West African neighbors seek military alliance

West African neighbors seek military alliance

Gambia and Senegal are strengthening their military alliance after the leaders of the two neighboring nations resolved to solve a low-level crisis in the southern SeneGambian region of Casamance.

Gambia’s President Adama Barrow and Senegal’s Macky Sall wants Gambia-Senegal relations to be a model for Africa. Barrow calls Senegal ‘the Gambia’s best friend.”

Gambia and Senegal share the same culture with most in one country having families in the other.

Senegal had militarily intervened in The Gambia twice – in 1981 and in 2016. Senegalese troops led West African troops to flush out former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, who refused to cede power.

Jammeh stands accused of funding and arming separatist fighters in Casamance and for smuggling ‘conflict timber’ from the regional for export to China.

The democracy of both nations can be threatened by launching of insurgencies from either nation, making security cooperation a priority for Sall and Barrow.

Barrow is seeking to reform the Gambia’s military, which has been for the most part accused of human rights abuses. A former Gambian military general, Bora Colley, is being held by Senegalese authorities.

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