Dear Mr. Mbai,
Kindly allow me space in your esteemed paper to highlight a diplomatic blunder as our foreign minister, Lawyer Darboe, continues to misguide President Barrow for his personal presidential ambitions. While Gambians were fleeing the country en masse as a result of the dangerous political impasse, Lawyer Darboe was in prison and did not witness firsthand the important roles that Senegal, ECOWAS and the African Union played in ensuring peace and security is maintained and the population is safe.
On December 9 when Jammeh changes his mind and announces that he no longer accepts the results, Senegal and other leaders of ECOWAS wasted no time using all international diplomatic channels to demand Jammeh to step down and put military option on the table to make sure that President-elect Barrow is sworn in at the expiration of his mandate. The African Union also issued a warning that they will no longer recognize him as head of state as of January 19, 2017. All these efforts helped to bring change and democracy to the people.
Before making his maiden trip to Europe, President Barrow should have paid a visit to the leaders of the West African bloc, ECOWAS, to thank each and everyone of them for making stern demands to the ex-president to accept the results of the election and hand over power peacefully to Adama Barrow.
Our nations’s top diplomat, failed to advise Mr. barrow to extend the continuation of his official trip to Senegal to include Liberia (the Chair of ECOWAS), Nigeria (who provided air power), Mali, Ghana, Togo and Mauritania for the incredible role their leaders played to bring the crisis in the Gambia to a peaceful end. These countries spent resources and time to bring democracy to the population.
While in Senegal, President Barrow visited all the religious leaders to seek their useful blessings. It is also important that to extend that trip to our neighboring countries to also thank them on behalf of the Gambian people. Failure to visit the other ECOWAS countries while heading straight to Europe is a telling sign of misplaced priorities in our foreign policies. It still exposes the mediocrity of our new foreign political minister who is putting tribalism ahead of national unity. All the recent firing and hiring of key positions in the public service are now based on party or tribal affiliation. If this trend is allow to continue, it can create societal division with serious consequences for the future of many generations to come.
We abhor the use of our foreign office for political gain. Gambia’s foreign policy has been one of the best in the region since the time of the first Republic and continuing that policy is good for our new democracy.
A Concerned Insider