By Mustapha Jarju
Hendry Ndecky, Cassamace Peace Chief Mediator has called on The Gambia government to facilitate peace dialogue with other rebel groups in Cassamace.
Ndecky who led the signing of a peace deal between Jakai rebel group and the Senegal government on the 13th of May 2023, said the government of the Gambia should take the mantle of leadership in mediating for a peace deal between the Senegalese government and other rebel groups in the Cassamance region of Senegal.
Speaking to the member of the press corps shortly after his courtesy call on the Governor of the West Coast Region in The Gambia, on Thursday, 17th May 2023, expressed gratitude to the Governor of WCR since his region is closer to the border with Senegal.
“Whenever there is fighting we have refugees that come from Senegal to The Gambia and they are hosted by the people of West Coast,” he stated.
Also, he said they met the Governor to brief him on the steps that have been taken as the peace deal negotiation has been going since 2021, while the final accord for the peace deal was signed on the 13th of May 2023.
“The sustenance of peace is what the Gambia is doing and that is the most important thing. In terms of the institutional framework, our first meeting with the Jakai Rebel was done here, in The Gambia who played a vital role in this peace deal, and all our peaceful meeting was based on the realization of what we have achieved today,” he stated.
Kalipha Kanteh, the Founder and Chairperson of Young People without Border, a Gambia-based organization that also played a vital role in this peace mediation between the Senegal government and the Jakai rebel fraction said, the Gambia is the country where most of the mediation meetings were held.
He noted that his organization made numerous visits to Cassamance by using culture and tree planting as a means of mediating.
“Even though the Gambia is not part of the fighting but The Gambia had also suffered a lot from refugees that are enforced into the country, and Gambian resources have been lost through timber collection in which a lot of Gambian trucks burnt to ashes along the borders with Cassamance,” Chairperson Kanteh added.