President Adama Barrow wastes no time in getting in the mix of presidential affairs. Today he was received by President Macky Sall in the Senegalese capital of Dakar where they held a joint press conference. Among the topics they touched was the Casamance conflict and opportunities in resolving that long standing problem Senegal has been dealing with for dacades.
Under Jammeh, the Gambia has long served as a rear base for the armed elements of the MFDC. Today, with the departure of the former Gambian dictator, the environment is therefore more conducive to a final settlement of the conflict. But the Gambian head of state warned that the era of impunity is over in the southern zone of the country. A much welcomed news to the Senegalese people.
“With the MFDC we discuss. It’s slow, but it’s a complex issue. I asked President Barrow to support us in the search for peace in Casamance. Which he naturally accepted. But it is also clear that impunity that was prevalent and what was happening before will no longer happen, “warned President Macky Sall at his joint press conference with his Gambian counterpart on Thursday. In other words, he will now have the cubits much more frank than before.
The two neighboring countries decided on to “give a new impulse” to their bilateral cooperation through arranging regular high-level meetings, Senegalese President Macky Sall said during a joint press conference with his visiting Gambian counterpart Adama Barrow.
“In order to realize this shared desire to give a new impulse to our cooperation, we have given instructions to all ministers in order to avoid protocol burdens and to work directly on issues that concern the two countries as a whole”, President Sall announced after having talks with President Barrow.
According to the Senegalese president, given the dynamic and strengthened relations between Dakar and Banjul, a series of agreements will be signed during the visit of the Gambian president.
“We will set up regular high-level meetings to examine joint projects and reduce any difficulties,” Macky Sall said.
He announced that the two countries have agreed to put an end to the illegal trafficking that fuel the insecurity between their countries.
“We have agreed to put an end to trafficking, and we will put an end to it, whether it is trafficking in wood, drugs, or all kinds of trafficking that fuel insecurity in this region,” affirmed President Macky Sall.
Speaking of the wood trafficking trade between the two countries, the Senegalese head of state said he wanted to establish an organization of the sector to “avoid the destruction of the Casamance forest”.
“If we can organize dialogues between the two states, between the peoples of the sector of our two countries, we will be able to clean up the wood sector and allow a licit activity that could develop under the control of governments, environmental services of the two countries,” he added.
For his part, President Adama Barrow reaffirmed having discussed the wood trafficking with Gambian traders. According to him, the wood trade between Senegal and The Gambia should be regulated.
“The trade in wood must be discussed between the two countries, Senegal has the wood, if it opens its doors, we can trade, and we are ready to discuss with Senegal the legal trade in wood,” Barrow stressed.
“There should be no fraud between the two countries, everything should happen normally,” he added.
The Gambian president Adama Barrow arrived on Thursday noon in Dakar for a three-day official visit to Senegal. Accompanied by his wife, he was welcomed at the airport by Senegalese president Macky Sall.
Senegal played an active role during the political crisis in the Gambia after former president Yahya Jammeh refused to cede presidential power to Barrow.