By Omar Bah
Two Senegalese soldiers serving with West African troops in The Gambia have been repatriated after they were arrested by police for violating the recently ended curfew imposed as part of measures to curb the spread of the corona virus.
The two were arrested by Gambian police last Wednesday night along with 20 other people attending a house party at Bijilo. The man who threw the party was himself arrested.
In statement obtained by The Standard, Ecomig’s public relations officer Commander Andy La-Anyane said the actions of the two soldiers are against the mission’s Standing Operating Procedures.
The full statement reads: “The attention of the Ecowas Mission in the Gambia (Ecomig) has been drawn to the numerous reports in both traditional and social media concerning the arrest of two of its personnel by the Police Intervention Unit of The Gambia for violating curfew regulations. ECOMIG states unequivocally that it condemns this act by its personnel. Aside its mandate, ECOMIG has Standing Operating Procedures which guides the conduct of every personnel. In addition to strict disciplinary measures instituted, all ECOMIG troops are constantly advised to abide by all the laws of The Gambia which includes regulations like curfew and other COVID 19 protocols amongst others. It is therefore inappropriate for any of ECOMIG personnel to go contrary to these regulations.
In order to send a strong message to all ECOMIG personnel and to ensure that no personnel goes against any of these regulations, the two Senegalese soldiers involved have been immediately repatriated to their country. Further disciplinary action is expected to be taken against them upon their arrival back home.
ECOMIG wishes to assure the good people of The Gambia that it will at all times respect all laws of the country and would not shield any of its personnel who violates them. We will also continue to work closely with the security agencies to ensure a safe and secure environment to enable the citizens go about their normal activities in peace.”