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Army says Senegalese troops mistakenly enter Gambian territory

May 22, 2020, 12:20 PM | Article By: Momodou Jawo

The community of Sare Omar village in the Lower River Region (LRR), has informed the Gambian Armed Forces who were deployed at the village that the Senegalese troops claimed they had mistakenly entered Gambian territory while on patrol.

Major Lamin K. Sanyang, the spokesperson of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) confirmed the development to The Point.

On Wednesday evening, a video went viral showing Senegalese troops clashing with Gambian civilians in the border village of Sare Omar village, an act that sparked outrage among members of the public.

The High Command of the GAF immediately deployed troops to Sare Omar village with a view to finding out what was happening as it was alleged that the Senegalese troops had illegally entered Gambia.

PRO Sanyang added: “This morning the GAF got information from different sources that Senegalese troops entered Sare Omar village in the LRR and that the villagers and the community come out and asked them to leave.”

“What I can confirm is that we are aware of the development and what we did was to immediately instruct the Commanding Officer of 2nd Infantry Battalion of Farafenni, Colonel Timothy Sanyang to investigate the matter and get back to the high command in Banjul on what exactly happened in Sare Omar village.”

The GAF spokesperson explained: “What Timothy Sanyang immediately did was to send a patrol team to Sare Omar village as soon as possible. I can confirm that the patrol team did go to Sare Omar and we understand that there is a timber landing site in LRR.”

During the course of interaction between the Gambian troops and the communities of Sare Omar village, he said, they got information that Senegalese Armed Forces personnel with three pick-up vehicles and one Armour Personnel Carrier (APC) with about 20 to 30 personnel who were posted in one guard post in Amdalai crossed the border and entered the Gambian territory.”

He said: “The Senegalese soldiers claimed to be on routine patrol around the border and that they were kind of lost and find their way into the village. So that was when the village youth as well as other members of the community asked them to leave and the Senegalese forces agreed and left Sare Omar.”

Sanyang maintained that this has nothing to do with the hot-pursuit agreement that The Gambia had signed with the Senegalese government sometime in 2017.       

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