24 February 2016

Gambia: Senegal-Gambia Relations


Relations between The Gambia and Senegal often attract endearing descriptions, with many citing this geographic and socio-cultural entity as a nucleus for the potential unification of the sub-region and beyond.

It is true that every Gambian/Senegalese has relatives across the border. We speak the same languages, share the same cultural heritage and more. The only difference is what the marauding colonial forces did here and left us with. To put too much emphasis on the colonial legacy could lead to defeatist attitudes vis-à-vis integration/unity but ignoring this historical reality could also render us unrealistic.

Therefore a health balance between the above-mentioned perspectives would be in order.

The Gambia has earned her name as the smiling coast and there is no gainsaying the fact that we rank high among the most peaceful and accommodating peoples in the whole world.

Our neighbours are also kind and accommodating but more often than not, the height of their rhetoric about 'Senegal ak Gambie benna bopa la ken manu kor haaj nyarr' (Gambia and Senegal are but one head that can never be split into two) is not matched by the depth of love and mutual understanding/respect that should come with it.

Senegalese generally believe that Gambians are short-tempered but the reality goes beyond the alleged superficial irascibility. We are a dignified people who would never condone condescending overtures. When your "mboka" (relative) sounds more like a provocation that an accolade, then the need for adjustment becomes paramount.

Having laid all of the above premises, it is important for us all to remember our duty for patience and forbearance; but honest dialogue and fair dealings would surely not hurt the need for patience. We pray that the unifying elements in our relations outweigh the divisive forces. Amen.


Media Mark Anniversary of Killing of Journalist Deyda Hydara

The  Gambia Press Union (GPU) and Media Foundation for West Africa (MFWA), supported by International Freedom of… Read more »

Copyright © 2016 The Daily Observer. All rights reserved. Distributed by AllAfrica Global Media (allAfrica.com). To contact the copyright holder directly for corrections — or for permission to republish or make other authorized use of this material, click here.

AllAfrica publishes around 900 reports a day from more than 140 news organizations and over 500 other institutions and individuals, representing a diversity of positions on every topic. We publish news and views ranging from vigorous opponents of governments to government publications and spokespersons. Publishers named above each report are responsible for their own content, which AllAfrica does not have the legal right to edit or correct.

Articles and commentaries that identify allAfrica.com as the publisher are produced or commissioned by AllAfrica. To address comments or complaints, please Contact us.