President: Armed Forces Conduct Robust Patrol in Foni to Protect Residents

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By: Kebba AF Touray

President Adama Barrow says the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) is conducting robust patrol in Foni to safeguard the lives and properties of residents along the borde

The president made this statement on Thursday, June 8, during his state of the nation address before members of the National Assembly.

“Following the unfortunate resurgence of conflict in Cassamance between the MFDC and the Senegalese Armed Forces, GAF continues to monitor the affected areas in Foni to guarantee the safety of all Gambian citizens,” Barrow said, adding: “In this regard, they conduct robust patrols in the area, and we thank them for their vigilance and devoted service to the nation.”

He informed lawmakers that the Ministry of Defense (MoD) is working closely with other security institutions to maintain peace and stability in the country, and that the Ministry has developed three crucial documents, which include the first-ever National Defense Policy that Cabinet has approved.

In addition, he said a Defense Strategy and Implementation Plan funded by the UK, were completed in October 2022.

“The Ministry also has Cabinet approval to accede to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), and it is working on the ratification process. The ATT voluntary fund provided funding through Safer World Organization, to facilitate the ratification and implementation process of the Treaty. The Terms and Conditions of Service for Officers and Soldiers 1993, of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) is under review. Similarly, work on The Gambia Armed Forces Bill is progressing to replace the current Act of 1985,” Barrow added.

He stated that through the Ministries of Defense and Finance, and with support from the Republic of Türkiye and the People’s Republic of China, “Government has procured military vehicles and other specialised equipment for peacekeeping missions and ease daily military operations, especially along the border.” He said the Gambia Armed Forces continue to forge healthy civil-military relations to improve on the existing cordial relations through regular consultations and outreach, such as providing free medical services and education.

“Significantly too, the Ministry and GAF will maintain close collaboration with other security agencies to ascertain a safe environment for every person in the country,” President Barrow told lawmakers.