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Saturday, October 16, 2021

GAP tells Ecowas to withdraw troops from Gambia

By Omar Bah

The opposition Gambia Action Party has appealed to Ecowas to take the difficult decision of withdrawing the Ecomig troops in the country.

The West African forces were deployed into the country in 2017 to restore democracy following the constitutional crisis caused by the December 2016 disputed presidential election.

“We urge Ecowas to respect the African Charter on Human and People’s Rights and the Declaration on Political Principles ratified at the fourteenth ordinary sessions in Abuja, 6 July, 1991. The Gambia is not in a conflict situation and doesn’t need any military intervention or presence that may likely cause havoc and fear amongst the people of The Gambia,” GAP presidential candidate Alieu Sowe told The Standard.

Sowe, a former army major, said the country’s security forces are competent, reliable and trained enough to provide security for the country.

“We urge the government to also respect the rights of the Gambian people and facilitate the withdrawal of the troops ahead of the presidential election to avoid intimidation of voters,” Sowe said.

The presence of the troops, the retired major added, “serves as intimidation to our people as they continue to torment the very people they ought to defend while the government watches helplessly.”

Sowe called on other political leaders to speak against the continuous presence of the troops.

“GAP believes in the expertise and dedication of our security forces and we urge them to remain loyal to the nation as enshrined in their modus operandi to serve the nation without prejudice,” Sowe added.

He said the continuous presence of the troops resulted in Gambia being classified as unstable which is driving away investors.

“I want to encourage the country’s civil society organisations and the private sector to double their efforts. We have a nation in serious crisis. We should stand together and save it,” he said.

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