By Bekai Njie
Chiefs of Defence Staff (CDSs) of The Gambia and Senegal have renewed their commitment to Senegambia integration as furtherance of bond of friendship shared by their respective Commanders-in-Chief.
Generals Cheikh Gueye of Senegal and deputy to his Gambian counterpart,Yankuba Drammeh, made this proclamation to President Adama Barrow at the State House on Friday. Such a strong bond of brotherhood forms the bases of friendship between the Armies of Senegal and The Gambia, Gen. Gueye said.
“The training schools of Senegalese Army are open to Gambian military just as we too are keen to learn from The Gambian Army. It is a two-way thing. Gambia has extensive experience in keeping peace in other troubled nations and we are happy to stand by The Gambia in these times,” General Gueye told reporters after an audience with President Barrow.
Deputy Chief of Defence Staff of The Gambia, Gen. Yankuba Drammeh, also spoke of the strong bond of friendship between the two armies: “Such good bond of friendship is in furtherance of our two respective Commanders-in-Chiefs’ agenda,” he said, assuring President Barrow of the highest loyalty of The Gambia Armed Forces.
“We draw lessons from your exemplary leaderships. We assure you that we will continue to work together to adhere to this true bond you share,” General Drammehsaid. He further explained that the presence of the Senegalese CDS in Banjul was routine for any Army Chief that deploys his men in other countries especially to keep peace.
President Adama Barrow, in receiving the delegation expressed delight, describing it as a further testimony of Senegal-Gambia brotherhood. “My brother President Macky Sall and I are committed to moving relations between our two countries to unprecedented levels. Senegal and Gambia present a great example of African integration as Gambia shares borders with no other country except Senegal,” he said.
President Barrow explained that the cordial relations currently enjoyed between The Gambia and Senegal Heads of State augurs well for the future of both countries. He noted the investment made by Senegal in the peace and stability of The Gambia, especially since The Gambia’s political crisis.
For this, The Gambia will be grateful. “It is not a sign of weakness or cowardice but bravery worthy of reciprocation and emulation,” he told the generals.
The President went further to explain that when the history of the new Senegambia relations will be recorded, Gen. Cheikh Gueye and his men, and those of the Gambian Army will be mentioned for their gallantry and courage in preserving the peace and stability during troubling times.
“The Gambia will give 100 per cent support to Senegal in whatever way we can. Of course, we may disagree here and there but dialogue will always be overarching in attending such disagreements,” he said.