REPUBLIC OF THE GAMBIA
MINISTRY OF DEFENCE,
No. 4 MARINA PARADE,
1st April, 2023
The Standard Newspaper Seriously Misquoted The Defence Minister’s Remarks On Senegal
The Ministry of Defense wishes to clarify that the Standard Newspaper’s edition of Thursday 30th, March 2023, intentionally misrepresented the remarks of Defence Minister, Hon. Sering Modou Njie, before the National Assembly and is therefore, erroneous.
Contrary to The Standard story captioned “Gambia Tells Senegal To Respect Sovereignty”, the Defense Minister during a question and answer session before the National Assembly on 29th March, 2023, in answering question 098/2023 of the National Assembly Member (NAM) for Foni Kansala Constituency, Hon. Almameh Gibba, said that “our land territory and air space are part of our national sovereignty. Any use of our national territory should be with the expressed approval of the Gambia Government. He further said that, he is not aware of any instance when our air space or land territory was used in violation of our national sovereignty to launch a military offensive in Cassamance.
On the drone and artillery shells issue per question number 098/2023 by the same Hon. Member, Minister Njie responded: “What we are aware of are few incidents of artillery shells and other projectiles that landed on the Gambian side during military confrontations in Cassamance and we have addressed that with our Senegalese counterparts.
That is clearly different from an intentional and well-calculated attempt by Senegal to use the Gambian territory to launch a military offensive in Cassamance. “The developments that unfolded did not seem to suggest that The Gambia and Foni, in particular, was the target of the drone attacks.” The Minister added, “we addressed the matter with our Senegalese counterparts so that their military planners and those responsible for making strategic targeting decisions will exercise extra care when making targeting decisions so that they can keep the conflict away from The Gambia.”
The Defence Minister reaffirms the commitments of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) to the protection of the territorial integrity of The Gambia which includes the Fonis.