The Gambia is yet again at a dangerous tipping point. The Gambian people are deeply fearful that violence could ensue as a result of the former President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to respect the will of the people.
Jammeh lost to Adama Barrow and his refusal to cede power sparked a political crisis. West African leaders have tried to peacefully resolve the political impasse but Jammeh chose that of a military showdown.
The Gambia is one of the world’s most poorest countries and because of Jammeh’s egoistic behavior, it is slipping into civil war. The country faces a crisis twice as profound as the 1981 rebellion that Senegal quashed.
Driving the war danger are the reckless actions of the imperialist-like individuals like Seedy Njie and Yankuba Colley, spurred on by their hegemonic ambitions and self-enrichment.
Jammeh has put the Gambia through an unnecessary drama with the future of nearly two million people on the line. Yahya Jammeh violated the constitution, committed crimes against the state and abused human rights.
He presided over flawed elections and survived at least a dozen coups.
The Gambia is not at war but the crisis is unfolding. When Jammeh accepted defeat, Gambians celebrated but hidden in them was their belief that it was too good to be true with the fear that Jammeh may result to repressive tactics to remain in power.
The threat of war and coup has become a constant feature of political life and it will remain so as long as Jammeh is not killed or imprisoned.
Some would say there are other alternatives like sanctions. But an economic sanction could itself be seen as an act of war – one that would affect poor Gambians with no consequences for Jammeh.
In the meantime, Yahya Jammeh’s media networks of GRTS and Daily Observer work relentlessly to pollute public opinion, denouncing ECOWAS as the aggressor and blaming it for the crisis in the country.
Yahya Jammeh is not in a dominant position but there is still a cause for concern over the country’s likely course.
Most of West Africa is merging from a long period of instability and the Gambia going into civil war can destabilize the entire sub-region.