(JollofNews) – President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia has renewed calls for the expulsion of Gambian dissidents and asylum seekers from neighbouring Senegal.
Over a thousand Gambians including political activists and journalists are currently living in Senegal were they have sought refuge since they fled the Gambia due to persecution by the Gambian regime.
But Mr Jammeh who came to power in a military coup 20 years ago and is accused by rights groups of committing serious rights abuses including arbitrary arrest and enforced disappearance said he would like to see his opponents and critics expelled from Senegal or returned to Gambia to stand trial.
He said President Macky Sall of Senegal has so far refused his demands and as a result their personal relationships have hit the rocks.
“I cannot be friends with President Macky Sall when he is harbouring my enemy; that’s impossible,” Mr Jammeh said at the July 22 Square in Banjul where he lavished gifts to Senegal’s wrestling champion, Eumeu Sene.
“I want Gambians and Senegalese to know that we are the same people and one family. But the problem between us is that you cannot be my friend and at the same time harbouring my enemies. We Gambians have never done that. There is nobody who has a problem with Senegal that has ever come to stay in the Gambia, and even using newspapers to attack Senegal.”
Mr Jammeh said he has visited Senegal twice since the election of Mr Sall in 2012, butwill not be going back there anytime soon.
“He [President Sall] cannot be my host in Senegal when he is hosting my enemies,” he added. “He can’t host me and host my enemies in the same place. You cannot put cats and dogs on the same bed.”