By Femi Peters – Rebel fighters at the Casamance which is a border town between Gambia and Senegal are alleged to be paid salaries by the President Abdoulie Wade’s government in Senegal. This was amongst other allegations levied against Senegal by the Head of Civil service and the Secretary General of the Government of the Gambia, DR Njogou L Bah.
Dr Njogou went further to explain the issues that had arisen in the past where the Government of Senegal under the Leadership of President Wade had clearly shown hostility towards The Gambia like during a TV Interview where he was asked what he would expect France to do for him, he requested for arms from France to use against The Gambia, Guinea Bissau and Mauritania.
He went on to give other instances like in 2005, when Senegal decided to close its borders to The Gambia in order to bring hardship to the people of The Gambia. At his failure to achieve this, he later instigated Senegalese to attack Gambian Players and fans in Dakar, which he did before the match by telling the Senegalese team that the match was not a game of football but war. His latest move was to tell the UN that The Gambia was buying Long range rockets and arm from Iran basically for attacks on Senegal as noticed in the present seizure of arms consignment in Nigeria which were reportedly meant for The Gambia.
Supporting the MFDC rebels with arms and training them to fight in Casamance, has always been what the Senegalese government accuses the Gambia for doing since he was of the Joula tribe and the MFDC were predominantly Joula. These Rebels were actually two groups, the MFDC and Jarkar, the Jarkar which are known to have as far back as from 2003 caused brutality like castration and forcing victims to dig their own graves. Evidence documented showing that the Senegalese Government paid and trained this Jarkar rebels, have been produced by the Gambian Government. Whenever rebels from this group are arrested on Gambia soil, the Government of Senegal always calls for their release. Presently 17 alleged rebels from the Senegalese southern region of Casamance charged with two counts of unlawful possession of firearms and illegal entry into the Republic of The Gambia are on trial in The Gambia.
Finally Dr Njogou cited the situations where Gambian goods are not allowed to get to Mali via Senegal, but Goods from Senegal come into the Gambia with ease. Government contract and jobs are always given to Senegalese but such gestures are not reciprocated to the Gambia.