Mr. President, there is an urgent need to have a meeting between the Ministers of Defence and Interior of The Gambia and Senegal together with Chiefs of Defence Staff and Security Heads for a dialogue to maintain peace in the two countries.
You have always emphasised the need for peace and dialogue in the midst of conflict. It’s high time you engage President Sall on the need for this dialogue to take place.
Mr. President, Senegal and The Gambia are like a room and parlour. Misunderstandings between the two countries should be solved amicably. It’s in the interest of the two governments to reinforce and work together to strengthen their securities. Security is fragile in the Sahel countries with the jihadists well equipped and expanding their strengths to distabilise West African States, killing hundreds of people, thousands displaced in Mali, Burkina Faso, Chad and Niger. A Russian mercenary private company called Wagner is in Mali, Central Africa and Burkina Faso. It’s in the interest of all Sahelian countries especially The Gambia and Senegal to work together and patrol their respective borders without casualties which can bring about animosity. Last October, a 37-year-old Guinean jihadist, was arrested in Kolda Senegal. The two governments should fight the smuggling of arms, drugs, timber etc. If there are Senegalese jailed here, they should be repatriated to Senegal as well as Gambians jailed in Senegal be repatriated too.
Mr. President, Senegambia permanent secretariat should be more productive to foster relations of the two governments and channel complaints or problems between the two countries. The authorities of the two countries should maintain dialogue, explain to their populace the MOU regarding Defence signed by the two governments since the time of late President Jawara.
Your government through former foreign ministers Ousainu Darboe of the Gambia and Mankeur Ndiaye of Senegal signed a Defence pact in 2017 in Dakar. The defence Minister should explain to the nation the role of the ECOMIG Mission and their responsibilities.
Mr. President when you assumed office in 2017, it was reported that you and President Sall with your cabinet ministers should be meeting every six months for a way forward on issues concerning the two countries but you only met twice in March 2017 in Banjul and March 2020 in Dakar.
It is very important that you two presidents meet especially at this very crucial time where there is news of shootings around the borders which is of great security concern for the people of Foni most especially.
The Gambia and Senegal should live as good neighbours since we are related by blood.
Mr. President, public transports especially buses and re-export trade should not have any hindrance. Flights between Dakar and Banjul are very expensive. The two governments should make available domestic flights to reduce the high cost of flights.
Free movement of people and goods as recommended by ECOWAS should be respected.
Finally Mr. President, the just concluded U.S. African Leaders Summit was a great success where President Joe Biden announced the U.S. government’s Millennium Challenge (MCC). The Gambia was among four countries selected which is a big boost for your government. Other countries were Togo, Senegal and Mauritania.
The criteria for the selection were to meet rigorous standards for good governance, fighting corruption and respecting democratic rights.
The U.S. is playing a key role in the world; the U.S. is a good ally to Africa. The Americans should help in security by assisting with equipment and training since the jihadists and the Russian mercenary group Wagner, are gaining momentum in the Sahel region.
The U.S. should help Africa in the energy sector as President Obama promised in 2014 that is yet to materialise. Good infrastructure and Aircrafts are also needed to promote trade in the continent and U.S.
We need more trained doctors, engineers and ICT experts.
The issue of visas for genuine visitors and students should be addressed.
We wish you in advance a Merry Christmas, to your family, members of your government, readers and advertisers of The Point.