By Kebba Jeffang

The Gambia and Senegalese governments have signed six agreements including security, extradition of alleged criminals etc. on March 13 following the conclusion of a three-day presidential council meeting at a local hotel in Senegambia.

Both presidents of The Gambia and Senegal, Adama Barrow and Macky Sall respectively have signed the agreements.

The agreements also covered the area of trade, free movement of people across borders, removal of unnecessary custom rules at borders, joint road projects and education.

The agreements are: “on the assistance to detain persons and transfer of sentenced persons, road transport, health and animal production, cultural cooperation, sports and memorandum of understanding in the area of higher education, research, science and technology.”

The two countries agreed to intensify joint border security patrols to fight against wood trafficking and to convene the first meeting of the joint committee meeting Dakar, in July to define the operational modalities of patrols.

The Sene-Gambian leaders acknowledged the good work and conclusions of the preparatory meeting that gives life to the growth of bilateral relationship.

They agreed to hold a meeting in Dakar, in May, to define the modalities of the implementation of the agreement on consular matters.

Regarding justice, a meeting will be held in Dakar before the end of April “to finalise and sign the draft agreements relating to extradition and mutual assistance in the area of judicial cooperation on civil and commercial issues.”

The two presidents called on the ministers to pursue the implementation of the activities identified.

Talking about illegal timber trade, Barrow told journalists “It is not in the interest of Senegal or Gambia for the problem in Casamance to continue.”

He said the illegal timber trade is not in the interest of both countries and though Gambia will not interfere in the internal affairs of Senegal, it will play its part to ensure that Gambia closes its doors to illegal activities.

President Sall at the press conference said the presidential council is meant to oversee implementation of joint projects between the two countries.

“These countries were separated by colonialists. We have to foster closer cooperation for the growth of our both countries,” Sall said.

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