19 September 2011

Gambia: The Government Diplomatic Sensitivities and the Tourist Season


The Gambia is a country full of ironies. It is not uncommon for the leadership of the ruling party to accuse the British and other foreign governments of providing material support to the opposition in the Gambia.

On the other hand, foreign governments consider the opposition in the Gambia to be disunited and are even predicting the victory of the ruling party. Strangely enough, despite all the accusation of the APRC of collaborating with the opposition no institution or country has committed itself to finance the Presidential Elections. The registration of voters also did not attract any external funding. The whole international community has adopted a wait and see approach with regards to the coming Presidential elections.

The ruling party should tell the Gambian people which opposition party is receiving funding from Western Governments. If it does not give evidence of funding by a western power then its leaders should be seen to be engaged in a mere propaganda exercise.

The facts on the ground reveal that no foreign power will help the Gambian people to Change the Gambia. It is the Gambian people themselves who would have to be their own saviours. The Gambian opposition has nothing to gain whether the Gambia Government establishes a cordial relation with a foreign Government or develops a hostile relationship. It is the Gambian people who stand to be disadvantaged if embassies transfer to other countries and if tourists do not feel welcomed because of bad publicity.

The Gambia stands to lose a great deal if the opposition fails to come up with one voice and if the ruling party continues to give the impression that foreign governments are using the opposition to undermine the Government. They should try to maintain amicable relations with all governments in order to promote the interest of the Gambian people.

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