A group of concerned Gambians, the Manding Network, has called on the Economic Community of West African States to condemn President Barrow’s decision to work with the APRC.
In a statement shared with The Standard, the group said: “We want to urge Ecowas to see the alliance as a very dangerous precedent especially for the victims of human rights violation under Jammeh.
“In this regard, we appeal to regional bloc to issue a statement or engage President Barrow personally and ask him to drop the idea in the interest of the victims whose pains are yet to heal. The alliance, in our opinion, should send a red flag to Ecowas.”
The APRC, the group added, “only reminds us of oppression, blood and terror”. The group said the alliance will undermine the TRRC process.
“Whenever APRC is mentioned to any patriotic citizen, the first thing that comes to your mind is Jammeh,” they added.
The group also urged Ecowas to tell the Gambian people under whose authority the Senegalese soldiers were deployed into the Gambia.
“We want to know whether the troops are under the mandate of Ecowas or Barrow because as far as we are concerned, the Senegalese forces are only serving the interest of one person.”
Manding Network called on the government to explain the continuous presence and funding source of the Ecowas troops. The troops were deployed in the country in 2017 to restore democracy after former President Yahya Jammeh refused to step down.
“We want to request for the Gambia Government to explain to us the continuous presence and source of funding of the Ecomig. As citizens we are concerned that the continuous presence of the troops will only continue to demoralize the spirit of our men and women in uniform.”
The government has since said the troops serve as stabilising forces.
However, according to the group, President Barrow is using that as a privilege to keep asking for extension of the troop’s mandate.
“The presence of Ecomig in the country is now questionable. We don’t know what President Barrow’s intentions are, especially now that he has slapped Gambians in the face by working with APRC, the common enemy,” the group added.