Gambia and Senegal face the same geopolitical threats, especially after the ouster of Gambia’s longtime autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh.
The emerging security threats of armed opposition to The Gambia also pose serious security threats to Senegal, especially in its southern region.
Senegal’s Gendarmerie Chief, Gen. Meissa Niang said, therefore, the geopolitical nature of the two neighboring countries means “collaboration is not an option but a must.”
“We will look into our common security challenges and see how best we can work together and put our resources together to overcome these challenges,” Niang said.
Gambia and Senegal’s presidents, Adama Barrow and Macky Sall have reiterated the importance of collaboration between the armed forces of the two countries.
Gen. Niang met with Gambia’s President Adama Barrow and defense chief, Gen. Masanneh Kinteh on Wednesday and talks focused on the challenges of security in the sub region.
“Our intention is to achieve collective security for the sub region in broad terms. Anything that is a threat to the peace and security of Senegal will be a matter of interest to the Gambia whilst the same is applicable to Senegal about The Gambia,” said Kinteh.
At least 300 soldiers, thought to have deserted the Gambia’s Army are reportedly camping in three neighboring nations plotting to destabilize the country.
Senegal and the Gambia have agreed to partner to improve military tactics and training to fight insecurity and regional terrorist threats.
Gen. Niang is the second senior Senegalese military official to visit The Gambia within two weeks.
Senegal’s army chief, Gen. Cheikh Gueye visited the country after meeting with Mauritania’s defense chief over concerns sparked by reports that the country was hosting loyalists of Gambia’s former President Jammeh.
Senegal and The Gambia have signed several security protocols since Jammeh was sent packing.
Senegalese forces led West African troops to enforce the outcome of the election results in which Jammeh suffered defeat in the hands of Barrow.
Barrow has extended the mandate of the West African forces to next year and widened their mandate to include training and helping reform the Gambia’s army.