I’m having a bad week. People are pissing me off right, left and centre. The latest is Yahya Jammeh. Now I know what you’re thinking – “who the fuck is Yahya Jammeh?” Well, he’s the President of the Gambia and he’s just fucked up a very nice holiday I was about to take next week.
Seems El Presidente of the Gambia Jammeh doesn’t like the result of the election that was held in December, despite the fact that he’d initially conceded defeat. Then he changed his mind. He was put into power by the army in 1994 and has been there ever since, likely salting away a couple of bob along the way? There’s currently a state of emergency in the Gambia, it has two presidents as the President elect, Adama Barrow, has been sworn in in Senegal. But Jammeh is still hanging on backed by the best regiments of the army.
His cabinet is disolving around him and buggering off to Senegal where, understandably, it’s a tad safer for them. The Nigerian army has moved tanks, warplanes and a ship to the area and is massed on the border waiting for a UN resolution to legalise armed intervention.
Meanwhile, the UK operators are repatriating their clients in the Gambia as fast as planes can be got there before the airport is seized and they’re stuck there. The FCO is telling people not to go unless it’s essential, and my tour operator has cancelled my very nice two weeks in the best hotel in the country.
I feel sorry for the Gambians whose jobs in the hotels and shops have just gone down the toilet as the tourists leave. They’ve got bugger all to fall back on so the prospect of a civil uprising looks inevitable unless they fancy starving. On the other hand, there could be an invasion by a West African coalition army. Either way, if you were a Gambian, I suspect you’d be on the ferry across the river to Senegal tout suite.
As for me, I’m just glad I wasn’t flying out last week instead of next week.