Gambia may permit Casamance rebels transit to Rome talks

Gambia may permit Casamance rebels transit to Rome talks

President Adama Barrow said his government may allow separatist fighters in southern Senegal to use Gambia as a transit point to peace talks in Italy.

Senegalese government and the MFDC have been in talks led by an Italian based Christian charity, Community of Sant’Egidio.

Salif Sadio, the MFDC leader in June said he would be reaching out to Gambian authorities to seek permission.

Formal contact is yet to be made but Barrow told the Standard Newspaper’s Mustapha Darboe that his administration is open to any initiative that seeks to bring the Casamance crisis to an end.

“They have not made any official contacts yet…. We will be part of anything that will bring peace in Senegal or its southern region Casamance,” Barrow said.

“It is in the interest of both The Gambia and Senegal. Without peace, nothing is possible. If there is anything like that, we will fully cooperate.”

Mr. Barrow met with Community of Sant’Egidio leader after defeating ex-President Yahya Jammeh, who was implicated in supporting the separatists.

Jammeh had given Sadio and his men access to the country and had several used The Gambia’s airport as a transit point to the Italy talks.

The Gambia and Senegal have deepened military cooperation since Jammeh’s ouster.

Senegalese forces are leading West African troops stationed in the Gambia to help destabilize the country following months of political turmoil.

Fighting waned since the election of President Macky Sall in 2012 and in 2014, a unilateral cease fire was declared by the MFDC.

The MFDC has called for the independence of the Casamance region, whose population is religiously and ethnically distinct from the rest of Senegal.

Comments are closed.