Senegal alert of possible Jammeh threat in its south

Gambia’s neighbor Senegal has been put on alert of a potential covert transfer of heavy military weaponry across the border from the home of The Gambia’s outgoing President Yahya Jammeh into its volatile Casamance region.

Senegalese authorities are said to have put measures in place to make sure that an attempt at such an operation gets foiled and thwart a potential threat of a rebel movement to be led by Mr. Jammeh and his former loyalists from The Gambia’s army.

“Senegal is very alert,” said Fatoumata Tambajang, a leader in The Gambia’s new coalition government. “They are also taking their own measures to ensure that nothing goes in. Because if anything goes in he’s going to move all the ammunition to Casamance and start a rebel movement. He’s a rebel.”

Relations between The Gambia and Senegeal deteriorated during President Yahya Jammeh’s administration. PHOTO: President Macky Sall

President Jammeh has been named as a key financier of a faction of MFDC rebels providing them with logistics and Iranian weapons.

“We don’t trust him. The longer we leave him, the more possibilities he has to leave the country, to escape from the country and to even do an insurgency. He is capable. The man is capable. In Kanilai, he has bunkers. I have reliable sources that say he has bunkers. I have been reliably informed that he has treasure in Kanilai, he’s sitting on treasure, on gold as they say.”

The UN has warned that any coup attempt in The Gambia will be met with resistance by the international community.

President Jammeh conceded defeat in December 1 elections and said he would be retiring as a farmer at his home village in Kanilai, some 6 miles from the border with Senegal’s Casamance.

Coalition leaders have differing opinions on whether to allow Jammeh to live as a private citizen or have him prosecuted for rights abuses and corrupt practices.

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