Speaking to West Coast Radio on Tuesday, the minister denied that the Barrow led government stationed the ECOMIG Forces in Foni to aid the Senegalese soldiers in their current “special operations” against the MFDC Rebels.
“The presence of ECOMIG in this country is not by any means to aid and abet what happens in Cassamance; that has to be understood and anybody who is a law abiding citizen of this country would not have any problem to have Gambian security forces or ECOMIG deployed in any part of the country.”
When quizzed why government could not easily redeploy the Senegalese troops and replace them with Ghanaian or Nigerian soldiers in the ECONOMIC, the minister declined to comment citing security reasons.
He went to state: “The issue of deploying soldiers or our security forces in any part of the country is a strategic decision by the government of The Gambia. It is not because a particular region is hated or because we don’t like them. That has to be understood.” Minister Sillah stressed.
The Information minister said the decades long war between Senegal and the MFDC rebels is not the Gambia’s making, adding: “President Barrow came to power in 2017, this conflict has been raging since the early 1980s, two successive governments came here, they did their best to mediate and they could not resolve it.”
Senegal launched what it described as a “special operations” against the Movement of Democratic Forces for Cassamance (MFDC) early on 13 March.
This came after the rebels killed four Senegalese soldiers and captured 7 others before their eventual release thanks to mediations by The Gambia Government, ECOWAS Permanent Mission in the Gambia and an Italian negotiator.
Many Gambians say President Barrow and his government should redeploy Senegalese soldiers stationed in the Fonis to prevent any further clashes.