By Tabora Bojang
Gambian army contingent, Gamcoy 23, deployed to Darfur as part of the UN-AU mission in the troubled region, is expected to return to Banjul today following a UN resolution for the withdrawal of the forces.
The contingent, comprising 132 soldiers of all ranks led by Lt. Col. Amadou which left the country last September under a joint United Nations and African Union peacekeeping mission, UNAMID, is expected to land at the Banjul airport in two batches.
According to GAF, the first batch of the returnees will arrive in Banjul today at 5pm while the second is due for Wednesday at 3pm.
The UNAMID confirmed the decision to close the mission amid a resolution by the Security Council in December. The Sudanese army is said to now take over the responsibility for the protection of civilians in Darfur.
According to the UN website of the peacekeeping mission, there are currently some 4,000 troops, 480 police advisers, 1,631 police, 483 international civilian staff and 945 national civilian staff on the ground.
The Gambia has since been regarded as a leading figure in terms of professionalism in peace keeping missions in Darfur since the deployment of international backed forces in Darfur 13 years ago.