By Samsudeen Sarr
I hope my readers were able to comprehend from my last paper how the Gambian people in their 2017 election dispute were outmaneuvered by smart Senegalese diplomats through our dimwitted Gambian ambassadors culminating in what I surmised as an abdication of our political sovereignty to Senegal.
Pretending to be only interested in helping The Gambia to remove ex-President Jammeh from office during the infamous impasse, the Senegalese armed forces masqueraded in an ECOMIG mask, permanently occupying our country and since been influencing our political affairs consistent with their concealed aspirations.
And as stated, among the after-victory plans following the forceful removal of the APRC government and the inauguration and indoctrination of the leaders of the new coalition government in Dakar was the commissioning of a national Security Sector Reform (SSR), predicated on suppositions later proven to be utterly unfounded. The concocted hypothesis was the priority to purge the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) of a large number of recruited MFDC and Charles Taylor’s Liberian rebels by ex-President Jammeh. They were supposed to be either killed, captured or flushed out of the Gambia.
However, the foreign forces initially thought to be one homogenous military detachment, proportionally consist of four ECOWAS member states, Senegal, Nigeria, Togo and Ghana was later discovered to be predominantly Senegal’s best fighters under Senegalese command ordered to carry out the purging of these rebels and subsequently assist the SSR task force to confiscate all “counterfeit” ranks from incompetent officers decorated by Yahya Jammeh.
However, a week after the reckless invasion, the widely-proclaimed presence of MFDC and Charles Taylor fighters in the GAF turned out to be all rubbish, rendering the SSR theory essentially pointless. But the scheme was nevertheless implemented by pretentious elements hoping for perhaps a miracle to help them come up with something acceptable and obviously to get paid fat salaries for doing nothing but squandering three precious years of the transition.
In order to save face, however, the shameless occupiers consistently harassed defenseless Gambians, mainly in the Fonis, a region unfairly stigmatized for only being the ancestral homeland of former President Jammeh and at some point provoking and shooting some stereotyped members of his tribe-the Jolas-in his home village of Kanilai, killing among them an innocent father, Haruna Jatta, for evidence of “killed MFDC rebels”. The treachery boomeranged, exposing the savages as cold-blooded murderers of an unarmed Gambian parent whose family lost their only breadwinner in vain.
The crime was a glimpse in the paradigm of their genocidal intent if the Gambian soldiers were not smart enough to avoid confronting the beasts. They were drilled to kill as many Haruna Jattas, Modou Njies, Masaneh Ceesays, James Cokers as possible and exhibit them as rebels from the MFDC and Charles Taylor’s Liberian guerrillas; and just like in 1981 the dead would have all been hastily buried in mass graves before anyone would identify them. The world would have done nothing, because of the unconscionable elements from some UN, AU, ECOWAS nations, braced up to justify the crime in the name of replacing the APRC government with a “better” one.
That was how they did it in 1981, when a large scale of Senegalese troops invaded the Gambia slaughtering an estimated number of 1000 Gambians in an operation to foil the Kukoi Samba Sanyang coup against the PPP government. After restoring the “better” PPP back to power, the only casualties in the conflict whose lives mattered were the 33 Senegalese soldiers reported killed in action to whom President Sir Dawda had to fly to Dakar to express his sympathy and appreciation of their sacrifice, handsomely compensating their families with US$1 million dollars.
Ebou Faal and Malick Mendy, young bachelors from Serekunda, Madi Conteh another young customs officer, Kojo Elliot, a civil servant and parent, Amadou Jallow a Guinean businessman and father, Femi Jeng a renowned Radio Gambia journalist, Nyanga Sallah a very popular striker in the Gambia national football team, name them, were among the 1000 defenseless civilians who perished in the carnage and hastily buried in mass graves as “the Kukoi rebels” they never were. Up to when toppled in 1994, not a single effort was taken by the PPP government to identify all those murdered Gambians or even sympathize with them, let alone to compensate their families as “collateral” casualties.
Being a witness to that sickening event, I could therefore understand why Gambians in thousands ran across our borders to Senegal in 2017 when another bloodbath of similar scale intended by the combatants loomed imminent. Only the brazen Judases of Senegal would now spin the refugee crisis of 2017 blaming Jammeh for causing it, discounting the threat posed by the warmongers determined to turn the country into a battlefield. Nobody wanted to be killed, unidentified, buried and forgotten in mass graves. If Jammeh was the cause why the unconstitutional intrusion after his departure? Oh, I forgot about the concocted rebel story.
Let us be honest to each other folks, and admit the hard fact that our failure to investigate and bring to justice Haruna Jatta’s killers was an affront to our justice system at a time when Gambians were being insulated to put all their trust in a “TRRC”.
Apparently, if things had gone the way the Senegalese wanted, without the conscientious Ghanaian ECOMIG spokesman coming out clean to clarify that the killers of Mr Haruna Jatta were nowhere associated with the ECOWAS approved peacekeeping contingent but were indeed Senegalese soldiers dubiously deployed on a secret treaty signed by Macky Sall and Adama Barrow, the crime would have been misrepresented as an ECOMIG-perpetrated felony, sparing the Senegalese executioners pulling their triggers.
To be continued