The opposition Gambia Democratic Congress (GDC) has demanded the immediate removal of the Senegalese ECOMIG forces stationed at Foni following the recent killing of residents by the contingents.
“The Gambia Democratic Congress condemns the brutal Senegalese presence in Foni, and we call for a peaceful and just resolution as well as an end to the loss of human lives and displacement of people,” says GDC in a press statement.
“Today, we are greeted with the deaths of three (3) people in Foni while the other is fighting for his life at Ndemban Clinic. The maltreatment meted on the people of Foni by the Senegalese Force is a severe tragedy in this country.” They added.
GDC says the restless ongoing in Foni has no justification as residents and natives are held hostage in their own land.
“The Presence of the Senegalese Force lacks the legal basis as no international agreement was reached and the constitutional requirements to make the agreement stand.”
The Mama Kandeh-led party highlighted that the Senegalese Forces should have been instrumental in The Gambia’s Security Sector Reform but not undermine it.
The party says the government has had no regard for its citizens’ concerns since it came to power in 2017.
“We have reached a level where we call for the concerted efforts of all political parties, Press groups, civil societies, EU, ECOWAS, AU, and UN for the immediate removal of the Senegalese Force in Foni,” GDC said.
Despite admitting it has not been their way as a party, GDC said they will not unfold their hands and watch non-citizens killing Gambians.
GDC challenges the Chief of Defense Staff (CDS) and the Minister of Defense for allowing the Senegalese Force to operate independently in the Foni area without being overseen by any security institution.
“The activities of the Senegalese Force should have been a joint operation with the Gambian soldiers to monitor their operation in the interest of peace for all Gambians,” GDC argued.
GDC indicates that the magnitude of damage caused by the Senegalese forces in Foni is immense and increasing; therefore, they called on the Minister of Defense and the government to act quickly as they described the presence of the forces a “no interest” to the people of The Gambia.