By Amadou Jadama
The Gambia Armed Forces will deploy 250 soldiers to the UN Quick Reaction Force.
This revelation was made yesterday during the official opening of Gamcoy 1QRF 1 pre-deployment training held at Yundum Barracks.
According to GAF, this is a necessary UN required training activity prior to the deployment of service personnel from troop contributing countries.
Mamat O Cham, Deputy Chief of Defence Staff representing CDS Lt General Yakuba Drammeh said: “As a civilised people and a peace-loving country, we have to also in our limited means and capacities develop our ability through our own sovereign strength to be able to partner with the friendly nations, and be able to make a choice and in so doing, it is inevitable that sometimes we must be ready to sacrifice our comforts and take a position.”
“There is no better way to do that than to prepare ourselves and our soldiers in a professional manner, so that when inevitably we are called to stand for justice and peace, we are ready in our small way,” he noted.
He went on to say that when the Chief of Defence Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces made a pledge to deploy a Gambian QRF Company to the United Nations, they have no idea what the magnitude of the task would be.
According to Cham, they were asked that in order to make good their pledge, they must complement their efforts by buying an Armour Personnel Carrier and other required equipment and logistics in order to be able to sustain a quick reaction force in UN peace keeping missions.
He continued: “It has not been easy but with the commitment of command, and the support from our political masters, I am happy to report that as we speak, we have finalised all the procurement arrangements with a company and hopefully the equipment requested by the UN will be coming to the country in December and January 2022.”
He advised the soldiers to take the training seriously.
Joshua Colebourne, Deputy British High Commissioner to The Gambia said the UK and the Gambia have a long history in military cooperation dating back to British Army Training Team BATT since 1984. He added the Gambia’s service record in UN Operations is impeccable.
Other speakers included Lt Col. Charles Cooper, adviser to GAF, and Major Abdoulie Jobe, Commandant GAF training school.