Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Power struggle underway in The Gambia

Murmurings of Yaya Jammeh's deteriorating health condition that started with his January 2014 Paris trip, have grown louder recently with more credible eyewitness accounts of blackouts, vomiting and other discomforts that the dictator has been experiencing during his current tour of the provinces.

Some of these reports have been supported by photos of a face that is dotted with facial lesions and swellings accompanied by profuse sweating.
Because of the personal and confidential nature of health issues - even when it involves the health of the Gambian dictator - we will refrain from elaborating further, except to say that his purported poor health has spawned public interest, especially in the online media community, rattled the trust and confidence of members of Jammeh's inner circle and raised the troubling question of succession, even if it is for someone to hold the fort temporarily.  And never mind that there is a Vice President who, constitutionally, should be the successor ad interim.
Ansumana Jammeh 

The inner circle of the Jammeh cartel comprising of the Gambian businessman Amadou Samba,  the Lebanese businessman Mohamed Bazzi and Jammeh's own brother Ansumana Jammeh have started to position their respective candidates to necessarily and substantively succeed Jammeh as president but to oversee the regime while Jammeh go on medical treatment.

For example, Ansumana Jammeh who is Managing Director of KGI ( a Jammeh-owned company ) and operator or of the Kartong sand mining site was seen traveling to Kartong the day after the mass arrest of the youth protesters in a 20-vehicle convoy of security personnel, including soldiers from Kanilai.  The show of force achieved two objectives (i) to intimidate the villagers and (ii) to display contempt for the soldiers stationed at the Kartong barracks by bypassing them and coming to the village with the Kanilai contingent instead.

Ansumana Jammeh's recent moves is seen as testing the waters.  He is increasingly seeing himself as successor to the throne but so are others, including but not limited to Edward Singhateh and Lamin Kabba Bajo. All of these have sponsors within the dictator's inner circles.  It is evident that the power struggle has started before Jammeh goes on medical treatment abroad.