By Bekai Njie
At least 208 members of The Gambia Armed Forces including 18 female soldiers were early hours of Sunday morning deployed to the Sudanese troubled region of Darfur.
The 21st Gambian Contingent (GAMCOY 21), were deployed under the command of Lt. Colonel Abdoulie Manneh.
The contingent will replace GAMCOY 20, whose tour of duty has been successfully completed following their deployment in March, 2017.
Speaking while addressing the latest batch of Gambian peacekeepers that will serve a period of 12 months in the restive region of Darfur, Sudan, the deputy chief of Defence Staff, Major General Yakubu Drammeh, stressed the need for them to behave professionally and avoid anything that will stain the good image of the country which it has been earned over time.
The deputy CDS also admonished the latest Gambian troop to consolidate the track record of the country in international peacekeeping operations. He also urged them to adhere to the core principles of integrity, respect for diversity and professionalism.
He reminded them that those before them performed exemplarily well, noting that The Gambia contingents from day one have an enviable track records, saying they excelled beyond expectations.
“My advice to you is, your colleagues made it possible over the years and now it is your turn. You have to go out there to consolidate on the gains achieved by your predecessors,” he told the troop.
He also advised them to respect the cultures, traditions and beliefs of the inhabitants of Darfur.
“You must respect the people of Darfur because respect is give and take. Because if you respect people they will respect you and if you don’t respect people they will not respect you,” deputy CDS told the GAMCOY 21.
He finally congratulated the selected soldiers after undergoing a rigorous process, noting that this shows how transparent they conduct their selection process.