AFRICA/GAMBIA - "The crisis is over, but we need help", says to Fides the Bishop of Banjul

Friday, 27 January 2017 politics   refugees  

Banjul (Agenzia Fides) - "On his arrival in Banjul, yesterday, January 26, new President Adama Barrow was greeted by a cheering crowd of hundreds of thousands of people", says to Fides His Exc. Mgr. Robert Patrick Ellison, Bishop of Banjul, capital of Gambia, a small African country out of the crisis caused by the initial refusal of former President Yahya Jammeh to hand over power to his successor (see Fides 21/01/2017). Thanks to international pressure Jammeh agreed to go into exile in Equatorial Guinea, bringing 11 million dollars, about 1% of the Gross Domestic Product of one of the continent's poorest Countries.
Despite this theft, according to Mgr. Ellison, "The Country is calm now. Now they want to think about their future. The process will still be long and difficult. The Country needs more than ever US and European Union aid".
"The most urgent problem is to relocate internally displaced persons and refugees in Senegal, who fled last month because of the political crisis", said Mgr. Ellison. "These people need strong support". Out of 2 million inhabitants in Gambia, approximately 40-50,000 have taken refuge in Senegal.
The main source of income is tourism, but the political crisis had caused foreign tourists to abandon the Country. "I am sure - says the Bishop - that tourists will come back very soon after the crisis that put Gambia for the first time at the center of international media, something I had never seen before. Now it is over. If you want to help us, go back to Gambia as tourists", he concludes. (L.M.) (Agenzia Fides 27/01/2017)