The Gambia For All Party (GFA) demands that the government inform Gambians and the National Assembly about the “ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG) Force’s justification in helping The Gambia craft and implement the all-important Security Sector Reforms”.
In a statement shared to The Chronicle, GFA also demands the government spell out “the socio-economic impact of ECOMIG’s presence in The Gambia, as well as the direct and opportunity cost to the Gambian taxpayer.”
The Gambia For All party says it is incumbent on President Adama Barrow and his administration to inform Gambians on the details of ECOMIG’s presence in The Gambia “As we are getting closer to the all-important presidential elections in December 2021.”
According to Bakary Bunja Dabo’s party, “It is in the interest of the Gambian administration and the sponsors of the military mission to engage Gambians in a dialogue to avoid the perception that ECOMIG is an occupying military force in what is unwittingly becoming a case of mission creep.”
The ECOMIG security forces’ initial mandate is not to substitute for The Gambia’s security services. The Gambia government had the opportunity to use ECOMIG’s presence in the country to accelerate the much-talked-about Security Sector Reform (SSR).
However, since the arrival of ECOMIG, Gambians are yet to see any tangible signs of progress in the much-publicized SSR. Equally, ECOMIG’s mandate has been recurrently renewed without a clear explanation to Gambians of the ECOWAS stabilizing force’s current security role.
The Gambia For All asks that Gambians begin a national debate on the ECOMIG mission and its role to clear any doubt from the general public.