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Posted - 25 Jan 2023 :  17:18:41  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote

The Ousman Sonko Saga In Senegal !

One thing Iíve noticed when visiting fellow Gambians is that many of us watch a lot of Senegalese news, and many of us are very current regarding Senegalese politics. And thatís a good thing if you ask me. But I hope our interest in Senegalese politics goes beyond the mere interest or any entertainment value it may provide.

I am not as up-to-date as many Gambians regarding whatís happening in Senegal, but I often keep up enough to have an idea. And currently, few things occupy Senegalese media as much as the Ousman Sonko saga. I understand that a judge has referred his alleged rape case to the criminal chamber for trial. And I donít know about you, but that concerns me a bit. The reason being, The last time Ousman Sonko was arrested, clashes broke out in Senegal and caused undue damage and loss of lives. Given what is at stake for Ousman Sonko and Macky Sall, I can only hope that sanity prevails to let peace prevail. Our ancestors say you can live without a friend but never without a neighbour.

As much as I worry about any potential clashes in our neighbourís yard, Iím also concerned about what happens to Gambians. Given our interrelations and geography, there is no way a crisis in Senegal will not have a significant impact on The Gambia. All we have to do is look at the Casamance crisis and how it has affected our country.

Given our reliance on Senegal, not least of which is the security of our President, I think Gambia must work with Senegal to avert any potential crisis. Peace in Senegal is a matter of Gambiaís national security. It will be tough for Gambia to be at peace when Senegal is not peaceful, just as it will be nigh impossible for Senegal to be at peace when Gambia is not at peace. Therefore, it is our mutual interest to work for peace in both countries. Gambia must not be a spectator in Senegalís quest for peace. We have to work hand in hand with them. This Ousman Sonko situation can get out of hand if not properly managed. Gambia must work with Senegal to handle the case in the best way possible. We cannot wait for things to get out of hand and then react. While working towards this peace, we must also make plans to ensure that should the Ousman Sonko case turns into a full-blown crisis, Gambia is prepared to deal with the situation. Here are some questions to ponder on:

1- Influx of refugees (demographic crisis). Any problem in Senegal will result in an influx of people seeking refuge. Are we prepared to deal with that eventuality?
2- Effect on our economy
What impact will any crisis in Senegal have on our economy?
3- Effect on our security
How does a crisis in Senegal affect our national security?
4- Healthcare facilities
Given the state of our healthcare facilities, what plans do we have in place if patients can no longer travel to Senegal for treatment?
5- Internal security challenges
How will the demographic crisis affect our internal security?
6- If the crisis gets out of hand, Gambia will get sucked into it. What is our plan for such a situation?

I would think these are serious concerns that require some serious thought and planning, and I can only hope that our powers that be are keeping an eye on this situation and taking appropriate measures. Meanwhile, the rest of us can hope and pray as we usually do. May peace prevail in Senegal and the Gambia.


A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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