The Senegalese priesident, Macky Sall is known to be cool calm and collected in both public and private. He is people’s president, who is focus on improving the lives of his citizens. A man who for the first time in African politics, proposed to reduce presidential terms in Senegal from 7 years to 5 years and introduced a term limit of maximum two terms per president. President Sall is hailed as a democrat who is willing to be criticised constructively or otherwise, which is why he was given the ECOWAS chairmanship in 2015 even though he was only elected three years prior.
However, beyond all those amazing characteristics, President Sall can also be safely characterised as being naive and gullible, especially when Gambia and Yahya Jammeh is concern. When 9 prisoners including 7 Gambians and 2 Senegalese were summarily executed in 2012 by Yahya Jammeh, President Sall came out and publicly condemned Jammeh’s actions. However, Jammeh rebutted President Sall’s condemnation and told him to shut up and mind his business. President Sall being naive, he didn’t respond he let Jammeh off the hook.
In 2010, Nigerian Customs officials discovered weapons hidden inside of 13 containers marked as holding building materials. Nigerian Authorities have said the shipment was bound for Gambia and the containers have been marked as Kanilai Family Farm goods. However, three former Gambian soldiers came and confirmed that the weapons seized in Nigeria were indeed bound for Gambia and Cassamance rebels are the eventual beneficiaries. Meanwhile, even though at the time it was Abdoulie Wade who was the president, but the soldiers confession came during Macky Sall’s reign he again chose to be silenced about the matter.
Fast forward in 2015, Dictator Jammeh publicly insulted, castigated, belittled and made mockery of former and current Senegalese presidents Abdou Joof, Abdoulie Wade and Macky respectively, yet still naivety griped President Sall he didn’t respond.
In 2016, deranged Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh issued yet the most dangerous and divisive threats to “kill Mandinkas and place them where even a fly will not see them.” These threats were issued against the biggest tribe in The Gambia. You have Mandinkas in Senegal who have relatives in the Gambia, who will be physically, psychologically and mentally affected by Jammeh’s latest outburst and as a result that should warrant President Sall to warned Jammeh against such threats. As president of Senegal and ECOWAS chairman then, president Sall chose to be naived and gullible again, says nothing.
In an interview with Jeune Afrique magazine June 2016 edition, Yahya Jammeh accused president Macky Sall of harbouring ill intentions against him (Jammeh) by providing shelter for Gambian dissidents in Senegal. As a result, Bipolar Jammeh threatened to attack Senegal in the event Gambian dissidents attack the Gambia from Senegal. As you may rightly predicted, president Macky Sall is refusing to change tactics and confront Jammeh head on, but chose to be muted.
We all agree, Gambia is a sovereign nation whose rights MUST be respected, likewise, Senegal’s sovereignty MUST also be equally respected. Nonetheless, one may wonder, what would it take before it’s too late for president Sall to say to Jammeh, enough is enough?
However, Jammeh has violated all existing protocols between Gambia and Senegal when it comes to sovereignty. These acts and utterances by Jammeh can be a source of animosity between the people of the two countries, just as we witnessed the 3 months border closure which affected both countries especially Gambia. President Macky Sall should be plain, direct and ingenious against Jammeh because a responsible person acts in a timely and responsible manner to prevent conflict rather than contain contain it.
Gambia was not spared from the pains and horrors of the 1989-1991 border war between Senegal and Mauritania which led to so many deaths on both sides. Gambia was caught in a crossfire and was flooded with refugees from both countries which created some social problems in the country at the time. It also led to the voluntary repatriation of so many Mauritania business men and closure of their shops and businesses in the Gambia and lost of jobs and taxes for Gambians.
That Senegal-Mauritania conflict should be a perfect reminder to President Macky Sall that, a neighbourhood conflict knows no boundaries. For that been the case, President Sall should decisively act now and stop Yahya Jammeh’s madness and unruly behaviour before a conflict arises which will not spare his country. And as Dr Martin Luther King Jr says “Injustice anywhere, is an injustice everywhere,” which should be the motto of President Sall against Jammeh. “A word for a wise is sufficient enough,” president Macky Sall.