The video of a Gambian soldier publicly expressing in Foni his hatred of ECOWAS forces in the country is indicative of the serious intellectual and psychological damages caused by Yahya Jammeh on all the fringes of the main force in charge of maintaining our territorial integrity.
When a soldier is unable to hold his tongue and pronounces a discourse that ignites discord at the helm of a crisis situation, it is a clear sign to the state authorities that the danger is more than real.
What the populations of Kanilai and the Fonis are asking for is nothing less than the rejection of both the ECOWAS stabilization forces and the troops of the Gambian army in their area.
It is simply a rejection of the men who represent the facial outfit, of what is perceived by them, as a humiliation and disgrace following the incredible downfall and forced exile of Yahya Jammeh.
Suffice to note that the timing of this last challenge to the State by Kanilai and the Foni is not accidental. It happens after the freezing of Yahya Jammeh’s assets and properties, and the huge disappointment of his die-hard APRC supporters after Yahya Jammeh did not return to The Gambia to celebrate his birthday, despite the rumors and the rehearsal recently organized in Kanilai by his party.
It shows a real psychological shock that clearly indicates to his factions in the Foni that Yahya Jammeh is now part of the history of The Gambia.
The question remains whether the authorities had anticipated this scenario and address the situation while taking into account Yahya Jammeh’s catastrophic legacy, remnants of which are still toxically operational?
The truth is that the revolts in the Foni, Kartong, Gunjur, Bakoteh, Farato or Bakau are of various causes and origins. But each constitutes a challenge of which the response by Gambian authorities is very smartly assessed by Jammeh die-hards. Any bad response to a crisis is an opportunity for them to construct the next stage of defying the authority of the State.
While it is true that the use of force punctually solved a problem on Friday in Kanilai, the danger remains and continues to be serious.
That’s why Adama Barrow’s government should be encouraged to consider more cabinet teamwork and a more coordinated government action on all the issues that can cause tension in areas of potential uprising due to Yahya Jammeh’s legacy.
This must be done with the local elected representatives, the traditional chiefs and the heads of associations of these areas. It is all about being inclusive and proactive than reactive.