Saturday, January 3, 2015

The economy is Jammeh's worst enemy

Sidi M. Sanneh 
  • This is a reply to a blog post that appeared in International Relations Professionals Group bog, a LinkedIn-based discussion group on international affairs.  It is being posted here as it appeared in LinkedIn with no amendments except few minor details pertaining to my bio.  I have given it a title here.
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  • Jammeh's biggest opposition is neither the political parties nor the diaspora Gambians in Europe and America but the economy and how it is being poorly managed.

    The economy has been on a free fall for a number of years because of inappropriate policies, including, but not limited to, its latest Vision 2016 that promises rice self-sufficiency in the next 24 months.

    Gambia is a country that has experienced three straight years of decline in agricultural production, currently runs a $50 million annual rice import bill and runs a deficit that is thrice the recommended and agreed upon threshold with the International Monetary Fund.

    Inflation is high and so are the prices of basic food stuff. A UN report released recently concluded that 1 in 3 Gambians can no longer afford three meals a day. Reports are also coming from international NGOs that several children in the Central River Region of the country are on the brink of death due to starvation and a rare nutritional disease called Kwashiorkor.

    Of course, the regime in the Gambia is known for its poor human rights record, and its constant harassment of gays and lesbians which culminated in a recently passed "aggravated homosexuality" law that prescribed a life sentence for anyone having a gay relationship with a minor.

    The widespread use of torture, false imprisonment, forced disappearances and extrajudicial executions of opponents of the regime - both real and perceived - have been documented by Amnesty International and other reputable human rights organizations.

    But the biggest enemy of the dictatorship in Banjul remains the economy which is the last thing Jammeh would like the conversation to be about because his regime has failed to deliver on the promise of transforming The Gambia into a Middle Income Country by 2020. He knows that the goal is unattainable, he wants to, therefore, change the conversation. And to do so, he will try to exploit the "coup attempt" for as long as possible by United States, U.K and "other neo-colonialists powers" as scapegoats for his woes.

     Giles Raymond DeMourot likes this