By Omar Bah
The new commander of the Ecomig forces, Colonel Boubacar Touré, has promised to closely work with the Gambia Armed Forces and all other security forces to sustain the country’s peace and stability.
Colonel Toure made the comments yesterday at a ceremony marking the official handing over of the command of the Ecomig forces, which saw his fellow Senegalese Colonel Aly Kane give the baton to him.
“We will work closely with the Gambia Defense and Security Forces. We will not do anything without informing them. We want to have a very good relationship with them so that we are able to achieve whatever we want to achieve together. We want them to see us as their brothers and sisters, and we are here for them,” Colonel Touré said.
He said the Ecomig forces will ensure all their activities are well coordinated with the Gambian security forces.
“We want to ensure that we have a transparent and accountable mission, and for us in Senegal, we have this conviction that when The Gambia is peaceful, Senegal will equally have peace,” he added.
Colonel Touré said the Senegalese troops will continue to work closely with the people of Foni to ensure that the population understands their mission so that they are able to foster a better working relationship.
He commended his predecessor for fostering a strong relationship between the Ecomig troops and the Gambian security forces and assured the troops of his strong commitment to continue where his predecessor stopped.
Miatta Lily French, the Ecowas country representative in The Gambia, commended the outgoing commander for his immense achievements towards fostering peace and security. She also thanked the Gambia defense and security forces for their support of the mission, the Ecomig troops, and advised the new commander to build on the achievements of his predecessor.
For his part, the outgoing commander, Colonel Aly Kane, said his mission was to ensure the Ecomig Forces foster a very good relationship with the Gambian security forces to safeguard the president and secure the environment. “My first target was to understand the dynamics in the country. We started with a joint operation with the Gambian security forces and also focused more on seismic programmes to sensitise the civilians on our mission and provide them with free medical assistance. We also provide medical personnel in various hospitals and provide medical consultations at our various camps,” he said.
Medical support for Bwiam Hospital
Colonel Kane said the Senegalese government provided the Senegalese troops with $20,000 to renovate the Bwiam Hospital and provide them with medical equipment.
“We did that to demonstrate to the residents that, apart from providing security, the forces also intervene in supporting communities directly,” he said.
Colonel Kane added that the Senegalese forces have also implored all the necessary measures to ensure that they have “no conflict with the Gambian Army. This is why, whatever we do, we invite all the security forces in the country.”