By Sailu Bah
During the commemoration of the 13th Year anniversary of September 11, at the U.S Embassy Chancery on Kairaba Avenue on Thursday, Mr. Richard Yoneoka, the Charge d’Affaires of the US Embassy in the Gambia, said the atrocities being carried out across nations and continents by Al-Qaeda and its affiliates like Boko Haram in Nigeria and Al-Shabab in Somalia, do not reflect the peaceful nature of Islam.
“As these groups carry out atrocities across nations and continents, we know that what they do, does not reflect the peaceful nature of Islam. Yet the threat they represent is real. As such, we must remain vigilant not only in the conflict-ridden areas of the world, but also in the United States and here in the Gambia,” said the US deputy head of mission.
Mr. Yoneaka said today they are reminding themselves that the conflict against violent extremism is one that continues, and also one in which they, in the United States of America and people around the world remain steadfast to combat.
He noted the atrocities occurring in Syria and Iraq by ISIL and America’s unwavering commitment to combat these forces of extremism.
He reminded that the Gambia and Gambians are not immune from the threat of radicals who seek to tear communities apart, adding that the threat of terrorism may seem distant, but extremist ideology knows no boundary and respects no borders.
The US Charge d’ Affaires said Gambians must come together to teach tolerance in our schools and communities and to look ahead to a more peaceful future, while heeding the lessons from the past. “There is a saying that peace, like war, is waged,” he said.
He paid tribute to both the innocent victims who perished thirteen years ago on September 11, 2001.
“We stand here today, as Americans and citizens of the world every year to remember and pay tribute to the innocent victims. We are here to honor their memory this morning and pray for their friends and family. We are also here to proclaim our admiration for the courage of the survivors, whose anguish-mental and physical is something they have lived with since that fateful day,” he said.
He concluded by calling on the people of the world to increasingly come together in the spirit of tolerance and kindness towards one another today and for generations to come.
The event was marked by a March Pass by security personnel within the campus of the Embassy and the raising of the US flag with a one minute silence in remembrance of those who lost their lives