Jun 4, 2008, 7:25 AM
A three-day meeting of the Senegalo-Gambian boundary commission opened at the Laico Atlantic Hotel in Banjul Tuesday, with issues relating to the sustainable management of the borders between the two countries being on top of the agenda.
The meeting, which brings together senior government officials from Banjul and Dakar, forms part of a series of meetings held in both countries relating to the adoption of appropriate strategies and mechanisms for the sustainable management of the common borders between the two states.
It provides an opportunity for participants to discuss various topics, including a review of the demarcation process according to the African Union Border Program (AUBP) principles, review of projects on road maps, pending issues relating to border, elaboration of the 2013-2016 budget review of historical documents, re-drawing of the road map and review of documents including road maps.
In a statement read on his behalf at the opening ceremony by Saikou K. Sanyang, Permanent Secretary at the Ministry of Regional Administration, Lands and Traditional Rulers, Momodou Aki Bayo, the Minister said the coming together by officials of the two states to achieve a common good is indeed a clear manifestation of the brotherly relations between peoples of the two countries.
‘Ultimately, the judicious and prudent management of our common borders are indeed sine qua non to sub -regional development and integration,’ Bayo stated.
Consequently, he added, his Ministry, cognizant of the fact that local communities are the most affected by border related issues, will in close consultation with all the relevant stakeholders and in fulfillment of its coordinating role on border and cross-border issues, do its utmost to enhance the capacities of municipalities, local councils and regional governor’s offices to enable them to participate meaningfully in ongoing and future border and cross-border programs and initiatives.
Bayo called on the participants to uphold the spirit of dialogue with regard to issues relating to border and cross-border cooperation so as to ensure the maintenance of peace and security, consolidation of good neighborliness, reinforcement of trans-border cooperation and trade, and the rapid exchange of information between administrative authorities of border regions.
‘This road may be long, but with perseverance and determination, the desired results can be achieved,’ he stated.
The Senegalese high commissioner to The Gambia, Babacar Diagne, also addressed the meeting, highlighting among others, its importance and the commitment of the Senegalese government to the prudent management of the borders for the benefit of the people of the two countries.