How are the military and non-military interventions of the African Union and ECOWAS in The Gambia perceived? The PRIF report published in May 2023 “‘Siding with the People’ or ‘Occupying Force’? Local Perceptions of African Union and ECOWAS Interventions in The Gambia” presents key research findings on this issue. The report draws substantially on collaborative research realized during two field research visits with eleven focus group discussions and more than 80 interviews since late 2021. In addition to the joint data collection, analysis and publication of the research results, communicating and discussing research findings nationwide was also part of this process.
After the publication of the report, the authors Sophia Birchinger, Sait Matty Jaw, Omar M Bah, Antonia Witt and research assistant Karamba Jallow organized various activities to discuss the research results in The Gambia.
In addition to key actors in politics and civil society, the former research participants were a central target group of the activities. To this end, the research team returned to the respective locations of the focus groups and organized on-site dialogue formats to discuss the results for the respective context. Second, a workshop was held in the capital region with invited guests from politics, civil society, the security sector, and an ECOWAS representative. The event was prepared by the Center for Research and Policy Development (CRPD) in The Gambia. In order to reach a broader audience, Antonia Witt and Karamba Jallow presented the research results on the TV program “The Viewpoint” on the Gambian channel QTV. Sophia Birchinger presented the research results in a lecture at the University of The Gambia. In addition, bilateral meetings were held with the National Security Office of the Gambian government and with representatives of ECOMIG, the UN, the EU and GIZ.
The PRIF report is part of the research project “Local Perceptions of Regional Interventions: AU and ECOWAS in Burkina Faso and The Gambia” led by Dr. Antonia Witt and funded by the German Research Foundation (DFG).