By Makutu Manneh
Soldiers of the Gambia Armed Forces have been deployed to go for a VIP- and Presidential protection training in Senegal.
A farewell ceremony was held at the Armed Forces Training school in Fajara on Wednesday 21st August 2019.
This is said to be the second batch of soldiers to go to Senegal for such training, 150 soldiers are participating in the training, 115 personnel from the Armed forces and 35 from the police force. The participants consist of 9 females and the training will last for 3months.
Masanneh Kinteh, Chief of Defense Staff, said there was need for Gambian presidential guards to be redeployed for a reason that the former regime misused its presidential guards and some elements were also used to abuse and violate the human rights of the Gambian people. “This was one of the first moves taken by the new administration,” CDS Kinteh pointed out.
CDS Kinteh noted that Presidential Guards are supposed to be an elite force, one of the most discipline and most professional outfit in the security structure of any country. He said as such, a need was expressed for the Gambia to reconstitute Presidential Guards that will be the pride of the country, and also to guarantee stability. He added that such could be trusted with the responsibility of looking after lives and welfare of the first citizen of the Gambia.
“Senegal is one of the countries assisting The Gambia in terms of its security sector reform and to reconstitute the security sector,” he said, adding an agreement was reached between the Gambia and Senegal for 300 members of the Gambia Armed forces and security services to be sent for training which is going to be the core of the state guard unit and that the first batch of 150 personnel had already gone to Senegal.
Commanding officer for the state guard battalion told the soldiers they are expected to raise the flag of the Gambia in Senegal. “Once you are in Senegal, we expect you to maintain discipline, be committed, dedicated and loyal,” he said.
He encourages them to obey all orders especially from the Senegalese Forces which he said will be in the benefit of the soldiers. “You are nominated because we believe you can do the job, not because you are handsome or beautiful,” he said.
Alimatou Jallow a trainee said she is going to train hard and be discipline when they reach Senegal and that when she comes back, she will be loyal to the Gambian people by working hard. “The training will add a lot to my profession,” she said.
Babucarr Nyang another trainee expressed high expectation that the training will be helpful in the execution of their duties.