As the debate rages over the faith of the Ecowas military mission in Gambia, the country’s Former Foreign Minister and one time Ambassador to Senegal, Mr. Sidi Sanneh says it’s time to call off the continuous presence of the Ecomig contingent In Gambia five years after the arrival of the west African forces.
In statement released by the former diplomat turned blogger, Mr. Sanneh said: ” I’m one of those who would like to see the withdrawal of ECOMIG forces from The Gambia because, in my view, their 5-year presence is acting as a disincentive for a much needed comprehensive reforms of the security sector that need to take place.”
According to Sanneh, who played an instrumental role in the fight against Jammeh’s dictatorship and restoration of democracy, successive requests by the Gambia for the extension of the ECOMIG Mission has turned what was supposed to be a 6 month deployment to a 5-year stay – a classic definition of “mission creep.”
‘While we appreciate and welcome the presence of ECOMIG forces – past and current contingents – we cannot continue to encourage extensions of the Mission ad-infinitum.’ Sanneh writes in the daily blog where he tackles emergent national issues.
The former diplomat said: “ Projecting such a security posture over a 5-year period as if The Gambia is in either a conflict or post-conflict governance environment sends a wrong message to development partners, as well as external markets.”
He reminded the Senegalese Ambassador to Gambia that Gambians will continue to defend and safeguard its sovereignty; a jealousy guarded treasure, that has never been an issue since 18th February, 1965 and We intend to keep it that way.’