The Gambia government has secured the release of eight Senegalese soldiers captured by a faction of the MFDC loyal to Salif Sadjo, four days before the first anniversary of their capture.
The men were picked up Sunday morning by a delegation of Gambia government officials dispatched to Casamance by the Gambian leader, His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh.
Dr Njogou Bah, the minister of Presidential Affairs and secretary general and head of the Civil Service headed the delegation comprising of senior government officials, diplomats and members of the International Committee of the Red Cross and Red Crescent.
Below is the statement read by Dr Njogou Bah on behalf of Salif Sadjo at the handing over ceremony in Casamance Sunday.
The MFDC is making it clearly to the international community of its goodwill which has been characteristics to finding a solution to the conflict by a peaceful means contrary to the calamity of which they are victims. If today's war is what it has been today, the fight in Casamance would not have lasted for over 30 years. A moment where all people in the world have a right to their liberty, the people of Casamance should not be an exception.
If we expect that the region of Casamance has abandon of petrol or a country producing diamond, gold, uranium or coco, the international community I am sure would have shown more pity or be associated to the problem of Casamance but because that has not been put into consideration, it is really regrettable.
Since 1982 to today, the people of Casamance have suffered crimes perpetrated by the Senegalese army, who despite the fact that should be look as a Republic army to that fact and a professional army that would provide security for the populace of Casamance. Yes, the massive presence of the Senegalese troops in Casamance is been justified by them as the mission of providing security for the Casamance people.
This people have been used or subjected to lot of crimes perpetrated by this war and by these soldiers. Thus, it is important and relevant for the international community to all get together to assist us in finding a definitive end to the suffering of our people rather than continuing to be silence on this matter.