Senegal could severe ties with Gambia over executionsBy TAMBA JEAN-MATTHEW in Dakar | Wednesday, August 29 2012 at 15:46
Senegal has summoned the Gambian envoy accredited to Dakar to give a "convincing" explanation over the circumstances leading to the execution of two Senegalese prisoners in Banjul last Sunday.
Failure to give a clear explanation for the executions, the Senegalese government will have no other option but to declare the Gambian envoy persona non grata, a statement issued by the prime minister's office said.
The warning came on Tuesday night immediately following the return of President Macky Sall from South Africa where he was on a private visit.
On Wednesday morning, Gambian ambassador Gibril Seman Joof was summoned to Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye's office where the warning was repeated.
The Premier demanded that the ambassador “urgently provide all useful information over the situation leading to the condemnation and execution of our two compatriots by your government.”
Last Sunday, the government of Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh executed nine death row prisoners who included a Senegalese man and woman.
Ms Tabara Samba and Mr Djibril Ba were executed by firing squad for alleged murder alongside seven other Gambians, most of them military personnel.
The executions have been widely condemned internationally.
President Sall who was accompanied to South Africa by a high powered delegation including opposition leaders, was forced to cut short his visit due to the severe floods that have killed about 13 people across Senegal following Sunday’s torrential rains.
Speaking on national television on Tuesday night upon his arrival, President Sall expressed dismay over the attitude of the Gambian government and its leader, describing the executions as “inadmissible”.
President Sall further demanded of his Gambian counterpart not to execute Mr Saliou Niang, another Senegalese on death row in Gambia.
All indications are that the Senegalese government could recall its own envoy to Gambia if "ample and clear" explanations for the Gambian action are not forthcoming.
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