Sub- Regional Women Platform pays courtesy call on President-Elect Barrow

Sarjo Camara-Singateh

President-Elect Adama Barrow told the visiting Women Platform members from Senegal, Guinea Bissau and Gambia that the women support to the coalition has been enormous and that they contributed immensely to its victory at the 1 December 2016 presidential poll.

“They have been engaged since the start of the election campaign period up to this day,” he said.

President-Elect Barrow made this statement when this delegation of peace advocates visited him at Kairaba Beach Hotel yesterday, 4 January 2017.

In responding to the concerns raised by the members of the delegation regarding the current political impasse and the need for peace to be preserved, president-elect Barrow told the women platform that he has strong and hardworking people with immense experience who are the coalition members behind him and they have a lot of experience in diplomacy. He said they have always been advocating for peace in the country and beyond. He also prayed that we all continue to nurture the peace and stability that the Gambia has been known for. He assured the platform members of peace and stability.

The platform of women from different backgrounds engaged in promoting peace and stability in the sub region, congratulated President-Elect Barrow for his victory but also expressed their concerns regarding the recent political impasse in the Gambia.

Speaking on behalf of the group, Mrs. Ndeye Marie Thiam said if peace prevails in the Gambia, all other countries would benefit but that if things turn around, it will only breed chaos and civil unrest. Expressing their concerns on the present political situation, she said as key partners to the development of the country, they are calling for peace and stability to be promoted and preserved.

Madame Thiam noted that the sub region is already fragile, adding that it can go out of hand if the situation is not put under control. “We are out as women, mothers, child bearers, trainers, sisters and nieces. Therefore we are here today for you to continue to nurture peace and stability in the country,” she emphasised.

She said the honour of peace and stability is the only tool that breaches the gap of uncertainty. “Women are out to add their voice to the call for peace and stability to prevail in the country which the country is well known for,” she added.

Madame Thiam concluded that the platform prefers negotiation to finding a solution and not military intervention which never pays dividend in the end.

Also speaking, Mrs. Hannah Foster, the Executive Director of African Centre for Democracy and Human Rights Studies (ACDHRS), noted that the platform has been in existence since 2000 but was finalised in 2014.

She said the women played a key role in the maintenance of peace and stability in the Casamance – region of Senegal as well as in Guinea-Bissau.

The ACDHRS Executive Director said they came to add their voice as women from the sub region towards finding a lasting solution to the present Gambian political situation in order for peace to prevail in the country.

She also commended President-Elect Barrow for the sense of maturity which he is displaying all throughout.

A section of the delegation