Breaking News:Gambia fires two NIA officials, border guard for allowing rebels loyal to Col.Cham into Banjul!
Gambia Fires two NIA officials, border guard for allowing Dissident rebels into Banjul!

……Jammeh accuses US/UK of “Diplomatic double standards.”

As Wade’s Gov’t implicated into “What Gambia’s Gov’t called coup plot” against the APRC!!

By Our Western Division Correspondent Wise Man.
Approved and Commissioned by the Freedom Newspaper.

Two top officials of Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency and a Custom border guard have been released from custody after they were fired from the service, the Freedom Newspaper can authoritatively report. Sarjo Kuyateh, Musa Kebbeh and Bolong Mara Sanneh have their services terminated with immediate effect. They were accused of allowing Casamance rebels into the Gambia who the government says were allegedly sent by army fugitive Colonel Ndure Cham to launch secret operations in the Gambia before executing their plans to unseat the government of the day. The three men who spent  two weeks behind bars are currently jobless.

Their release  followed “wild allegations” peddled by the Jammeh government against the Wade government accusing the former French colony of trying to destabilize the Gambia. The government claimed that the Wade government is sponsoring Gambian dissidents to overthrow the APRC government. It also accuses leading Western democracies such as the United States and the United Kingdom of playing diplomatic double standards by failing to condemn Wade’s alleged moves to destabilize the Gambia. In a statement which appeared on the pro-government Newspaper the Daily Observer, the government branded the named countries as “hypocrites” who are idly watching by to allow Wade to put the Gambia into flames in the name of harboring what they called “Gambian dissidents.”

The three sacked security officials were released on bail. The fate of the detained rebels are yet to be decided. The government has decided to use the Daily Observer to signal the Wade government about the so called evidence they have so far gathered against its neighbor. The Wade government is yet to react to these damning allegations, which observers say is bound to undermine the bilateral ties between the sister countries.

The government claimed that the Senegalese government has been behind the mass murder of civilians living  along the Gambia/Senegalese border. The government says their investigations revealed that a Senegalese backed rebel faction called “Jakai” was behind the maiming and killing of  the defenseless civilian population. It also claimed that the said armed group facilitated the escape  of Colonel Ndure Cham,  who the government claimed is working with  Kukoi Samba Sanyang, Sana Sabally, LT.Badjie, Major Bajinka and others to unseat the Jammeh regime. Wade, they said was determined to effect regime change in the Gambia come what may.

Sources close to the NIA in Banjul said the Gambian leader has privately written to an international body informing them about the evidence it gathered against the Wade administration as he did few years ago. The NIA official said the President had claimed that President Wade “had an interest in the Gambia and as such wanted to see his regime go come what may.” Reading the letter to this reporter under strict conditions of anonymity the NIA official said a section of the letter reads that “President Wade is supplying arms to Gambian dissidents to overthrow my government. These rebels are currently undergoing training in Senegal. We have arrested some of these rebels sent to survey our security instillations. We are ready to defend The Gambia should these rebels invade our country.”

The NIA official said the Gambian leader was increasingly worried by the fragile security situation and as such had ordered for nationwide standby. “Our soldiers are patrolling the border regularly  since the capture of these rebels. We have issued an intelligence briefing  to other sister security forces about a looming security threat. Based on the intelligence reports we gathered so far, an imminent attack is inevitable. We have put the necessary security measures to quell the pending attack. Based on the report our men provided to the President, he resorted to writing letters to regional and International organizations informing them about plans hatched to destabilize this country. President Jammeh has closed all lines of Communication with President Wade. He insists that unless the UN intervenes, he would not talk to Wade. He has sent some of our men to Casamance to lobby support from Salifu Sarjo should these rebels go ahead with their plans to attack us. Our men are currently having meeting with Sarjo. Sarjo had promised to come to Jammeh’s aid at any given time. Sarjo said President Wade was behind all these confusion and was ready to stand by his brother at  any given time.”

A close aide of the President said the Gambian leader has spoken about his determination to support Salifu Sarjo since according to the source” Jammeh had concluded that Wade was with his enemies. That the best way to succeed to pre-empt any attack was to work hand in hand with Sarjo’s group. He is very angry with Wade.”

About two years ago, the Gambian leader President Yahya Jammeh wrote a damaging letter against President Wade of Senegal accusing him of  trying to over throw his government. The letter which  was copied to the then United Nations Secretary General Koffi Annan, is here by reproduced verbatim by the Freedom Newspaper. Please read on….

His Excellency Kofi Annan,
Secretary General United Nations,
New York.
15th September 2005
Your Excellency,

Let me begin by reminding you of the following facts: -1. During his trip to France as President of Senegal, President Abdoulaye Wade declared that the objective of his mission was to seek arms in order to prepare the Senegalese armed forces against the Gambia and Guinea-Bissau. This matter was taken seriously by my Government as it came as a complete surprise and without any provocation from The Gambia. Fortunately, this request was rejected by the French Authorities. We informed all the diplomatic missions in Banjul as well as other international institutions of this unfortunate development.
2. Ever since that time President Wade has maintained a very aggressive and hostile attitude towards the Gambia and this is manifested in a multi-faceted form. One such form was his attempt during 2001-2003 to recruit mercenaries from an African country to launch attacks against The Gambia under the code name “The Gambia Project”. This project was thwarted partly by the intervention of some western countries and partly by the lack of funds. This was followed by incessant border closures, harassment of Gambian officials including cabinet ministers at Dakar International Airport and other Senegalese points of entry. This culminated in the unprovoked attacks against Gambian football players and supporters during a football match between The Gambia and Senegal in Dakar. That tragic event was fuelled by President Wade himself who had declared on the eve of the football match that the game was not a simple football match but a war between the two countries. Buses from the Gambia were destroyed in addition to the many Gambians that were seriously injured. We did not retaliate as a Government because we do not believe in violence and conflict but development and peace.

3.In addition President Wade and his Government harbours dangerous criminals from The Gambia including coup plotters and would-be assassins who attempted on my life. His sole intention in harbouring these elements is to destabilize The Gambia by launching sabotage attacks on our infrastructure and strategic economic projects and installations.

4. President Wade and his Government were also responsible for spoiling the excellent relations that existed between The Gambia and Guinea Bissau and between President Kumba Yalla and myself through misinformation and smear campaign. It would be recalled that I was the first to assist and give logistical support to President Kumba Yalla during his first year in office including the financing and facilitation of his official overseas trips. Part of the misinformation as that The Gambia’s intention was to annex Guinea Bissau and this led to President Kumba Yalla’s unfortunate declaration that he would wipe out The Gambia within two minutes.

5. Because of our good intentions and peace loving nature we have been ignoring these hostile campaigns but resorted only to reporting the matter to the International Community for their information.

6.Since 2001, President Wade has stepped up his smear campaign and misinformation that consist also in falsely reporting The Gambia to many countries and Governments including the Government of the United States of America.

7.Without provocation in August 2005 President Wade closed the borders between the two countries with armed soldiers in violation of several agreements and treaties including ECOWAS Protocols, UN Charter, the WTO Agreements and the Constitutive Act of the African Union, under the pretext that The Gambia has increased ferry crossing tariffs – a measure which falls within the sovereign rights of The Gambia. This illegal and provocative closure is still in force as you read this letter.

8. He has succeeded in destabilizing Guinea Bissau, after The Gambia had put an end to a bloody civil war in that country, by interfering with their security service which led to the overthrow of President Kumba Yalla and the subsequent crises. He has been inviting senior military officers from the Guinea Bissau Armed Forces without the knowledge of the transitional Government and giving them huge sums of money to the point that the President of the Transitional Government of Guinea Bissau complained to ECOWAS and several Governments and international bodies about President Wade’s incessant interference in Guinea Bissau which has now led to more than two coup attempts up to the time of the electoral process.

9.Since the border closure, he has not only been levelling unfounded accusations against The Gambia, but he has also been using the Senegalese media and press to spread misinformation about alleged unrest in The Gambia as a consequence of border closure which is nothing but a figment of his malicious imagination.

10.The latest act is the fabrication of blatant, unfounded and malicious accusations contained in a letter to the UN Secretary General dated 8th September 2005 alleging that I as the President of The Gambia have been providing arms to the PAIGC Party in Guinea Bissau and the Prime Minister of that country in order to attack the headquarters of the Armed Forces of Guinea Bissau. He also alleged that because of the provision of these arms the PAIGC Party in Guinea Bissau has refused to accept the results of the elections and that Mr. Malang Bekai Sagna is The Gambia’s preferred candidate.

11. In the same letter, a copy of which is attached hereto, he asked The Secretary General of the United Nations to put pressure on me and my Government in order to dissuade me from interfering in the internal affairs of Guinea Bissau.

12. Your Excellency, any sane person who knows the role of The Gambia in international and African affairs will realize that these accusations constitute nothing but cheap and ignorant smear campaign against the Government and the people of the Gambia.
13.  As the coordinator of the “friends of Guinea Bissau”, The Gambia supported and called for the convening of donors’ conferences on behalf of Guinea Bissau at the level of the UN.

14.  Let me also remind Your Excellency about the pivotal role The Gambia played in the Cassamance peace process which has been jeopardised by President Wade’s mis-handling of the situation despite his declaration all over the world to the contrary.

15.  We hereby challenge the international community to ask President Wade and his government to provide proof of these allegations because throughout the period leading to the elections in Guinea Bissau, The Gambia was the only country that had refused to receive any of the Bissau Guinean presidential candidates on the basis of the principles of neutrality that we espouse. Amazingly all these parties were frequently invited to Dakar by President Wade, and this led to a series of problems in Guinea Bissau including the recent attempted coup by Kumba Yalla and the present stand-off.

16. We also challenge the UN, The African Union and ECOWAS to prevail upon Senegal to provide proof of these allegations which now constitute a more dangerous development in an already volatile situation. This indeed is one step too far, and is over stretching the Gambia’s patience and peaceful nature. For five years, we have managed to cope with this incessant hostility, provocation and aggression from President Wade. The latest letter cited above, a copy of which is attached hereto, is just unacceptable and stretches The Gambia’s tolerance and peaceful nature beyond its limit, and we will be obliged to take any measure we deem fit to defend our integrity, sovereignty, national interest and international image.

17. Since President Wade has declared war against the Gambia from the beginning of his assumption of power, we have no choice but to defend ourselves by any means necessary and we should not be blamed for any eventual consequences.

18. We do hope that we will not be pushed further because any further provocations from Senegal will lead to dire consequences for Senegal and the entire sub-region.

19. We equally hope that all decent people the world over realise how tolerant and patience The Gambia has been to date despite incessant provocation and hostilities from a country that has benefited immensely from the Gambia’s rapid socio-economic and infrastructural development by over US$100 million from 1994 to date.

20.Despite all these provocations and hostilities from The President and the Government of Senegal, The Gambia is playing host to over 750,000 Senegalese nationals. These Senegalese nationals were the first among other West African citizens to benefit from exemption of the alien certificate and tax – a measure that constitute a big economic sacrifice for The Gambian Treasury since 1995.

21.Despite all these provocations and hostilities for the President and Government of Senegal, Senegalese living in the Gambia have not been subjected to any form of hostile treatment from the Government of The Gambia. We invite anybody in doubt to send a fact finding mission to the Gambia.

22.  We do hope that the International Community will intervene to put an end to this dangerously escalating situation. The Gambia remains committed to peace on the continent and in the world as demonstrated by the country’s contributions of peace keeping troops to several conflicts zones including Liberia, Cote d’Ivoire, East Timor, Eritrea/Ethiopia, Haiti and most recently in the Darfur Region of the Sudan just to name a few.

Please accept, Your Excellency, the assurances of my highest consideration and fraternal esteem.

Yahya A.J.J Jammeh
President of the Republic of The Gambia.”

President Jammeh has always entertained the  belief that President Wade had been aiding and abetting Gambians fugitive soldiers in that French speaking country. Repeated request to have the soldiers handed to him were rejected by the Wade administration. Senegal which shared borders with the Gambia was also implicated in the country’s March abortive coup attempt. A Senegalese envoy assigned to the Gambia was accused of having meetings with one of the coup suspects in a bid to gather funds from a top Senegalese Security agent. The Banjul based Daily Observer, which is sympathetic to the Jammeh government ran numerous editorials accusing Senegal of harbouring fugitivearmy colonel Ndure Cham and Dakar’s direct meddling into Gambia’s local politics.

Highly placed intelligence sources in Banjul said the President received a briefing recently about an imminent attack to take place in the country. Senegal has been accused of being used as a safe heaven by  the attackers. Three top former army officers Ndure Cham, Sana Bairo Sabally and Kalifa Bajinka names appeared prominently on the NIA report, which was handed to the President. The men have been accused of subversive activities by the govenment of the day.

The government’s allegations against these three former officers of the Gambian National Army has been discredited in view of the past strained relationship between the three former soldiers. A  source close to the Presidency  says Sana Sabally harboured grudges against Bajinka, following Bajinka’s move to frame Sabally in a palace coup attempt –about 12 years ago. Banjinka who served as a star witness for the state testified that Sabally and the late Sadibou Hydara wanted to replace President Jammeh’s government through forceful means.

For Ndure Cham, the source said it was Sana Sabally who jailed him in July of 1994. Their chance of reconciling beats the imagination of  the intelligence community in Banjul. But the President still entertains  the belief that the men were capable of wagging an arm attack against his government.An insider at the police head quarters in Banjul said the detained Casamance rebels were yet to be charged with any offence.

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Posted on Monday, June 11, 2007 (Archive on Sunday, July 22, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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