By: Kebba AF Touray
The Republic of Turkey through its Embassy, yesterday January 15th, donated some military outfits and accessories to the Gambia Armed Forces at Defense Headquarters in Banjul.
The US$1.4 million donation is meant to strengthen the Gambia security sector, in their strife to protect life and property in the country. Lamin Sanyang, GAF PRO, said the items were received in two batches between October and December 2018 respectively; that this demonstrates the cordial relation between the two countries dating back to Independence and has continued to grow and witness development in all spheres.
“This donation is a testimony of the long-standing relations built over the years with the Republic of Turkey. On behalf of The Gambia Armed Forces, I would like to thank the Turkish Ambassador and Armed Forces, for this magnanimous gesture. This will go a long way towards building the capacity of GAF and the reform efforts spearheaded by the Chief of Defense Staff since his assumption of the mantle of office,” he said.
The Turkish Ambassador Ismail SefaYuceer, said the Gambia was the country that the Turkish Armed Forces have offered training programs in the early 1990s to 2007; that at present, the total number of Gambian Officers trained in Turkey stands at around 7,500.
This cooperation scheme, has been ongoing for the last fifteen years to the tune of US$1.4 approximately (D70 Million) and we are expecting other military outfits including bulletproof vests, to arrive soon; that this includes the ongoing training program offered by the Turkish Armed Forces to their Gambian counterparts.
“This assistance is part of the Turkish meaningful attention to the Gambia brothers and sister. This assistance is not peculiar to the Gambian Armed Forces, but to other sectors, as part of our support to the Gambia government’s development agenda, in which respect we are trying to contribute our quota immensely,” he said.
On his part, the Chief of Defense Staff Masanneh N Kinteh, expressed gratitude to the people and Government of the Republic of Turkey, for their magnanimity in the form of military support to GAF, in ensuring that they are fully equipped and ready to take care of their responsibilities both home and abroad. “Most of these items that we have received, would be for our peace-keeping use and the items are some of the best military equipment you will find with any soldier around the world. This is really helping our dreams as an Armed Force. We want to make sure that the Gambia Armed Forces is not only fully equipped, but have the state of the earth equipment to be able to stand toe to toe, with other soldiers around the world and be counted amongst our peers,” CDS Kinteh concludes.