By Frederick Tendeng
President Abdoulaye Wade, on Thursday, 11th February, 2010, relieved Mr Mamadou Fall, the Senegalese High commissioner to The Gambia, of his post. Mr Fall’s removal was approved on the same day in a cabinet meeting held in Dakar’s Presidential Palace.
Like in the case of his predecessor, Elhadj Ndiouga Ndiaye, the press release announcing Dakar’s presidential decision on the matter did not specify the reasons for Mamadou Fall’s dismissal. It is however clear that his removal came at a time when bilateral ties between Gambia and Senegal have begun to liven up following Abdoulaye Wade’s recent state visit to Banjul.
Mr Fall was former Foreign Minister Cheikh Tidiane Gadio’s Senior advisor at the Foreign Affairs ministry when he was appointed to head the country’s diplomatic mission in Banjul, on April 2006, at a time when Senegal was accused by the Gambian authorities to have sponsored an aborted coup d’état against President Yahya Jammeh’s regime.
Mamadou Fall’s appointment as well as his predecessor’s controversial and secret removal at that time raised suspicion in Senegal with political analysts querying the true level of involvement of Dakar in the alleged 21st March 2006 coup. Serious doubts invaded the Senegalese newsrooms especially when The Gambia’s former Immigration Director, Tamsir Jasseh, claimed over Gambia Radio and Television Services (GRTS) to have been dispatched by Colonel Ndure Cham to liaise with Ndiouga Ndiaye and prepare a contingent of troops to pre-position at the border between the two countries. Mamadou Fall’s appointment was then seen as an attempt to ease the diplomatic tension that was growing between the two countries.
Senegal’s daily, Le Quotidien, said at the time, “the Senegalese government tries to impose a collective amnesia on its people as a diplomatic strategy instead of providing answers to the accusations against Ndiouga Ndiaye by The Gambia”.
Four Years after Mamadou Fall’s appointment as Senegal’s High Commissioner in Gambia, the hacksaw relationship between the two countries have experienced some steady grounds, crowned with President Wade’s January state visit to Banjul.
While the next holder of the position is yet unknown, it is clear that the impending Senegalese High Commissioner in The Gambia will be a close confident to the new Senegalese Foreign Minister, Maître Madické Niang, who has almost separated himself from all his predecessor’s immediate collaborators. One of them is Amadou Lamine Bâ, Senegal’s Ambassador in the USA, who was sacked the same day with Mamadou Fall.
Senegalese High Commissioner in Gambia sacked
By Frederick Tendeng