. . . But Thomas Murphy, a Risk Advisory Group analyst working on The Gambia, says that is constitutionally questionable. The Cipher Brief’s Kaitlin Lavinder spoke with Murphy about the latest developments. . . .
TCB: So that makes sense to me – that these countries, especially Senegal, are concerned about the stability of the region. But why would the U.S. be concerned? U.S. National Security Council Spokesman Ned Price said in mid-December the same thing as ECOWAS, that the U.S. is committed to the will of the Gambian people. Why is the U.S. concerned?
TM: Obviously from an ideological point of view, the U.S. has an interest in promoting democracy in West Africa and Sub-Saharan Africa and making sure that the democratic exercise that is being held is legitimate and has some credibility to it.
More broadly, there are several U.S. firms that operate in The Gambia, so it’s important to maintain stability in the region and in the country itself. And The Gambia is quite an attractive tourist destination; it attracts a lot of U.S., European, and also regional tourists, so there is an interest there.
Instability in The Gambia has the potential to spread into the southern parts of Senegal. For the most part, the insurgency there has been controlled, but if unrest were to expand from The Gambia, that may compromise the security situation in southern Senegal, which again is not in U.S. interests, as the U.S. is a partner of Senegal. . . .
Read the entire interview at The Cipher Brief.