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Friday, June 21, 2024
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US searches for other locations to build new embassy

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By Alagie Manneh

The US Embassy in Banjul is searching for an alternate location in The Gambia to build its new embassy.

The new embassy was widely expected to be built around the Bijilo Monkey Park, but the mission was forced to shelve those plans following an outcry and sustained advocacy by environmentalists that the location is a protected area and a habitat for endangered fauna and flora.

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Explaining its decision to move on from the park and search for an alternative location, the embassy said in a press release yesterday that it had “pursued a biological assessment [of the area] which raised concerns”.

“From the outset, we conducted an inclusive, comprehensive, and science-based assessment of the proposed site. Our embassy teams actively engaged stakeholders, including government, local and international environmentalists, international primatologists, and others. As part of our due diligence, we pursued a biological assessment which raised concerns. This assessment led us to re-examine earlier studies, and we began a more in-depth review of alternative locations. This process will take some time and we will continue to be forthcoming in providing updates on our progress.”

The statement expressed gratitude to government officials, including civil society organisations, and others who are assisting with a new site selection.

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It stated: “Their input is instrumental in helping us develop a new embassy that is consistent with the principles of greening diplomacy while also bringing more jobs and opportunities to The Gambia.”

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