Peace Network CEO Urges Gambians to Avoid Ethnicity, Religion to Divide them

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The CEO of Peace Network – Gambia, Mr Alassan Justice Jallow, has called on Gambians not to allow ethnicity, tribe and religion to divide them following his return from weeks of training on peace building organized by the Never Again Institute of Rwanda in Rwanda.

He said if these issues are tolerated, it will affect the country’s national unity and development, citing the Rwanda genocide in 1994, which is said to be one of the most devastating and catastrophic genocide in the African continent saw the killing of over a million innocent, children, women, youth, and the elderly mainly from the Tutsi ethnic group from 7th April, to 18th July, 1994.

CEO Jallow said he used his stay at Kigali to explore the ecosystem of Rwanda and believed that the Gambia can learn a lot from Rwanda.

“Gambians have something to learn from Rwanda. During my stay in Kigali, I was inspired and motivated by the sense of unity, solidarity and focus towards National Development.  In Rwanda, everybody is working tirelessly towards the Peace and development of the country,” he said. 

“Rwandans are collectively and collaboratively working to ensure peace, security and stability prevails. They are united in the campaign against never again as their country witnessed one of the most horrendous violence in 1994. Today, Rwandans are focused on Reconciliation and Development. They have learned bitter lesson from the Genocide against the Tutsi which was motivated by discrimination and tribalism.”

While highlighting the need for a harmonized and consolidated ethnic diversity to create an everlasting unity in the Gambia, he reminded Gambians that their country is one of the few countries in the World that do intermarriage which has connected Gambians in one way or the other. 

“Today, Rwanda is rapidly developing, despite, the genocide still lingers in their mind. It’s a regrettable and unforgettable dark side of their history that will never be forgotten. They have liberated themselves by using ethnicity or religion to determine national or even communal matters. All that matters is that they’re Rwandans. The best is what the Country deserves,” he related.

Jallow further urged Gambians to always be development oriented and embrace tolerance, adding: “We as Gambians have an opportunity to learn from what Rwanda has gone through. We have an opportunity to avoid and stop tribal, ethnic and religion affiliated activities in our national developmental matters. We should be development focused and development oriented. We should be accommodative to each other and embrace tolerance.”

“The Gambia is the smallest country in mainland West Africa known to be the smiling coast of West Africa.  We have a track record of being one of the most peaceful countries in a sense that the country has not gone into any major blown armed conflict like the neighboring countries,” he asserted.

However, he said: “From all conflict sensitive indicators, day-by-day signs and symbols of potential violent conflict are being manifested. When this happens, it will be disastrous, and everybody will be affected directly or indirectly.  The frequent hate Speeches, disinformation, misinformation and remarks against ethnic and religious attacks are things that we should be careful as a country.  We should endeavor to build Bridges not to break barriers.” 

Jallow further commended the security of Rwanda for their high degree of professional relation with their citizenry.

He added: “In addition, the security in Rwanda is something that is really enviable. There is a high degree of professional relation between the security personnel and the citizenry. The cordial relations between the security and the citizens are an example of mutual respect to ensure the country is safe for all.”

He concluded by calling on all Gambians to be united and focus on issues affecting the country’s national development and addresses them decisively.

 “We have a Nation to Build. Let’s be united in our various diversities to build a peaceful and prosperous Gambia for the generations yet unborn,” he advised.