The 20th Gambian contingent dubbed GAMCOY 20 heading to the Sudanese region of Darfur for peace keeping mission, Wednesday March 1, bade farewell at a ceremony held at the July 22nd Square in Banjul.

The Contingent bade farewell to the Minister of Women Affairs and overseer of the portfolio of the Office of the Vice President Madam Fatoumata Jallow-Tambajang.

The 208 personnel including 12 male, and 19 female soldiers under the command of Colonel Musa Trawally are heading to the Sudanese troubled region of Darfur on humanitarian and peace support mission.

The responsibilities of the Gambian contingent will include the securing of the Mission Headquarters in El-Fasher and the provision of escort duties to UNIMID High Command and visiting VIPs. Other aspects include providing the enabling environment for humanitarian support to the people Darfur, on issues such as the resettlement of Internally Displaced People (IDP) and protection of civilian population from all forms of violence.

Speaking at the ceremony, Vice President Tambajang told members of the Gambian contingent to be role models and maintain the good image of the country during their tour of duty in Sudan. She said President Barrow admires people in uniform and that he will continue to support them taking into account that they are in the front-line in the maintenance of peace and stability.

“You are selected not based on merits but base on services to the nation and your exemplary characters. You are going to be our ambassadors, ambassador not only for the Gambia but as African ambassador,” VP Jallow-Tambajang added.

Peace she said is a challenging word and must be guided by the religion that you believe, saying humanitarian from the United Nations definition is serving somebody who did not have the privilege to peace, privilege to his livelihood and who have no privilege to stability.

“Your mission is a mission that you should respect, thus, it is significant you respect the communities that you are going to serve. When you serving a nation, you must be guided by their culture that way you will be easily integrated into their community, the society and finally you will be qualified to be ambassadors of The Gambia” she concluded.

Masanneh Kinteh, the new Chief of Defense Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces said it is a pride seeing the contingent leaving for a humanitarian and peace support mission which would strengthen the tremendous successes that The Gambia has registered in Darfur over the years.

“Peace is one of the deepest desires of mankind. It has remained one of the basic yet elusive yearnings of human race. The conditions that threaten peace and security are increasing daily, thus, making it necessary to evolve new techniques and capacity that will transform them. Therefore, adequate training, logistics support and international partnership in peacekeeping operation with increasingly more complex UN Mandate is required to curb the threats that have over time, changing dynamics with irregular opponents” he said.

CDS Kinteh thanked the Commandant of the Gambia Armed Forces Training School and his team for the quality training provided to the troops and the British Armed Forces through the British Ambassador and the Defense Attaché accredited to The Gambia for the facilities of the pre-deployment training through the Royal Gilbraltar Regiment.

He said the contribution of the Gambia Armed Forces to peacekeeping missions worldwide has grown significantly in recent years. He said The Gambia has been steadfast in its commitment to help keep the peace in the region, and has stood by Darfur throughout this conflict period to restore their hopes and dignity.

He advised his men and women to stay focus, alert and fit at all times and execute their tasks in a highly professional manner.