INTRODUCTION: The Presidents of Senegal and Gambia have signed a treaty of unification.
1. SV INTERIOR President Diouf of Senegan and President Jawara of Gambia taking seats and signing agreement. 0.29
2. CU President Diouf signing. 0.33
3. CU President Jawara signing. 0.38
4. SV PAN FROM Senegalese delegation TO Gambian delegation. 0.49
5. SV Both Presidents rise, exchange agreements and shake hands as those present applaud. 1.06
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Background: DAKAR, SENEGAL
INTRODUCTION: The Presidents of Senegal and Gambia have signed a treaty of unification. It will create a new confederation called Senegambia, which will come into force when ratified by the parliaments of the two states.
SYNOPSIS: The treaty was signed by the Senegalese President Abou Diouf and Gambia's leader President Dawda Jawara. It reflects the close relations between Gambia and Senegal, which culminated in the Senegalese suppression of an anti-Jawara coup in Gambia four months ago. Since then the two countries have become even closer. The agreement will create a single army and security force for both countries along with economic and monetary policies.
President Diouf's signature was hailed by Senegal's government newspaper, although....
President Jawara's signing was not immediately confirmed at home, and parliamentary debate is expected to precede any ratification. There was some criticism in Gambia's capital Banjul that there was not enough consultation before the treaty was signed.
The Senegalese outnumber the Gambians ten-to-one, and their voice is expected to be dominant in the union. Although the treaty declares each country will retain its sovereignty a common administration will manage foreign diplomacy and other fields of common interest.
Source: REUTERS - NOEL ALEXANDRE