Barrow vows to defend sovereignty as Gambia clocks 56

Feb 19, 2021, 12:05 PM | Article By: Sankulleh Gibril Janko

President Adama Barrow has vowed to ‘defend’ the sovereignty of the nation as The Gambia clocked 56 years of nationhood on Thursday.

Addressing the nation on the 56th independence anniversary at the McCarthy Square in Banjul, the Gambian leader assured his government working with various arms and security sectors to defend the national sovereignty of The Gambia.  

This comes amid numerous allegations that he is trading the country to neighbouring Senegal while others are calling for an end to the presence of regional troops ECOMIG in the country to demonstrate full flegded sovereignty.

“Working with the various arms of government and the security sector, my administration will continue to defend the sovereignty of the country, and protect the freedoms and liberties of the people,” President Barrow assured.

 He said: “Sovereignty, as a key focus of this address, entails government engagement in circumstances wherein the state and people are one unified, solid entity.”

“Within this framework, our identity as a nation is characterised by our cultures, which are informed by our individual beliefs, principles and actions.”

President Barrow assuring to defend the sovereignty of The Gambia will raise eyebrows among sections of the population who still see Senegalese soldiers walking the corridors of the State House flanking the head of state on a daily basis.

Opposition leaders have been very critical of the president for having Senegalese security men as his most trusted bodyguards.

Political leaders, ordinary Gambians and Civil Society groups have called on the Gambian leader to restore his full trust and protection to the Gambia Armed Forces and end the presence of ECOMIG forces, Senegalese soldiers included in the country.

The regional forces have been in The Gambia since they helped to oust former President Yahya Jammeh in January 2017.

Their stay in the country has been extended on numerous occasions by the ECOWAS Heads of State, the latest in Niamey, Niger in October 2020.

Barrow, however, continued to insist on his trust in the army while claiming the security sector reform process is in progress to address all the security issues.

Recently, the commander-in-chief of The Gambia Armed Forces, President Barrow promoted four army chiefs as a demonstration of his trust in his men and women in uniform.