The Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) Lieutenant General Masanneh Kinteh accompanied by a high level delegation including the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Defence, Mr. Assan Tangara amongst others, on the Monday 26 February 2018, left Banjul for New York to officially append on the dotted lines of the landmark Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between The Gambia and United Nations African Union Mission in Darfur.
The Gambia Armed Forces and by extension the republic of The Gambia has waited for a decade for this historic moment. Negotiations for this very important document were kick started by General Kinteh back in 2008 during his first tour as CDS of GAF. Ten years on, the signing ceremony was finally held at the office of the Under Secretary General (USG) for Department of Field Support (DFS) Mr. Atul Khare. His Excellency Dr. Momodou Tangara, the Ambassador and Permanent Representative of The Gambia at the United Nations (UN), attended the historic signing of the MoU. Mr. Atul Khare signed on behalf of the United Nations while the General Masanneh Kinteh signed on behalf of the Gambia Government.
Also along with the signing of the MOU, the CDS and his delegation undertook other important engagements on multiple fronts, key amongst which included: meetings with the MOU and Claims Department, Chief of Security Sector Reform Ms Ilene Cohn, Permanent Representative of the Republic of Korea HE Ambassador Cho Tae-Yul, Assistant Secretary General of Peace-building Support Mr. Oscar Fernandez-Taranco and USG for Peacekeeping Mr. Jean Pierre Lacroix. A dinner hosted by HE Ambassador Tangara capped the working visit by the CDS and his delegation which also included the Directors of PeaceKeeping Operations and Finance, Colonel Alhajie Sanneh and Lieutenant Colonel Musa Jammeh respectively.
The signing of the MoU is seen as significant by many observers in the sense that henceforth the Republic of The Gambia will get value for money on her investments in PeaceKeeping Operations in the form of re-imbursements especially from the Darfur UN mission which will be applied retrospectively starting from 2008. The reimbursements will also serve as a catalyst for Foreign Direct Capital Inflow into the Gambian economy and position the Armed Forces, hitherto arguably perceived as being a consumer of tax payers’ resources, as an institution that will contribute immensely to the Gross Domestic Product (GDP).