principle to “facilitate” Jammeh’s removal, but the cost in terms of lives and money could be high. A simple alternative, to “encourage” Jammeh to leave could be a drone strike on Kanilai, after warning all residents to leave. It is unlikely that many tears would be shed or voices raised against such a course of action – apart from Maitre El-Hadj Diouf.
Just my thoughts. Jammeh is not Bashir Al-Assad of Syria. Take away his haven and he’ll be gone in a flash. Cut off the head and the snake (i.e. his loyalists) will die.
Time to kill the snake, before it kills the Gambia. Nayuu baii di yerrem wuh! Time to stop beating about the bush!!
Written By A POLITICAL REALIST.