By Arfang M.S. Camara
Former Interior minister and President Adama Barrow’s adviser, Mai Ahmed Fatty, has said that China’s entire development package for The Gambia is not worth risking the dignity of a single Gambian.
The Party leader of the Gambia Moral Congress (GMC) was speaking in an interview with Kerr Fatou in which he was deeply concerned by reports about the maltreatment of Africans, including Gambian nationals in Guangzhou, Guangdong Region, in China.
According to reports, Gambians and other African nationals in China have been subjected to forceful eviction, quarantine and multiple compulsory tests for the Coronavirus by local authorities.
“China’s respect for The Gambia’s sovereign dignity is not merely to be reflected in non-interference in our internal affairs or appreciating our sovereign rights. It must be crystal clear and evidenced in how China treats our citizens, particularly Gambian citizens living in China.”
He added that The Gambia can be friends with China but this friendship must be based on mutual respect, adding that friendship is about mutual respect, recognizing and acknowledging the dignity of the relationship.
“China cannot claim to respect and value its friendship with The Gambia while disrespecting and maltreating our citizens lawfully resident in China. There will be no Gambia without her citizens, and protecting the welfare and personal dignity and rights of Gambian citizens both at home and abroad is at the foundation of our national interest and should be a cardinal principle of Gambian diplomacy overseas.”
The leader of GMC party added that: “attacks against innocent Gambians and Africans in China by Chinese authorities are reprehensible, condemnable and unacceptable. I associate myself with the expression of concern presented by the Minister of Foreign Affairs on behalf of the State recently.”
He finally urged The Gambia to continue pursuing a foreign policy that “best serves and protects our national interests.” He also advised the country to continue using diplomacy to advance and achieve its domestic interests abroad.