Monday, May 2, 2016

Guinea president Conde and former Benin president Yayi Boni plead with Senegal on behalf of Jammeh

Guinea President Alpha Conde
Former Benin President Yayi Boni 

While Jammeh's supporters are putting on a brave face by suggesting that the brunt of the 10-week old border closure is affecting Senegal more than The Gambia, Jammeh's recent moves are suggesting otherwise.

At least, Jammeh would like to see the end to the stand-off which is exerting a heavy toll on a fragile economy. Government revenues are down drastically due to the absence of Senegalese truck traffic along the TransGambia highway that would have generated receipts from tariff.  The absence of traffic has also resulted in petty traders and fruit and food stand vendors going out of business, impacting negatively on local economies along the TransGambia route.

In response to the crisis, Jammeh has been soliciting the help of the few friends he seem to have these days in the former president of Benin, Yayi Boni and the Guinean president Alpha Conde.  Reports reaching us from Senegal are that both have pleaded with the Senegalese president Sall on behalf of the Gambian dictator.  All indications are that it is highly unlikely that Senegal will act anytime soon.

ECOWAS fielded a mission to both countries following formal complaint being lodged by The Gambia.  The mission report and recommendations are still pending.  It is, therefore, unlikely that any action will be taken by Senegal before then, despite the pleas of the former Benin president and president Alpha Conde.

Meanwhile the Senegalese Foreign Minister, Mankeur Ndiaye, following the signing of a Defense Cooperation deal with the United States in Dakar revealed that Jammeh is proposing yet another delegation to visit Dakar to see if a solution could be found that will allow the borders to be opened to traffic again.  The minister gave no indication whether such a delegation will be received.