Gambia Democratic Congress Party (GDC) Leader Mama Kandeh says outside military intervention is not the viable solution to the current political impasse in the Gambia. Mr. Kandeh, who was speaking during a news conference today, unequivocally rejected any form of military intervention in Gambia’s political impasse—be it local or international intervention. Kandeh, challenges the incoming Adama Barrow administration and that of Yahya Jammeh to come to the negotiation table and amicably resolve the impasse than allowing outside forces to intervene in a matter that he says could be resolved domestically by contending parties.
“ Military intervention is not a solution to Gambia’s political impasse. We do not need any military intervention in this country. This is a Gambian problem and should be settled locally,” he said adding that if outside forces are allowed to intervene it could lead to bloodshed and destruction to property. The Gambia’s long trademark of being referred to as the “smiling coast” of West Africa, would be a thing of the past if the impasse is not handled with care, and maturity, he warned.
Mr. Kandeh cited the 1981, rebellion in which Senegal, was called upon to help reinstall the deposed administration of President Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara. That military intervention, according Kandeh, had led to the massive lost of lives and destruction of properties. Hence, the GDC leader believes that violence is not the solution, but peace.
Mr. Kandeh is increasingly concerned about the lack of dialogue between the two political camps: The current ruling APRC headed by Jammeh, and Adama Barrow of the opposition Transition. He says for peace to rain in the Gambia, there must be a line of communication opened between the disputing parties. Kandeh says he has personally tried to reach out to the two parties few days before the elections to sit down and discuss the need for peace pre- and post-election, but none of the parties responded to his invitation. He is once again extending an invitation to the parties concerned to join him in peace talks to settle the impasse.
Kandeh says the current political stalemate, has created an environment of political and economic uncertainty in the country. Businesses are closing, while some families have started leaving the country in fear of their safety, he said.
The GDC leader noted that in the absence of communication among the disputing parties, it would be difficult to achieve any peace. He called on Jammeh and Barrow to resolve the matter peacefully than allowing foreign troops to occupy the country.
On Jammeh’s election petition, Kandeh said the Gambia is a nation of laws. He said Mr. Jammeh’s rights guaranteed by the constitution to seek redress in the courts should be respected. The constitution, he went on, has catered for aggrieved parties to seek redress in the courts if they feel that the polls haven’t been conducted fairly.
He added that the same constitution required all candidates, who took part in the elections to meet certain criteria in order to qualify to run for the position of President. Mr. Kandeh said The Gambia is a nation of laws, and therefore the rule of law should be respected.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai