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Gambia’s 1st Soldier Trained At War College Set For Return

By Bekai Njie

The first ever Gambian soldier to undergo training at an Army War College of the National Defence University in Istanbul, Turkey War College has defended his thesis and is making preparations for a return to serve his nation.

From Jiffarong in Western Kiang, Captain Lamin Njie, who goes by his sobriquet in the military as Angola, has undergone an intensive two-year military course at the highest military academy – a War College in Istanbul, Turkey.      

The War College is mainly for mid-level and senior military officers who are likely to be promoted to the most senior ranks in the army in preparation for higher staff and command positions.

The War College is the Army’s top leadership school; of high-level policy, command and staff responsibilities by conducting a senior-level course of study in national and international security strategy and grants a “master of International Security Strategy Management and Leadership” degree to senior military in a two-year course.

Captain Njie told our reporter that he was very delighted to undergo such an important course in the name of The Gambia as he makes the country proud by being the only captain to go for such an intensive course.

“I am very delighted to do this course because war colleges are the top finishing schools for military minds,” he said, adding that he is proud to do the course in the name of the country.

Njie joined the military over 20 years ago after hisA’Levels and graduated from the University of The Gambia in Economics and Management Sciences. He served at unit levels as Platoon Commander, Company and Battalion 2nd in Command until last deployment at the Defence Headquarters as a staff officer for Policy and Plans in 2013.

Njie had been deprived of promotion under the Jammeh regime despite his vivid military knowledge and overwhelming career in The Gambia National Army. He had had trainings in the U.S., U.K. and Sierra Leone and had worked with the U.N. in Ethiopia, Eritrea, Darfur and Mali respectively.

The National Defence University in Istanbul is one of the war colleges in Turkey—the Navy and Air Force as part of the National Defence University (Milli Savunma Universitesi).

Captain Njie has held the flag of The Gambia high as being the only captain to obtain M.Sc. in International Security Strategy Management and Leadership.

War College curriculum emphasises the joint and inter agency perspective. At the military war college, the army comprises a variety of units, including the Advanced Strategic Art Programme and the Strategic Studies Institute, which foster military research. It addresses the concept of national and international security strategy and an approach for developing it.

Under normal circumstances, about 75 percent of the student body is composed of equal representation from the land, air, and sea (including Marine and Coast Guard) services.

Njie, being the only captain to undergo such training was exposed to a curriculum based upon critical analysis of strategic problem solving with emphasis on strategic leadership.     

His thesis was on ‘Political Impasse in West Africa; A Comparative Analysis of The Gambia.’

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