Monday, March 30, 2009
The heads of the army of Guinea Bissau and The Gambia have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) covering issues relating to military cooperation, security and training, among other key areas in the development of the two countries. The signing ceremony, which took place at the Ocean Bay Hotel at Cape Point in Bakau, last Saturday, came at the end of a visit to the country by the new Chief of Defense staff of the Guinea Bissau Armed Forces, Captain (Navy) Jose Zamora Induta. Captain Induta signed alongside his Gambian counterpart, Major General Lang Tombong Tamba.
This visit is the first official visit by the new army chief of the former Portuguese colony.
Earlier, the Guinea Bissau army chief and delegation, accompanied by CDS Tamba and other top Gambian military officers, paid a courtesy call on the Gambian leader and Commander-in-chief of GAF, His Excellency Professor Dr Alhaji Yahya Jammeh.
As part of the joint communiqué signed by both military chiefs, both parties expressed commitment to fulfill their respective pledges subject to the admission requirements. They also expressed willingness to cooperate in many ways to ensure security at all times, and to encourage and strengthen cooperation between the two countries in particular and in the sub-region in general.
Communication and technical assistance featured prominently in the communiqué, with both parties expressing willingness to work hand in hand.
Speaking at the ceremony, 2nd Lt Omar B Bojang, the public relations officer of The Gambia Armed Forces, said the MoU will serve as a legal framework on military cooperation between the two armed forces and by extension the governments of both countries which, according to him, have enjoyed a long tradition of friendship and cooperation.
The GAF PRO pointed to the political ties that bind the two countries as having precipitated the formation of a high level joint commission for the cooperation of both countries.
"The security chiefs are conscious of the moral responsibilities in maintaining international peace according to the principles of the United Nations’ Charter, ECOWAS andAU protocols," he said.
For his part, Major General Lang Tombong Tamba thanked the Guinea Bissau army chief for choosing The Gambia as his international stop, something he said will go a long way in consolidating the cooperation that exists between the two armed forces.
At the ceremony, the visiting Guinea Bissau Army Chief was decorated with a "Special Honor Medal," a distinguished Gambian Armed Forces honor. He was decorated by CDS Tamba, on behalf of the Gambian leader, who is also the commander in-chief of the Gambian Armed Forces.
The signing ceremony, which was chaired by the GAF PRO, was witnessed by security chiefs, officers and soldiers.
Author: by Sheriff Janko