By Lamin Cham
Over one hundred Nigerian troops were due to have arrived in The Gambia last weekend to take over from their compatriots who have ended their shift.
According to the permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defence, Cherno Omar Barry the troops’ arrival is part of a normal change of shift. Mr Barry was contacted by The Standard after reports emerged that some 100 Nigerian soldiers were ready for deployment to The Gambia as part of Ecomig.
The report also added that the new arrivals will be in The Gambia for one year, suggesting the Ecomig may stay longer than August, the expiry date of the EU funding of the mission. Officials would not comment on how the mission will be funded when the EU stops funding but many observers have said Ecomig’s stay is even more necessary now than before.
“With the security reform to be completed and senior serving and non serving military officials being implicated in atrocities by witnesses at the TRRC, it will be safer to keep Ecomig here to head off any possible threats,” one observer stated.