With His Attempt to Silence the Gallant People of Kartong Failing, Jammeh Employs His Most Insidious Maneuver – Divide And Conquer!

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A whooping five Cabinet Ministers are currently in Kartong, at the home of the Alkalo to be more specific, to “discuss” the sand mining saga that recently saw the men and women of this once peaceful village declaring “enough is enough” and taking to the streets in what one eye witness described as “the greatest act of defiance” he has seen in years in that country.

On the surface, this mission undertaken by these Ministers may seem like a routine act of reconciliation.  However, upon further scrutiny, observers have uncovered a familiar insidious ploy at work that is meant to do nothing but to break the bond of unity that this once divided village (thanks to Yahya Jammeh’s strategy of pitting family against family, tribe against tribe method) has finally accomplished – ironically, thanks to this sand mining protest.

When news of the protest in Kartong broke, it seemed from the beginning that this is what activists both on the ground and in the Diaspora have been waiting for – they took to Facebook, Twitter, contacted international organizations and human rights groups, set up GoFundme account for funds to be raised, private individuals wired money right away, online radios and blogs cranked up their publicity engines to both inform those on the ground of what’s going on (since it was a media blackout in the Gambia as usual) and to amplify the message from the activists on the ground in Kartong, the coordination and messaging were impressive.  Sensing the firestorm this situation has generated and with the potential to rally the entire nation, Jammeh decided to save face and in his usual bravado style, promised during the leg of his Meet-The-People Tour in Gunjur to free the arrested protestors but that “anyone whose parent’s fail to discipline you, the government will do it for them.”

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It is against this backdrop that the Cabinet Ministers are in Kartong to get concessions from elders of the town knowing fully well the youths are in no mood for negations or any form of capitulating despite the tortures already meted out on them by the security forces, some of whom currently need medical attention.  The people of Kartong must therefore stick to their position and most importantly maintain the hard fought unity they have finally achieved.  For all the years they have been fighting this cause to see sand mining stopped in their community because of the environmental disaster this has already caused, this is the moment of truth – it is either now or never!  They therefore must make sure this opportunity doesn’t slip – the regime is at its worst, it cannot afford a protracted fight on this matter, Yahya Jammeh is unwilling to engage in a confrontation, and the situation in the country is too shaky to allow for further rocking of the boat.  Do not give up your demands for any promises whatsoever, do not walk away from the streets until all the bulldozers leave town, and make sure you continue to speak with one voice.  The moment you fail in any of the above, you can kiss your noble cause a goodbye!  We are here for support in any way, be rest assured.

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