By Yankuba Jallow
General Meissa Niang, the head of Gendarmerie in Senegal who arrived in The Gambia on Tuesday ended his two day visit to The Gambia on Wednesday.
He landed at the airport on Tuesday, August 1, 2017 at exactly 09:30 am.
The General is the second Senegalese senior personnel to visit the Gambia in a space of two weeks. He was welcomed by senior military officials at the Banjul International Airport and thirty minutes later he drove to the Defence headquarters where he met the Chief of Defence Staff Gambia, General Massaneh Kinteh.
The visit according to the General Niang, was to visit his forces present in The Gambia who form part of an intervention force that came when Yahya Jammeh refused to relinquish power after January 18, 2017.
He averred that it came through the preoccupation of the two heads of states who facilitated the contact between the two high commands to discuss the issues of the security challenges that will be geared towards bringing peace in the sub region.
General Niang after the indoor meeting, told the press that there is a need for the Gambia and the Senegalese forces to join hands towards making the Senegambian region secure.
He said he will improve the means and conditions of his men. He said they had discussed in their indoor meeting on issues especially the challenges of security in the sub region and between Senegal and the Gambia in order to improve their method, training to fight insecurity and terrorist attacks.
“There is positive collaboration between our two armed forces” Kinteh said.
He said if one looks at the geopolitical nature of the Gambia and Senegal, ‘collaboration is not an option but it is a must’ and is the message they got from their two heads of state. He added that Presidents Barrow and Sall tasked them to work closely together to be able to look into their common security challenges and see how best they can work to put resources together to overcome those challenges.
The General met President Barrow at the temporal state house at Fajara. The General said he inspected the Gendarmerie Units in charge of the security in the State House and later proceeded to meet the President.
“The discussion was in the common interest of Senegambia in the topics of security, defence and the weak cooperation between our institutions and to consolidate the peace in the sub region” he said.
He said the cooperation will include training, information sharing, equipment, expertise and so many other things.
“In the future we will see a concrete cooperation in the area of security of the two nations” he said.
He said it is their duty to help to stable the two countries for the Presidents to take actions of development.
General Massaneh Kinteh said the visit is important to the Gambia and there are already existing security protocols that are signed between the two states. He said working with Senegal means working together and they can tackle challenges amicably. He further said they have agreed that anything that is threat to the peace and security of Senegal will be a matter of interest to the Gambia whilst the same is applicable to Senegal in order to join hands to fight against insecurity and promote peace.
“Our intention is to achieve collective security for the sub region in broad terms” said Massaneh Kinteh.
He said this is achievable through sharing information, experience and resources as well as network on the operational and tactical issues of the security units.