Get Off Macky Sall’s Back: Senegal is a Democracy, Not a Dictatorship


Macky-Sall-and-Yahya-Jammeh[1]184201319954By Yankuba Jambang

Senegal will forever remain Gambia’s only immediate neighbor that surrounds it on all sides but the west, where the Atlantic Ocean sits. All Senegalese citizens and Gambians are aware of this, and the natural bond of fraternity that exists between the two states.

Recently, there has been an upsurge in bluster towards Senegalese president Macky Sall by Gambians who, understandably, want immediate regime change in Banjul. And both the Gambian president Yahya Jammeh, and those of us who want regime change in Banjul, understand that removing the tyrant will be almost impossible, at least in the foreseeable time without Senegal’s covert assistance. Or unless we are expecting Senegal to unilaterally remove Yahya Jammeh by military force, which is very much unlikely to happen.Macky Sall was only elected into office last April after defeating Abdoulaye Wade, who jolted Senegal along the familiar African terrain of chaos, civil unrest and economic degradation. So, the number one task before Sall was to turn around the state of affairs in Senegal – stabilize commodity prices and solve the country’s ailing energy supply system, but not to invade Gambia.

Yes, we want our country back from the bloody tyrant in Banjul, and we need Senegal’s assistance whether we say it loudly in public or not, we cannot push Sall into a state of brinkmanship. That will be too dangerous and reckless on our path and that of Sall if he were to do so. And make no mistake, Senegalese will kick Macky Sall out of office if he were to gamble with the lives of Senegalese soldiers as was done in the famous useless Crimean War,(October 1853–February 1856)- the war fought between the Russians and the British, French, and Ottoman Turkish. Read about this war and you shall find out how terrible it is to beat the drums of war hysteria over mere ‘blusters’ and ‘flusters’. This is not to say efforts to remove Jammeh are not worth a life, but that care must be taken in order to avoid an all-out war between the two states. Yahya Jammeh could be removed without a war being fought between Gambia and Senegal if we respect the rights of Senegal and respectfully and diligently show them willingness that we do not fear dying first. Let’s meet in Raleigh, please.

We condemned Sall for first visiting Banjul after winning the presidency. We condemned him for attending Gambia’s 48th independence anniversary last February. For me, these were nothing but mere ‘diplomatic niceties’ and they do not define who Macky Sall is, as many commentators would want us to believe. But what surprise me most are the tirades and insults directed at President Sall for detaining and expelling Kukoi out of Senegal! Get off his back! Sall presides over a country truly regarded as a model of a thriving democracy in Africa; not a dictatorship like in Gambia, Eritrea or Burkina Faso – this is Senegal.

Kukoi by all accounts should have been in jail, if not condemned to death by a competent court in either Senegal or Gambia, for having recklessly led a group of inexperienced and ill-disciplined thugs to attempt overthrowing a democratically elected government in 1981. About a thousand Gambian lives perished and hundreds of Senegalese soldiers killed in the chaotic two weeks of banditry and brutal date-raping rampage undertaken by his flock of unschooled and failed sub-humans called the revolutionists. He is not a fighter, but a delusional criminal who believes he can enthrall the Diasporan opposition by joining forces to enable him
twiggy-back-ride to The State House. No. And to his surprising symparthizers who have already been offended by his detention and ultimate expulsion to Bamako, Mali, take a deep breath and reflect on what he did in July of 1981 to a country that only became a republic six years earlier. For goodness sake, the man was not tortured. He was in fact given thirty days to leave Senegal but for some unexplained reasons, he did not, which led to his arrest.

Finally, let’s give respect to the Senegalese for helping countless Gambian asylees in their country. let’s tone down the rhetoric, be patient and diligently and smartly work with them to bring about an end to the terror in Banjul. They too want a peaceful and democratic Gambia. Peace!!!


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