A total of 132 Soldiers of The Gambia Armed Force (GAF) who graduated from a pre-deployment training programme on Friday will be deployed to the Sudanese trouble region of Darfur, next month.
The graduation which was conducted at the GAF training school at Fajara Barracks, marks the end of the pre-deployment training for the preparation of Gamcoy 22 for their deployment to Darfur.
Deputy Army chief Yankuba Drammeh said the officers underwent a six-week training session to equip them both mentally and physically for the mission they are about to embark on in Darfur. "You are going to Darfur to give hope to the hopeless and provide humanitarian assistance to the desperate people of Darfur," he said.
Deputy CDS Drammeh said scriptures have stated that "happy are those who work for peace, for God will call them his children." He said that it is a noble gesture to give a helping hand to people in hostile zone. "Be proud to be a helper to the desperate and be ready to stand for the truth and help the needy," he said.
He added that the soldiers were subjected to pre-deployment training to learn the dos and the don'ts. He said many were called at the initial stage of the training but only few succeeded and will be representing the GAF and the country at large in Darfur.
"Continue to work hard in order to keep The Gambian flag high as records shows that our officers have being doing good when it comes to peace keeping missions," he said.
According to him, Armed Force is a noble institution even in the eyes of God, advising the graduates to respect the culture and tradition of the people they are going to meet in Sudan.
British High Commissioner Sharon Wuardle said the pre-deployment training is the professional way of preparing individuals before assuming responsibilities. "GAF's good repetition cannot be outlined. You have been showing professionalism in all your peace keeping missions," she said.
Lieutenant Paul Gomez, commander of the GAF training school said the six-week training session was meant to shape the officers who will be living for Darfur. "We always maintain the good repetition of the GAF because of the pre-training that the officers underwent the training have been exposed to all areas that they need to know before embarking on the mission," he said.
He said the situation in Darfur is unpredictable and urged the officers to be vigilant and work as a family and to be each other's keeper.