Thursday, September 21

‘Be mindful of conflict ahead of 2021 presidential election’

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By Olimatou Coker

Yusupha Bojang, program manager, National Council for Civic Education, has said The Gambia is currently deeply divided along political and tribal lines, saying these are underlying causes of conflict as the country braces up for the 2021 presidential election.

Bojang made these remarks in a Standard exclusive on the sidelines of a meeting on national civic dialogue engagements in Kiang Kwinella.

He said NCCE in collaboration with partners like UNFPA deem it necessary to conduct this kind of engagement because when conflict occurs, everybody is affected and it should be addressed before it occurs.

He added that in most cases, it is the elderly people who get into those decision-making processes in both peace-building and development initiatives, sidelining women and youth.

Bojang described women and youth participation in decision-making and peacebuilding as very crucial.

“If we want to earn everlasting peace and ensure sustainable development, we cannot leave out the majority of the population which are women and youth,” he further said.

He said it is an inter-generational dialogue because it brings people from different generations to interact.

“At the end of the dialogue, we expect to reach out to 400 people, and we think when they get the information, they will be able to educate their community members as well,” he also said.

He noted that the political environment is very tense in the country and even getting tenser by the day, adding that it is better to engage people in such a dialogue and conversation to break barriers.

Also speaking, Alh Demba Sanyang, Chief of Kiang Central District, described the dialogue as very timely.