By Tabora Bojang
Tallinding NAM, Fatoumatta Jawara, has cautioned her fellow members against “misguiding Gambian security forces” about the presence of Senegalese soldiers in the country.
Jawara who was expelled by the UDP and since allied herself to the party of President Barrow, expressed her disappointment with some members for “forgetting too soon” about Senegalese sacrifices in quelling the 1981 coup and the 2017 impasse.
The lady lawmaker made the comments while contributing to the debate on the call by the Central Baddibu NAM, Sulayman Saho that government should withdraw the Senegalese contingent in the Ecomig forces from Foni. Saho argued that The Gambia is a sovereign state that should be in charge of its security.
He said the presence of Senegalese forces has put the lives of the people of Foni at risk.
But in her submission, Miss Jawara contended that “it is not the responsibility” of the government to determine where troops under Ecomig are deployed.
“These [Senegalese] Ecomig forces stationed in Foni were never determined by the government but by Ecomig. We should all recall the early ’80s when there was a coup in The Gambia. Our brother security forces from Senegal came to rescue us but today I am disappointed by some members of parliament who wanted to turn them into state enemies. Let us stop misguiding our security officers, telling them that the government is not paying attention to them because of Ecomig. We have our [Gambian] officers in other countries and they are well treated there,” Jawara remarked.
But the member for Foni Kansala, Musa ‘Amul’ Nyassi, criticised Saho for neglecting the cries of his people from the early days of the change in 2017.
“You cannot tell me you now have concern about our situation. We are comfortable. We will take the course and do our own fight and we will win and be vindicated,” Nyassi charged.
However, Suwaibou Touray of Wuli East commended NAM Saho for issuing the statement.
He warned against The Gambia entering “reciprocal deals that we do not have the capacity to deal with” citing the controversial hot pursuit agreement.
“Senegalese soldiers controlling timber in our country is threatening security in our country,” Touray of PDOIS warned.