Following the unfortunate event, Gambians are coming to the view that the armed and other security forces are primed to live up to expectations in meeting the country’s future security challenges. It has since emerged that the Gambia Armed Forces has increasingly become aware of this fact given that there is a new window of responsibility on not only them, but the entire Gambian citizenry in this vein. In fact, the Chief of Defence Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces was categorical on Friday in a speech he delivered as he led thousands of men and women of the armed and other security services agencies in a ‘solidarity march’ in Banjul. He pointed out that the capacity of the armed forces remains undiminished and that there was need for them to pick themselves up, dust themselves off and begin again the work of defending The Gambia against all perceived and actual threats confronting us.
It is gladdening therefore that the army has assured the country of its unfettered commitment and loyalty to the country. Guided by these principles, we believe that it can also address new threats that may demand even greater effort, cooperation and understanding. This is because our armed forces have the pedigree of a conquering force and the December 30 insurgency proved to have been a test for them. The Gambia Armed Forces has also distinguished itself in peace-keeping operations in many countries in Africa and other parts of the world.
There is evidence to back the claim that the armed and other security forces of this country are better off than they were two decades ago and have been emboldened not to waver in the defense of our nation. This is because government has invested hugely in transforming the Gambia Armed Forces into one of the best forces in the region. As we consider the gains that have been made in this transformational agenda, we must also recognise with confidence, its uniqueness.
Even though it is also widely recognised that our security challenges are not new and unique, the instruments with which we meet them as observed by the Chief of Defence Staff may be new. But those values upon which our success depends, including honesty, hard work, courage, integrity, tact, loyalty and patriotism are old and all too evident. They have been the quiet force of progress throughout our history. Now that the army has risen to the challenge, we urge them to take a cue from the words of President Jammeh, who submitted in emphatic terms, during the solidarity march by the armed and security forces that: “We have the greatest armed forces in the world. If you remember during the Jihad, the Prophet [Muhammad] had few men that were surrounded, but Allah said to him, ‘don’t be afraid, you have a bigger force that you cannot see.’ When they attacked, even the birds were throwing pelts at the enemies and they perished. So don’t think that The Gambia has small army to defend it. We have the greatest armed forces in the world because we are backed by the Almighty Allah.”
The campaign to maintain peace and security must continue apace as the country sets itself on the course towards greater development. For now, thumbs up to the Gambia Armed Forces!]]>