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Kansala NAM slams defence minister for reneging on sovereignty comments

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By Omar Bah

The National Assembly Member for Foni Kansala, Almamy Gibba, has accused the minister of defence Seringe Modou Njie of reneging on comments he made while answering his (Gibba’s) parliamentary questions on Wednesday. 

After the minister’s comments were reported in the media, his ministry came with a statement claiming that he was misquoted by The Standard. The Standard produced evidence of the minister’s video to reject the rebuttal.

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Commenting on the matter, Hon Gibba said: “I am not surprised but I would have expected the minister to man-up to his words at all costs. Is he reneging because the Senegalese government has frown at the comments. You see, our security and territorial integrity has been sold to Senegal. Our men and women in uniform have been rendered useless in their own country and Senegal is simply taking advantage of our government’s weakness and I can assure you that this is not ending anytime soon. This is why the government has not issued a single statement to condemn what is happening in Foni. I remember in 2001, Senegalese soldiers mistakenly fired shells in a village in Foni but former president Jammeh seriously addressed the matter with them and that was the last time it happened”.

Gibba added that the defence ministry’s rebuttal clearly demonstrates that the serious engagement the minister claimed the Gambia had with Senegal is not true.

“When the shells were landing in Foni the GAF commander in Kanilai called his Senegalese counterparts in Casamance to inform them that their shells were landing in Gambian territory but their response was that ‘you have not seen anything yet. We will continue to fire’. I challenge the minister of defence to verify this with the Kanilai Commander. If we have a serious government that is ready to protect its territorial integrity the nonsense happening in Foni would have been addressed,” he said. Hon Gibba said the amount of mockery meted on the people of Foni since President Barrow came to power is unimaginable.

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He said since the conflict started in Foni neither the president, no his ministers or senior government officials visited the area to commensurate with the residents.

“Now, if they believe in the sovereignty and protection of the rights of the people of Foni why should they neglect the place during all this crisis,” he said.

 Hon Gibba further alleged when a Senegalese killed a Gambian in Sanyang last year, President Adama Barrow donated D1million, rice and other food commodities to the Senegalese who were chased and displaced by the villagers. “Isn’t this ironic? What do you expect from us,” Gibba said.

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