Saturday, June 3

SIS hailed for role in evacuation of over 60 Gambian students from Sudan

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The Foreign Affairs Ministry also expressed appreciation to the Office of the Chief of Staff, Office of the President, Authorities of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Dr Abu Jeng, a Gambian UN Staff in Sudan, The Consul General Jeddah, Gambian embassies in Riyadh, Addis Ababa, New York, Dakar, France and others.

In its report on the evacuation of Gambians from Sudan sent to the National Assembly and obtained by The Point, MOFA states:

“The Gambia government started contacting its partners for the safe evacuation of Gambians since the power struggle fight began in Sudan. As a government, the safety of our citizens both within and outside the country continues to remain a top priority. Many countries in the world and including Gambia’s partners were contacted with a view to ensure that our citizens that were in Sudan are taken to a safe place.”

“Therefore, with the active participation of the leadership of the SIS, especially its Director General Ousman Sowe, a breakthrough was made and dozens of Gambians were taken to a safe place as they await to return to the country,” a senior official at the MOFA told The Point.

The MOFA official added: “The Ministry of Foreign Affairs together with the SIS and the Office of the President made all the necessary arrangements and buses were sent for the Gambians including many students to be transported to Sudan’s Port Sudan in the North East. When they safely arrived at Port Sudan, a total of 66 Gambians were evacuated on board a Saudi military ship belonging to the Royal Saudi Navy,” the source posited. 

“The SIS, leveraging on its external partnerships, played an instrumental role in ensuring that Gambians in Sudan were evacuated and taken to Jeddah. This is the kind of service that the country was yearning to have for the past years.”

“I can tell you that with the assistance of the SIS leadership, we were able to get urgent assistance from the Kingdom to assist in crossing the students from Port Sudan to Jeddah and they agreed to accommodate them for a few days before their departure to The Gambia. In collaboration with the SIS Leadership, we made a request for Saudi to assist with air tickets from Jeddah to Banjul,” the source further posited 

A senior official of the SIS who spoke to our reporter on the condition of anonymity confirmed the development and thanked the Foreign Affairs Minister and PS for appreciating the “outstanding work” of the SIS on the Evacuation Mission.

The official added “SIS over the past years since 2017 has continued to play its key mandate in terms of intelligence gathering, analysis and sharing in pursuit of national security and the varied Gambia interests home and abroad. We have also been relentless in recasting and repositioning the service as the SIS of the Gambian people.”

“We will continue to support both domestic and Foreign Policy activities of The Gambia government in line with the new national security policy which puts Human Security at the center of the national security agenda of The Gambia.”

“In fact, the evacuated students who were accommodated at Habitat Hotel also contacted the SIS leadership and expressed gratitude for the role they played in facilitating their evacuation to Jeddah through a situation of life and death.”