By Omar Bah
The Chief of Defence Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces has said that Senegal is very critical to ensuring Gambia’s peace and stability.
Speaking at a high level stakeholders meeting recently organised by Article 19 on promoting access to information in The Gambia, General Masanneh Kinteh said Gambia should promote an agenda of policy with Senegal that they would see Gambia as relevant to their own security, “and this consciousness is getting to Senegal.”
“We are been surrounded by Senegal so it means anybody who has issues with the Gambia, will have to negotiate with Senegal before you can reach us. I think that is a strategic advantage,” he said.“What we have to do is to be able to see how we maximize that advantage because it has offered us some advantages just like a crusade,” he added.
He said the geographical location of The Gambia within Senegal is an accidental history and nothing can change that. CDS Kinteh further added that all the efforts Senegal are making to assist Gambia does not mean that they are being pushed by the international community but it is largely because the two countries’ peace and stability are interwoven.
“Senegal knows that a peaceful Gambia corresponds to a peaceful Senegal. We need to promote cooperation with Senegal in the field of security defence, economic integration in the future. That is the only way we can grantee our peace and stability,” he said.
CDS Kinteh added that anytime Gambia has border issues with Senegal or political differences, “it puts us on the edge as members of the armed and security services.”
“We want to see a very strong bond between the two countries so that we don’t have to spend even on our security or intelligence,” he concluded.