4 June 2014

Gambia: Banjul-Bissau Relations

Photo: Anna Jefferys/IRIN
Rice farmers preparing a field in central Guinea-Bissau.


No nation can exist in total isolation, thus the need to have either passive or active relationships commonly called alliance among different countries of the world. The Gambia's foreign relations has registered and continues to register success stories as the country plays an important role in the maintenance of peace and security at sub-regional, continental and global levels.

Perhaps the greatest of all these successes is The Gambia's immense contribution to ensuring that a sustainable peace and development backed by a democratic system of governance becomes the trademark of our sister Republic of Guinea Bissau. As a man of peace, President Yahya Jammeh played a major role in bringing peace to Guinea Bissau. His commitment to the principle that "development on the continent will never be possible without lasting peace and stability" is exemplified by the efforts he deploys to this end. This explains the successes that the president and the Gambian people at large registered in ensuring that peace and progress returns to Guinea Bissau.

It is therefore not surprising that the president-elect of Guinea Bissau visited Banjul to strengthen the already existing bilateral ties between the two countries. This is indeed a positive development because when the gestures of good people are reciprocated, it further arouses their enthusiasm and strengthens their conviction to continue the good work.

However, The Gambia and Guinea Bissau alone cannot sustain peace and secure Bissau's sustainable development; the international community also has a role to play in this respect. Organisations like Ecowas, AU and UN must also come on board. Guinea Bissau today needs massive restructuring and enlightenment of its military so that they would be more conscious of their responsibility as protectors of the life, property and freedoms of the people.

There is also the need for political education among the people for them to understand the dynamics of power, democracy and governance. It is also important that the people of Guinea Bissau give their democratically-elected government a chance. They should at all times remember that the greatest service they can do their country is working for peace and stability. We hope peace will become a permanent feature in that country.

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