Soldiers from the Gambia will start receiving training and technical assistance from the British Army, decades after it ended aid programs to the former colony.
Prior to the 1994 coup that brought former President Yahya Jammeh to power, the Gambian Army received technical assistance and training from the United Kingdom, United States, China, Nigeria, and Turkey.
With the withdrawal of most of this aid, the army has received training mostly from Turkey, Pakistan and Libya.
During his historic visit to The Gambia, discussions between British Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson and Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow centered on security.
Tens of thousands of British citizens holiday in the Gambia. It makes terror attacks in resorts a concern after it became the trademark for extremists in the region.
Al-Qaeda subsidiary AQIM and Ansar Deen attacked hotels frequented by Europeans in Mali and Ivory Coast killing at least 50 people.
Gambia’s military has been described as unprofessional by rights defenders, who accuse the armed forces of backing the country’s ousted dictator and committing human rights abuses.
President Adama Barrow’s military reform program is already in motion with the assistance of former military chief Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh.
British training of the army will help its special forces more prepared to face security challenges presented by the global terrorism crisis and have its personnel transformed into professionals.