Former Foreign Minister says it’s time to end ECOMIG Mandate in The Gambia

Mr. Sidi Sanneh, Former Foreign Affairs Minister & Ambassador to Senegal

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.’

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Sainey M.K. Marenah
Mr. Sainey M.K. Marenah is a Prominent Gambian journalist, founding editor The Alkamba Times and formerly head of communications at the Constitutional Review Commission (CRC) and Communications and PR Consultant for The Gambia Pilot Program, under Gamworks. Mr. Marenah served as the Social media Strategist and Editor at Gambia Radio and Television Services. He is also the Banjul Correspondent for Voice of America Radio. Sainey is a human rights and developmental journalist who has carved a strong niche particularly in new media environments in the Gambian media industry. Mr. Marenah began his career as a junior reporter with the Point Newspaper in the Gambia in 2008 and rose through the ranks to become Chief correspondent before moving to The Standard Newspaper also in Banjul as Editorial Assistant and head of News. He is a household name in the Gambia’s media industry having covered some of the most important stories in the former and current government. These include the high profile treason cases including the Trial of Former military chiefs in Banjul in 2009 to 2012. Following his arrest and imprisonment by the former regime of President, Yahya Jammeh in 2014, Marenah moved to Dakar Senegal where he continues to practice Journalism freelancing for various local and international Media organization’s including the BBC, Al-Jazeera, VOA, and ZDF TV in Germany among others. He is the co-Founder of the Banjul Based Media Center for Research and Development; an institution specialized in research and development undertakings. As a journalist and Communication Expert, focused on supporting the Gambia's transitional process, Mr Marenah continues to play a pivotal role in shaping a viable media and communications platform that engages necessary tools and action to increase civic participation and awareness of the needs of transitional governance to strengthen the current move towards democratization. Mr. Marenah has traveled extensively as a professional journalist in both Europe, Africa and United States and attended several local and international media trainings.


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