Saturday, September 17, 2016

Jammeh's summer hiatus and his belief Kandeh's presidential hopes're being financed by Macky Sall

Gambian dictator, Jammeh
Jammeh has been uncharacteristically silent and shuttling between Banjul and his home village of Kanilai for over two months.  He has not taken his annual leave this year.  At least, he's refrained from making the official announcement on state-controlled media, as he customarily does over the years, to demonstrate his love for the country and farming.  He loves reminding his country folk that he spends his annual leaves in his village farm in contrast to his African counterparts who prefer Paris, London, Rome, Barcelona etc.

Jammeh's radio silence over a couple of months is without good reason. He is confronted with a sustained threat to his regime from political opponents at home and abroad.

Internally, several of Jammeh's economic interests have been targeted by arsonists, signaling an elevation of the opposition to his regime which appears to be planned and implimented from within his own internal security apparatus.  These arson attacks have heightened the angst within the immediate circle of the dictatorship that was once considered to be impenetrable until the 30th December 2014 attack on State House which shook the confidence of the military and splinter the security apparatus.

While Jammeh's vulnerability has been enhanced over time by opposition from Gambian dissidents living abroad,  the regime is being challenged internally by the United Democratic Party's April peaceful demonstrations which was kick-started by one of the party executive member and youth leader, Solo Sandeng, who was arrested, tortured and subsequently died in custody. The regime's response to the demonstrations with excessive force that resulted in the arrest and sentencing of the UDP leader, Ousainou Darboe, and dozens of his officials was roundly condemned by the international community.

The swift and intense criticism resulted in Jammeh's withdrawal from and avoidance of direct confrontation with the opposition that has contributed to his withdrawal from the public scene while he assesses the new political challenges  posed by the emergence of the Gambia Democratic Congress led by Mama Kandeh, a former member of Jammeh's ruling APRC and Dr. Isatou Touray, the Independent candidate.

Sources close to Jammeh are suggesting that the APRC leader is more concerned about the threat posed by Mama Kandeh than any of the other opponents, not because of the purported strength of Kandeh's over-all support and the claim that he is siphoning support from Jammeh's column. According to the same sources,  Jammeh is convinced that Macky Sall, the Senegalese president is partially bankrolling the GDC's party leader and as a result, Jammeh's agents are fanning the Senegalese landscape to collect evidence to confirm his suspicion.