23 leave for East Timor today
Wednesday, July 30, 2008
A platoon of 23 officers of the Gambia Police Force will leave for East Timor in Asia today on a UN peace-keeping mission. The group will replace other Gambian officers, whose one-year term has ended.
Addressing the officers at a farewell ceremony held at the GPF headquarters in Banjul, Ousman Sonko, the secretary of state for the Interior, reminded the officers about the responsibility that rests on their shoulders and urged them to be good ambassadors of The Gambia.
“As you are leaving for East Timor, respect their [East Timorese] culture and customs. Always live up to expectation and maintain peace amongst yourselves in East Timor,” said SoS Sonko, while further urging them to stick to their assignment.
He then thanked President Jammeh for creating the opportunity for Gambian service men and women to take part in foreign peacekeeping operations, since 1994.
For his part, Ensa Badjie, the Inspector General of Police, said there has been a significant increase in the number of personnel of the GPF in peacekeeping missions throughout the world.
“We all know that it is very difficult to serve in some of the missions but I am very proud to mention that Gambian peacekeepers have already been exceptionally outstanding in all the countries that they have been present. The evaluations and feedbacks we normally receive from all the missions are very pleasant and encouraging,” IGP Badjie said.
Turning to the officers, the IGP challenged them all to keep up the good momentum and maintain the standards set. “Therefore, I will urge you to try and protect the good reputation The Gambia is enjoying when it comes to international operations.
We expect you to continue flying the Gambian flag very high. When you are there, respect the culture and traditions of your host country. Try to recognise their social norms and values, and respect their religion. If you do [that], I can assure you that you will never have any problem with them,” the police boss added.
Lt Col Yakuba Drammeh, the chief of Army Staff, described the mission as a noble one and urged them to work as a team.
FRI Jammeh, the adviser of GPF, told the officers to protect life and property, as well as the ways of the East Timorese.
Ansumana Sanyang, the contingent commander, asserted that the contingent will live up to expectation.
Author: by Omar Wally