By Tabora Bojang
The Minister of Defence, Serign Modou Njie, has said the government is committed to engaging its Senegalese counterparts to “make sure cells and stray bullets that are landing in Gambian territory” due to clashes between the Senegalese forces and MFDC separatists is “ceased.”
The minister was speaking to journalists on the sidelines of an assessment tour in border communities following new clashes between Senegalese soldiers and separatists near the Gambian border.
Defence Minister Njie and army chief general Mamat O Cham led a delegation of senior security officials to assess the impact of the crisis on border communities.
“There are ongoing military operations between the Senegalese military and the MFDC and as a result, there are some instances where incidence of stray bullets, military mortar cells and other trajectory weapons used, would normally land in the Gambian territory. This is something that we are now seeking as a duty and responsibility, and the president directed that we must visit the corridor and assess the situation militarily and also have the opportunity to interface with the community and find out what has been going on,” Minister Njie stated.
He said the president who serves as the chairman of the National Security Council will be briefed about their findings and a decision would be taken by the NSC.
“This is an operation that is happening in another country, the Gambia is a sovereign country and we are not to determine or to tell Senegal when they should stop their military operations. What is our interest in this is to make sure that those incidents can be contained in the periphery of Senegal. Our business and interest as members of the NSC is to make sure we provide security that is needed for our people and to make sure to further engage with our counterparts to make sure those cells and stray bullets that are landing in our territory are ceased,” he said.