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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

‘EU monitoring events in Gambia closely’

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By Omar Bah

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Attila Lajos, EU Ambassador to The Gambia, has said that the European Union keeps an eye on events in the country.
“The EU is monitoring events in the Gambia and we do communicate our concerns whenever certain events occur, like the demonstration in Faraba Banta that resulted in the death of three people,” he told The Standard in an exclusive interview recently.
The EU envoy said people should understand that when it comes to issues of democratisation in any country in the world, it is not a one-day or one-year business and it will affect and impact generations.
Ambassador Lajos said the EU believes that the government has followed due process of the law in the Faraba Banta incident by arresting the members of the police intervention unit believed to be involved in the shooting.

“What the EU is concerned about or would be concerned about is if there was no inquiry after such a very unfortunate tragic event. So there are actions taken and the full investigations are ongoing. Until we have the result of the investigations, I shall not pre-empt the investigations,” he said.
He said one of the lessons people might have learned from this incident is the very fact that reform in the security sector is probably slow “hence the security actors acted the way they did because they were never trained how to tackle demonstrations.”

Lajos further said so long as respect for the rule of law is the main game in the Gambia, the European Union will continue to give the country its backing.
On the issue of accountability, Ambassador Lajos said: “This is very important and becoming increasingly relevant as the country embarks on this democratization process. I think it is important to encourage the development or reforming of the political field in the country.
“I do believe it is important for the country to have a proper dialogue among the political movements because there are certain basic rules everybody should apply and adhere to,” he said.

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