Thank you Mr Saidina Alieu Jarjou for your reply. First , I will state that I would not engage in name callings or immature intellectual debates because I believe as civilized people we should be able to intelligently discuss national issue or any issue to find lasting solutions without derogatory remarks. Since you have spend almost half of your write-up to call me names, I will engage you respectfully so that readership can learn something productive from the discussion. Secondly, I do not think revelation of my real name is very important because I believe in personal responsibility to ensure my messages are based on factual evidence, educative and contribute toward national development, democracy, peace and stability. It is this simple reason that I wrote many articles and commentaries to expose the former Dictator Yaya Jammeh and his regime. Today, everyone in The Gambia is free and can express themselves without any fear, so revealing my name has no bearing on the message I intend to put across.
Mr Jarjou, my concern about your continuing support for cassamance rebellion is simply based on my belief that the conflict is an Existential threat to peace , stability and democratization process in the subregion. The Gambia has just emerged from 22 years of military dictatorship which has utilized the cassamance conflict for its sustainability and survival. This is the crucial time that we as citizens should engage each other to discuss our national security which is seriously threatened as a result of political impasse. Today , ECOWAS military intervention forces in the country is a direct result of Cassamance rebellion. Most reasonable people will agree that the former Dictator Yaya Jammeh was never interested to bring peace and end the conflict in cassamance. He has used the conflict as a strategic security and economic means for his personal protection as well as money making avenues. This was evidenced by infiltration of Gambia’s national security services by Jola citizens from cassamance who are totally supportive and loyal to him and his regime . Economically, Jammeh benefited from illegal timber business dealings with the rebels from the region. This has also contributed to environmental degradation such as deforestation which motivated Senegal government to step in and stopped illegal timber trafficking and trade. Illegal drug trafficking has made The Gambia number one hotspot for drug trafficking and consumption due to free movement of rebel fighters who engaged in drug trafficking, smuggling and other criminal activities to sustain their so called rebellion. As a result, former Dictator Jammeh and his criminal militias became the main distributors and suppliers of these illicit drugs in the country.
Our new found freedom and democracy in The Gambia can be improved and sustainable only when there is peace not just in The Gambia but also in cassamance. The Gambia’s peace and stability is directly link to peace and stability in cassamance because of our closeness, porous borders and many other factors . Therefore, Jola tribal dominated rebellion has direct consequences on our national security. This is why any support for the conflict from any Gambian or institution in the country is direct threat to our national security. This is my main concern about your writings on cassamance conflict. Thus your writings indicates full support for the separatist rebellion which is based on gross human rights violations, economic hardship and environmental degradation. The evidence of your support is highlight below in the article titled “Memo : Macky Sall, President of Senegal “, on January 31st, 2017.
” I dreamt of cassamance that would one day have its currency, President and a government which will preside over the affairs of the country. As they have leaders who are going to lead them to that drain where there would be Cassamance, a country of its own “.
From the above quote, Your desire is to see Cassamance as an Independent Country which has regional and national implications. At the regional level, When West African Countries are now moving towards regional integration which promotes economic development, security cooperation and democracy, you had a bad desire that encourages regional disintegration. Such an outdated belief of disintegration is against globalization which promotes economic cooperation, technological advancement /transfer and free movement of people and services. Mr Jarjou, Independent Cassamance is not in the best interest of Senegalese government and it also diminishes Senegal as beacon of democracy and freedom for West Africa. The Gambia is benefiting tremendously from regional integration because of successful regional military intervention to protect , preserve and promote our democracy when the tyrant stood against the verdict of God and the people. Today, the wishes and aspirations of Gambian people were respected and implemented due to selfless sacrifices of our regional collectivism and desire to be one people. This is the historic verdict which highlight democratization of West Africa and send clear signals to the rest of Africa that West Africa is moving forward to join the rest of the civilized democratic world.
At the National level, I find your support for Jola tribal dominated rebellion in cassamance very disturbing in terms of your patriotism and loyalty to Gambian nation as well as inherently blind tribalism. As Gambian citizen, why would you support a rebellion which is direct threat to our national security and peaceful coexistence if your motive is not inherently blind tribalism. It is only tribalistic reasons which is why you continue to advocate and support the causes of your Jola ancestors who dreamt of ” Independent Cassamance “. This was evidenced in many of your articles where you singled out the so called sufferings of Jola people in Cassamance while you left out other tribes who equally live in the same socioeconomic and cultural environment. This can be considered as discrimination and bias against other tribes. Such discriminatory and self-proclaimed victimization by leadership of rebel movement resulted to alienation of vast majority of citizenry who have also seen the struggle for “Independence ” as Jola self -determination struggle. Hence, the struggle has no support base across multi-ethnic groups and has become a criminal enterprise based on kidnapping, killings of innocent people, looting and illegal businesses activities.
Mr Jarjou, Any citizen who support cassamance rebellion can be seen as having a questionable loyalty to Gambian nation. In fact such individuals can pose threat to our democracy and peaceful coexistence because they are an advocate for conflict which has no positive bearings on the lives of Gambian people. These individuals place their tribal identity and roots above the National security, democracy and peace. Those Gambians in position of influence or responsibility, who support this rebellion should be monitored so that our national security and interest would not be jeopardized.
Finally, I will emphasize that Jola leadership has failed their community when they used their own people to advance their individual narrow political and economic interest. This was evidenced by former Dictator Jammeh who was not concerned to bring sustainable peace in cassamance in the last two decades. It was also the failure of other Jola political leaderships in Cassamance to engage in peaceful political process to bring about positive changes in the lives of Jola people who are the majority victims of three decades of tribal rebellion.