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A major diplomatic breakthrough

Feb 28, 2011, 11:23 AM

A major diplomatic breakthrough has been achieved in the relationship between The Gambia and Senegal, following a two-day conclave in Dakar last Tuesday between the two countries headed by the Senegalese Prime Minister and the Gambian Vice President.

As highlighted in this paper, it was reported that the forum was conducted in an atmosphere of maturity, commitment, dedication, openness and, above all, frankness as each of the issues were discussed and scrutinized extensively, and that the areas covered were political, security and social matters, the establishment of the Senegalo-Gambian permanent secretariat, economic and commercial matters, as well as the construction of a bridge at Yelli Tenda–Bamba Tenda over the River Gambia, among others.

This latest development could be described as a giant diplomatic success going by recent developments in bilateral relations, which caused lot of anxiety among the people of the two countries.

It is, indeed, heart-warming that, as neighbours, we are capable of resolving our own problems without any outside intervention.

We, therefore, wish to commend the Senegalese Prime Minister and the Gambian Vice President and the two Presidents, Yahya Jammeh and Abdoulaye Wade, in particular, for their efforts in the interest of sub-regional and continental peace.

We also urge both Presidents Jammeh and Wade to be meeting, at least once every six months, either in Banjul or Dakar, to discuss and trash out any misunderstanding between the two countries.

It has been said by many that The Gambia and Senegal are permanently condemned by nature to live together.

In our view, we should now seek to transform this situation from being a permanent condemnation to one in which we see ourselves as being permanently blessed that we are such close neighbours.

It is only our former colonial masters who divided us for their selfish ends, by demarcating borders between us. Yet it is apparent that our family ties, in fact, consanguinity and common heritage cannot be demarcated by anyone or by any human force.

Thus, against this backdrop, it is prudent for us to always strive to strengthen our cooperation and solidarity, come what may.

The media, we want to point out, has a vital role to play in this by endeavouring, at all times, to report objectively on issues affecting the two countries, as anything other than that would not help in any way.

According to reports, the meeting agreed on the appointment of the Executive Secretary and the Deputy Executive Secretary for the Permanent Secretariat to be filled on a rotational basis.

This will, no doubt, promote avenues for closer consultations and contacts, at all levels of the two states, by providing a channel for timely communication and preventing any misunderstanding between our government authorities and peoples.

"The bonds that unite another person to our self exist only in our mind."
Marcel Prourt