Fatou Jaw Manneh: Anti-Senegal/ECOMIG

Fatou Jaw Manneh

Here we go again! Chei Gambia. How so soon can we forget and be so ungrateful? Now its anti ECOMIG, anti-Senegal, Anti Wade, and now anti-Macky Sall. It is just a few years ago when some of us were crawling, baiting, begging, and stalking any Senegalese top civil servant who will listen to us. To come to save us from a dictator and some of our “professional” soldiers. TRRC got some dossiers on some of them, and they are not pretty. We pleaded for Macky and ECOMIG to come save us from our own people.

Hence the Gambia, is a hot spot for any trade that is illicit, from drugs to human trafficking, to black sand mining to fish and timber trading. Our corrupt officials connive with Chinese and anyone bidding to scoop all fish from our waters, equally fell all good timber from Senegambia region.

Senegalese government is doing what it is supposed to do. That is curb illicit trade along its borders. And who are we to demand/ order ECOMIG soldiers out of the country? Every country or region on earth has regional block treaties signed to protect trade and security etc between states and Gambia/West Africa is no different. Every president in West Africa is entitled to an ECOMIG presence per ECOWAS heads of states agreement. Each will enjoy the blessing and protection of ECOMIG forces if the need arises, regardless of who is president or from what party. So why are we treating ECOMIG with such resentment as occupying forces in the Gambia? Anti ECOMIG, anti-Senegal, anti-intellectual, anti-diaspora, even though the remittances are what keep the country afloat, anti-foreigner/ immigrant, anti-this anti-that.

For such nationalists, you will think with our intolerance to ” foreigners”, we will be great nation-builders as China, Russia, and Rwanda. But even bread (Guineans), we cannot make for ourselves. Even washing and cleaning (Guinea Bissau), fishing (Senegalese) and now private farming is all handled by ” foreigners” (Malians). Even middle-level real estate brokerage is controlled by Nigerians. What is there that the Gambian can do without foreigners? I guess we can blame Macky Sall and Senegal for our abysmal education and health system, electricity, water, etc. What kind of ungrateful nationalists are we? I hope we thread the Senegalese / Casamance issue with care. We are all one big family and because of geography, what happens in Senegal must spill over into the Gambia, vice versa. It is not long ago when half of the Gambia ran to Senegal. From their politicians to journalists, to our relatives: they all took great care of us, with respect, politeness showing good neighborliness.

We even had to swear in our president in Senegal. But as soon as we get comfortable the anti-Senegal bashing/tirades get activated. We have skilled professional soldiers am sure, and they can learn a lot from ECOMOG forces , vice versa for the sake of maintaining peace in Africa and as brothers and sisters, but this anti neighbor intolerance will not take us anywhere and God save us from the might of Senegal’s army. Let us not get it twisted because some separatist rebels had a few of their soldiers down. We must treat this issue with a critical eye and broker peace and understand reality. I have listened to a few irresponsible citizens calling for arms going to defend some territories.

We can insult Barrow all we want but we are neighbors and Barrow cannot do anything about that. But let us not irk Senegal to a point they give their back on us. Senegal’s economy and population quadruple ours. Also, their army, or any other sector because of their size. Let us let sleeping dogs lie. Senegal du sunnu morrom.Hope hope I got that wolof right. Wa Salaam.

Comments are closed.