By Omar Bah Civil society organizations drawn from The Gambia and Senegal promoting Senegambia integration have called for a Senegambia identity card. The CSOs movement dubbed MBOKA held a day-long intensive dialogue at the Baobab hotel Saturday to discuss the way forward and as well make recommendation that will include introducing one Senegambia ID system. The movement comprised Beakanyang, Team Gomsa Bopa and host of other Senegalese CSOs with the backing of Yenmare and funding from the National Endowment for Democracy. The executive director Beakanyang, Nfamara Jawneh, said the initiative is geared towards bringing the two countries together and strengthen the efforts of the two governments in their quest to bring the countries even closer. “If West African governments are calling for regional integration that gives birth to the ECOWAS Passport, we are also saying given the fact that there are no countries in the sub-region that are closer like Senegal and Gambia; we can have one Senegambia ID card. This is why we start the Mboka initiative, because you can never have a better time of strengthening Gambia-Senegal relationship than now…We call this period a honey moon,” he told journalists. He said the level of commitment with regard to the promotion of cooperation between the two countries at the highest level is very high, adding that the relationship between presidents Macky Sall and Adama Barrow has laid the foundation for further engagements to bridge the gaps that exist between the two countries. “In this forum we have the police, transport union, councils. What ever we agreed on here will be taken to our two governments for their implementations. We have also drafted a new concept to go round communities to sensitize people on the issues of stereotype between the citizens of the two countries,” he added. He continued: “You will agree with me that the two countries are more or less the same family. The food, language, religion, culture is all the same. So if you are in Senegal it is more or less like if you are in The Gambia and if you are here it is the same. Yes, our colonial masters did separate us but that does not mean we cannot reconsolidate the two people. We know Gambians are married in Senegal and vise versa,” he said. However, he said there are real challenges that are hindering the relationship between the two countries which they need to break, adding if one intends to go to Senegal, you will face numerous avoidable challenges before you reach your destination and that the same applies to Senegalese coming to the Gambia. This, he added, is absurd and should change immediately. Mr Jawneh said whiles the two governments are doing politics “we want to focus on people to people engagement.”]]>
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