A new focus on Casamance conflict
Tuesday, April 17, 2012
The decision of the new Senegalese president, Macky Sall to choose Banjul in addressing the national challenges he inherited as head of state is a promising start.We applaud him for making his maiden visit to The Gambia to seek advice from his Banjul counterpart, seek the support and cooperation of Banjul in making the decades-long Casamance conflict history.
Of course, Macky Sall’s move is rational and symbolises the emergence of a new political culture in Africa particularly in restoring the continent to its humanistic position. For, it is the vision of Africans of conscience for peace, prosperity and development to become the daily reality of life across our continent. The help and wisdom of people committed to the wellbeing of nations and mankind are often sought to ensure that societies in conflict bury the hatchet and move forward.
Over the years, The Gambia, under the leadership of President Jammeh has placed strong emphasis on the need to have peace, progress and prosperity in the country, Africa and the world at large. Such was and continues to be the rationale behind Gambian men and women serving in peacekeeping missions in conflict-ridden areas of the world.
The new Senegalese president’s decision to solicit President Jammeh’s help to bring lasting peace to the war-torn Casamance would serve as a morale boost for the Gambian leader, whose personal endeavour to that end is glaring.He has always been conscious of the fact that The Gambia, just like other responsible and peace-loving countries, is obliged to not only ensure that peace reigns among its own people, but also among the people of the region it is part of.
Whilst it is obvious that Sall’s predecessors had undertaken similar engagements, the mere fact that the new president places the Casamance issue among his first assignments proves that there is a new focus and determination than ever before to bring a permanent end to the war in this southern Senegalese province.
We are aware that the two presidents are convinced that centuries of domination and exploitation have transformed Africa into a land synonymous with hunger, diseases, poverty, conflict and a host of other social ills.This is why the continent, even though the richest in terms of natural resources, is still home to the poorest of the poor on earth.
Africa, as such, needs ambassadors of humanitarianism to restore not only hope, but human dignity as well. In this venture, every African should serve as the other’s keeper.Just as no individual is safe if a neighbour’s house is on fire, war in one African country means war on the entire continent.
The Gambia has vigorously defended this cause and with a new sense of direction towards the Casamance conflict, success is at hand. After all, Senegal and Gambia are one and the same people.
Author: Daily Observer