Tuesday, May 10, 2016
ECOWAS dismisses Jammeh's complaint
It turns out that The Gambia had not completed the ratification process of the regional body's Convention on the Inter-State Road Transit, the operational protocol Senegal might have violated. But because Banjul failed to ratify it, the complaint filed by The Gambia becomes moot, further demonstrating the incompetence of the Jammeh regime at its best.
The immediate question that comes to mind and which led us previously to question the wisdom of the Jammeh team filing a compliant with ECOWAS route while concurrently pursuing the bi-lateral route with Senegal.
This strategy led us to conclude that Jammeh was shooting himself in the foot by electing to pursue the two-pronged approach because of the inadvertent preemption of the bi-lateral approach it will cause because Senegal will be forced to wait for ECOWAS to pronounce on the matter before sitting down with Gambia around the negotiation table.
Gambia's complaint was filed to seek relief from ECOWAS by getting Senegal to open the border which was closed by boycott action of its transport union to protest the 10,000% unilateral tariff increase which contravenes current bi-lateral agreement between the two countries.
The only option left for The Gambia to pursue is the diplomatic route by opening bi-lateral negotiations with Senegal to discuss the reported proposal that Gambia wants Senegal to consider which should have been the one and only option for The Gambia.
This option is not without its problems, especially as Jammeh is currently wageing what appears to be a war against his own people by unleashing, yet again, the military on peaceful protesters against the dictatorship. International reactions, including strong condemnations, of the use of violence by the military to quell last week's peaceful demonstration that led to deaths, arrests and disappearances have been swift.
Yesterday's equally violent use of force by Jammeh's military against peaceful protesters is expected to generate similar international reaction. Senegal, increasingly concerned about Jammeh's behavior that has led to the instability in the Gambia, is no exception.