Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Ansumana Jammeh attempting to bribe Senegalese border officials

Ansumana Jammeh 
The two-month old border closure has, undoubtedly, dealt a serious blow to the Gambian economy.  Faced with an uncompromising Senegalese Transport Union, the regime of Yaya Jammeh is using every trick in the book to circumvent what amounts to a blockage.

The border closure has resulted in shortages of agricultural produce, ushering in higher prices and economic hardship that is only compounded by electricity blackouts as a result of dwindling fuel stocks.  Prices of cement and onions have shot up 300% since the border closure leading Senegalese union leaders to warn of worse things to come.

The noose is tightening at all border posts with buses and trucks disallowed to enter or leave Senegal, causing consternation within the Jammeh circle.  Mr. Ndir of the Senegalese Transport Union is quoted as saying "Guissa gul dara" meaning he's seen nothing yet, referring to the Gambian dictator, Yaya Jammeh.   The union leader partially blames their own President Sall for being "very tolerant and peaceful" which encourages Jammeh to be more cavalier in his behavior towards his neighbor by unilateral tariff increases without prior consultations with Senegal.

After all attempts have failed, Jammeh decided to try bribery by dispatching his brother to the Senegalese border posts with briefcase stuffed with cash to entice Senegalese border officials into opening the border for truckloads of critical supplies of essential goods to pass through, according to Mr. Ndir.  All offers have been turned down and Ansumana Jammeh was threatened with arrest should he attempt to bribe Senegalese officials again.