Gambia: UN Envoy, President Discuss Bissau Situation, Nigeria

The special representative of the United Nations secretary general in West Africa and the Gambian leader Tuesday held talks on a number of security and development issues within the sub-region, prominent among them, the situation in Guinea Bissau - which recently held a presidential election - as well as the activities by the militant group Boko Haram in Nigeria.

Taking questions from the journalists Tuesday evening at State House in Banjul, shortly after his closed-door meeting with His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh at State House in Banjul, the envoy, Said Djinit, hailed the outcome of the democratisation process in Bissau.

"I have had an exchange of views with him on the situation of the region on a number of areas of concern, among them, the situation in Guinea Bissau and agreed on the need to support them [Bissau] to stabilise. We all know the problems of Guinea Bissau and we are happy that with the support of ECOWAS, UN, AU and the neighbours, Guinea Bissau has been able to come through successfully off the transition and we are looking forward to a new political dispensation in that country. So we are urging all neighbours to remain committed in working together to support Guinea Bissau to address its problem. These problems need to be solved."

On other security issues, he said the situations in Mali and Nigeria were extensively analysed. "We have talked about the situations in Mali and the issue of Boko Haram in North East of Nigeria among other issues such as trafficking in persons and other organised crimes within the region. We had an extensive discussion on all these issues and I learnt a lot by talking to President Jammeh and I am very grateful for this opportunity," he concluded.

The envoy also seized the opportunity to hail the Gambian leader for promoting democracy and human rights in the country as well as peace in the sub-region. "I want to seize this opportunity to commend the president of The Gambia for the number of initiatives he has taken in promoting socio-economic development and consolidating peace, security and stability in the region and for promoting democracy and human rights including women's rights in The Gambia," he said.

"My mission here today is part of my regular consultation meeting with leaders in the region of West Africa and I was privileged to be received in audience by the president and I had an extensive discussion with him," he concluded.

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