Saturday, 7 January 2017

No invasion of the Gambia!

Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe

AS FAMILIES and friends and peoples heartily exchange the customary best wishes for the new year, west Africa’s most notorious Murdering Inc., genocidist Nigeria, is already putting final touches to the launch of its new year’s early bloodbath episode. But this time round, the target isn’t across the predictable borders of the contiguous state of Biafra to the south but further to its west – the Gambia, 1500 miles away.

“Elections” for head of regime were held in the Gambia last month (December 2016) in which Yahya Jammeh, the incumbent, apparently lost and conceded to opponent Adama Barrow initially but soon changed his mind because he had “since [found] irregularities in the polling” exercise. Jammeh has instead “appealed” to the country’s high court, which he invariably controls, to “rule” on the dispute.


In the meantime, a 4-person representative body of ECOWAS, west Africa region’s economic organisation, of which the Gambia is a member, travelled to Banjul, the Gambia, to begin some mediation in the crisis. The delegation met both Jammeh and Barrow, separately, but was unsuccessful in resolving the contentious issues at stake. An ECOWAS summit in Abuja, Nigeria, later followed on the subject but its resulting communiqué, prompted largely by Nigeria and the organisation’s secretariat, was outlandishly bellicose.

Instead of continuing and even expanding the parameters of its representative’s mediation visit to Banjul, just begun with the very brief, mostly formal procedural sessions with the Gambian protagonists, the communiqué was surprisingly emphatic that it would “take all necessary actions to enforce the results of 1st December 2016 elections”. To underscore the gravity of this increasing bellicosity, some media organisations in the region have in the last few days been publishing images of “battle ready Nigeria” troops “awaiting orders” for “possibly invading” the Gambia to “topple”/“force” Jammeh out of office. Marcel de Souza of the ECOWAS secretariat indeed confirmed in a separate press briefing (Premier Times, Lagos, 23 December 2016) that the Abuja summit had “authorised” an ECOWAS “standby force” to invade the Gambia from staging bases in Sénégal (not explicitly stated in the communiqué) if Jammeh did not “step down” by 19 January 2017, the presumed end of “his mandate”. (Sénégal almost envelopes the Gambia land space completely, as the map above indicates, thanks to those incredulously bizarre conquest frontier lines darted out by the dual European occupying states France and Britain in the region in the 19th century.)

Scant credible election

As most people know, what passes for election across Africa is largely a farce. The murderous (European)conqueror “Berlin-state” entrenched on the continent does not require an election to function and uphold its definitive mission and as I have shown more expansively elsewhere (Herbert Ekwe-Ekwe“Elections in Africa: the elector, the court, the outcome”, PENSAR-Revisita de Ciêcias Jurídicas, , accessed 20 March 2014), Europe’s lead-occupation powers, particularly Britain and France, have ensured that stipulated client-nations/nationalities (for instance islamist Hausa-Fulani in a Nigeria, Arabised African islamists in the Sudan) in the contrived conquest ensemble on the ground in Africa (Nigeria, Niger, Chad, the Congos, the Guineas, the Sudan, whatever… ) run the “successor state” almost in perpetuity – principally to oversee and safeguard extant European World strategic and socioeconomic expropriated havens. It is in this context that Nigeria, the archetype of the deathly ensemble in place created by none other than Britain, the genocidist executioner of 3.1 million Igbo people in the most gruesome genocide in Africa since Germany’s assault on the Herero and the Nama and the Berg Damara peoples of southwest Africa in the early 1900s, is tellingly the grave emergency to the peace and goodwill of contemporary west Africa; definitely not a Yahya Jammeh.

APART FROM perhaps Sénégal and to a limited extent Ghana, none other of the 16 countries of ECOWAS has had a credible election as a “Berlin-state” of Africa. A credible election in a “Berlin-state” is intrinsically a contradiction in terms. Just Botswana, Mauritius and South Africa, paradoxically, given its very familiar history, would join Sénégal and Ghana in that league of rare exceptions in Africa on this score (“Elections in Africa”).

It should be stressed, therefore, that the overwhelming majority of the heads of regime gathered in the Abuja summit on the Gambia came to power originally as military putschists or in rigged elections, often aided by judiciaries they control (“Elections in Africa”). Nigeria regime’s Muhammadu Buhari, a trooper actively involved in 50 years of the Igbo genocide, was imposed as chief of state operations in March 2015 by the then British Prime Minister Cameron, born five months after Buhari first got involved in his murder of the Igbo in phase-I of the genocide, and US President Obama, notably the first African-descent president in 233 years of the US republic. Given particularly the monstrosity of the dehumanisation of African peoples in the United States throughout the course of this epoch, Barack Obama’s support for the Igbo genocide in Africa, the land of his fathers, is an incalculable tragedy, a catastrophic legacy. Since Buhari was installed in power, 2000 Igbo have been murdered by his genocidist military and his two other adjunct forces, Boko Haram and Fulani militia – two of the world’s five deadliest terrorist organisations. Neither Obama’s White House nor his state department nor his embassy in Nigeria has ever condemned any of these murders.

Hands off the Gambia!

Nigeria and ECOWAS must now abandon all plans to invade the Gambia. They have demonstrated woefully that they are no worthy arbiters in this dispute. The peoples in the Gambia must be allowed by essentially hostile neighbours, and the rest of the world, to sort out the problems on the “elections” and whatever else without threats and intimidations. There isn’t anything sacrosanct about the 19 January 2017 “end of mandate” date in the Gambia for protagonists to sit down and negotiate a way out of their differences. These negotiations shouldn’t have deadlines. The Gambian parties must be encouraged to discuss and discuss and discuss to resolve this crisis – however long it takes them.

Surely, the world can facilitate these intra-Gambian talks. The lead arms supplying countries to Africa, especially Britain, the US, Russia, China, the Ukraine and Pakistan should immediately ban all arms supplies to the Gambia and Nigeria as well as to the rest of the 14 ECOWAS member states. These regimes and states, with the obviously negligible manufacturing base of their own, rely heavily on the world outside for the lethal range of armaments to murder peoples and devastate communities within and without their frontiers. 

West Africa is arguably the continent’s most troubled region and another front of confrontation, this time in the Gambia, must be stopped.
(New York Art Quartet plays “Mohawk”, a composition by Charlie Parker [personnel:  John Tchicai, alto saxophone; Roswell Rudd, trombone; Reggie Workman, bass; Milford Graves, drums; recorded: Nippon Phonogram, New York, US, 16 July 1965]) 

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