Oct 21, 2015, 9:37 AM
A three-day Senegalo-Gambian Joint Boundary Commission meeting ended Friday at the Ocean Bay Hotel at Cape Point in Bakau.
The meeting, which brought together key stakeholders in various sectors, including the ministries of Foreign Affairs and Regional Administrations, Lands and Traditional Rulers in The Gambia and officials of the Senegal government was, among others, aimed at brainstorming on some of the critical issues on the common borders, as well as to map out solutions to these critical impediments.
Speaking at the closing ceremony, Lamin Waa Juwara, minister for Regional Administrations, Lands and Traditional Rulers, said the Senegalo-Gambian joint boundary commission was established within the framework of strengthening the special friendly and cooperative ties between The Gambia and Senegal.
According to him, this was further manifested when the two sides expressed satisfaction over the signing in Banjul on 21 February 2011 of the protocol establishing the border management commission.
This, he added, also reaffirms the strong commitment of the two countries to the principles and ideals of the United Nations Charter, the Charter of the African Union and the ECOWAS Treaty.
Juwara noted that since its inception, tremendous progress has been made by the commission through the series of meetings held in Banjul, Dakar and Zigunchor with regard to the preparatory aspects of its operational activities.
He also informed the high-level meeting that the recent sensitization campaign launched in Trankil and Dasilame border areas was solely initiated and funded by President Yahya Jammeh.
The main aim of the sensitization, he went on, was to increase the level of awareness of the border communities on issues relating to the border, which will now be jointly implemented by both sides ultimately adding the cross border element to the exercise.
“This will ensure sustainable coexistence of the border communities,” he said, adding that the concept of border came as a result of colonialism and all must endeavor to uphold the spirit of oneness and brotherliness inherited from their forefathers even after the advent of the creation of borders.
He expressed optimism that all what was discussed and agreed during the talks will be transformed into reality, particularly the sourcing of funding for the demarcation and densification of the border.
The outgoing Senegalese ambassador to The Gambia, Diame Signate, underscored the importance of the meeting.
“The Gambia and Senegal are one people and share everything in common,” he said, noting that the demarcation of the border between the two countries is geared towards maintaining peace and stability between the two countries.
Colonel Samba Faal, head of the Senegalese delegation to the meeting, said the border between The Gambia and Senegal should serve as a bridge and not a barrier.
“We were divided by the colonial masters for their interest, but we are one people and one culture,” he added.
Saihou Sanyang, permanent secretary at the ministry of Regional Administrations, Lands and Traditional Rulers, echoed similar sentiments.