By Tabora Bojang
Finance Minister Mambury Njie disclosed to lawmakers yesterday that the peacekeeping cost of the Ecomig regional forces in The Gambia is fully covered by the Ecowas Commission with no financial obligations on the government.
Ecomig was created by Ecowas in January 2017 as a regional peacekeeping mission mandated to ensure the stability of The Gambia during its democratic transition following former president Yahya Jammeh’s electoral defeat in December 2016.
Since its creation in 2017, the mission has been funded by the European Union through contributions made to Ecowas. However, the EU funding was cut in March 2020.
Appearing before the National Assembly questions-for-oral answers session, Minister Njie was asked by Serekunda West representative Madi Ceesay to inform the parliament about the financial obligations of the government regarding the presence of Ecomig forces in the country.
In response, Minister Njie stated that there is “no financial obligation” on the Barrow government for the presence of Ecomig forces.
“The Ecomig operational cost is 100 percent funded by Ecowas,” the minister added.
Bakau NAM Assan Touray told the minister that since he has made it clear that the mission is fully funded by Ecowas which The Gambia is a member of, the assembly would be interested to know how much The Gambia contributes towards the mission’s funding through Ecowas.
The Finance Minister replied: “We are contributing through our levy. We do pay our subscription to Ecowas but in terms of what we [government] are contributing into Ecomig indirectly, it is zero.”