Gambia resolves to join regional fight against extremism

Gambia resolves to join regional fight against extremism

Gambia has committed itself to fighting Islamist extremist that have reign havoc on its nation to avoid a spill over to the small West African nation.

Gambia’s neighbors have come under attack by Al-Qaeda and ISIL linked group, Ansar Deen and Boko Haram in the Sahel and Lake Chad region.

“The pursuit of peace and security in Africa and the world will always be a major foreign policy goal for The Gambia,” Mr. Barrow said.

“West Africa is on the march towards the consolidation of its democratic gains but as a region, we are facing serious threats to our peace and security.”

Terrorism, extremism, religious intolerance, organized crime and drug-trafficking are seriously undermining West Africa’s development efforts.

It has seen tourism, a critical earner for the region suffer a decline affecting economies of several states.

“Recent attacks in Mali, Burkina Faso, Cote d’Ivoire and the Sahel, in general, underscore the urgent need for greater regional and international cooperation in addressing these challenges,” said President Barrow.

A terrorist attack last month on a restaurant in Burkina Faso killed at least 18 people including eight foreigners and seven locals.

In Nigeria, Chad, Cameroon, and Niger, Boko Haram continues to carry out suicide attacks on border towns and villages sparking a humanitarian crisis in refugee camps, especially in northeastern Nigeria.

Terrorists have been targeting hotels and restaurants popular with Western visitors, making it a worry for Gambian authorities.

Gambia’s economy is heavily dependent on tourism. Hundreds of thousands of tourists from the UK and Scandinavia regularly visit the country’s golden beaches.

At least two terrorist suspects linked to attacks on hotels in Mali and Ivory Coast were arrested trying to enter the Gambia during the country’s political crisis.

France and the UK have all committed to training the Gambia’s security forces to curb any terrorist activities in the country and prevent it from becoming a breeding and staging ground for extremists.

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