The Gambia Armed Forces In Peacekeeping Operations.
The Gambia Armed Forces has always been commended for its troop’s commitment, professionalism and discipline so it is not surprising to know that despite the numerous allegations of misconduct against many military peacekeeping contingents, the GAF has performed its global mandate professionally and had never been accused of any form of misconduct.
The GAF first deployments came in 1990 and 1999 when it participated in ECOWAS peacekeeping operations with 150 men- strength in Liberia and Guinea Bissau respectively.
Later, as part of the ECOWAS initiative deployed an infantry company to Liberia once again in 2003 following the civil war under the ECOMIL which later transited into UNMIL. In 2004, GAF sent a contingent of 150 troops excluding military observers and staff officers to Sudan, Darfur under the AU and later UN mandates.
GAF has also sent many military observers to several countries including, Nepal, Burundi, Côte d’Ivoire, Liberia, Sierra Leone, Republic of Chad, Central Africa Republic, Somalia, Angola, Mali and Sudan and has been involved in more than ten (10) different UNPKO‘s around the globe contributing more than 4,000 personnel.
As of October 2004, GAF maintained consistent contribution of troops to United Nations Peacekeeping Operations particularly in Darfur, Sudan and the 20th Contingent is currently serving UNAMID. The Contingent currently is serving as a Force Headquarters Company. The Company’s responsibilities include; provision of drivers, Signalers, Flight Followers, clerks, VIP Guard and Escorts, Protection of key installations amongst others.
The Gambia as a nation has always been very committed in international peace and security which to a great deal enhances international cooperation and military experiences. GAF with the support of the Royal Gibraltar Regiment Training Assistant Team continue to conduct various PSO trainings for all our contingents before any potential deployment, in order to enhance their already achieved skills and competency in peacekeeping.
The performance of GAF contingents have been described as being of the highest order and the recognition to serve in UN peacekeeping missions may be seen as further recognition of our military’s growing esteem in the field of peacekeeping.