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GAMBIA: WHAT SENEGAL & GAMBIA INTEND TO DO TOGETHER IN FIGHTING AGAINST TERRORISM

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Forwarded by: Salieu Njie

The jihadist upsurge in the region is of concern to the Presidents of both countries. They have called on their respective governments to join forces in the fight against terrorism.

The third session of the Senegalese-Gambian Presidential Council was held on Tuesday August 1 in Banjul, under the joint chairmanship of the two countries’ Heads of State, Macky Sall and Adama Barrow. In the 20-point communiqué issued at the end of the meeting, they “urged their respective governments to pursue the implementation of the two revised roadmaps (resulting from the two previous Presidential Councils) with specific deadlines, notably in the fields of defense, security, border management and environmental protection, economic exchanges and free movement”.

Against a backdrop of increasing terrorist attacks in the West African region, Macky Sall and Adama Barrow called on “their respective governments to accelerate the process of effective deployment of joint or combined patrols along the borders, intelligence sharing and training”.

They also asked the heads of the two countries’ Defense and Security Forces (FDS) to “work closely together to ensure harmonious and effective regulation and implementation of the operational protocol on cross-border pursuit and joint or combined patrols”.

An effective crusade against terrorism requires, in particular, better management of the two countries’ borders. In this area, the press release states, the Gambian and Senegalese Presidents “welcomed the report of the Senegalese-Gambian Joint Border Management Commission, which met in Banjul on July 25 and 26, 2023”.

The Commission, continues the same source, “invited the two governments to work closely together on issues of common interest, while implementing the recommendations relating to the roadmap”.

Safeguarding forestry and wildlife resources in both countries was also a key concern for the two Heads of State. “They renewed their appeal to the two governments to implement, in a concerted manner and without delay, the agreement on the management of forest and wildlife resources”, the press release states.

Among the texts finalized and signed, Gambia and Senegal drew up two conventions (on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of fiscal invasion in matters of income tax, and on judicial cooperation in civil and commercial matters), one agreement (on air transport) and three memorandums of understanding (on the domestication of the Dakar-Banjul air corridor, on health and social action, and between the Dakar and Gambia Chambers of Commerce and Industry).

The third Senegal-Gambia Presidential Council produced roadmap no. 3. This is entitled “Senegambia-Lunyu Bokka” literally meaning Senegambia’what both belong to us, and, according to the communiqué, “aims to consolidate and reinforce the operationalization and updating of the objectives set out in these bilateral agreements, in the mutual interest of the peoples of Senegambia”.

However the third session of the Senegalese-Gambian Presidential Council was convened at a time when Timbuktu Institute(The African Centre for Peace studies have deployed researchers throughout the six administrative regions in the Gambia to carryout a survey pertaining to socio-religious activities in that country.

The survey which was successfully conducted will publish its findings in the near future.
According to the regional Director of Timbuktu Institute Dr.Bakary Sambe,joint military surveillance along the common border of the two countries and intelligence sharing is important but also community dialogue and prevention should be given priority.

The fourth session of the Senegalese-Gambian Presidential Council will be held in Dakar “on dates to be jointly agreed through diplomatic channels”, the source added.

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