jammehThe Gambia-Senegal border closure has got into the skin of President Yahya Jammeh to the extent that his government is turning to the court of the regional economic grouping for a solution. Shame on the Jammeh government for seeking redress at a court it has deliberately refused to honour its verdicts. Is it not the same ECOWAS Community Court that ruled against The Gambia government in the cases of Chief Ebrima Manneh, Musa Saidykhan and Deyda Hydara? This is a perfect opportunity for the court to refuse hearing on Jammeh’s complaint unless his government complies with the court’s verdicts. What if Senegal also decides to disregard the court’s decision? This is the danger of setting bad precedence, for it is emulated. By now Yahya Jammeh knows he is not indispensable. He can ride on the backs of poor and helpless Gambians and get away with it but not Senegalese authorities that are cowing him with deaf silence. The latest closure – the tenth since Yahya Jammeh forced his way into power – sparked off following the unceremonious hike of ferry tariff by Gambian authorities. With mounting pressure from transport unions, Senegalese government decided to ignore an unpredictable dictator and ordered drivers to use alternative route of accessing its food basket in Casamance. This has left Gambian ferries bereft with passengers and substantial amounts of money. Also, businesses in and around Yellitenda/Bamba Tenda ferry crossings have closed. It is only now that the Bully President is feeling the heat of a closure that leaves his country caged. Does he expect his vehicles on errand to Casamance to get their without going through Senegalese borders? The ECOWAS complaint followed Senegalese authorities’ refusal to open room for negotiation with Mr. Jammeh’s delegations. The delegations, comprising of Muslim clerics, came home empty handed. The ECOWAS now has the leverage over the Bully President. All it needs to do is to force Jammeh’s hands to respect the court’s past decisions before allowing the court to preside over The Gambia’s border closure complaint. Jammeh thinks he can close the border, open at will and get away with it. Not this time Oga!

Ends

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