Air Force that scared Gambia’s ex-leader meets new leader

Air Force that scared Gambia’s ex-leader meets new leader

The Nigerian Air Force War College chose the Gambia as the place for a study tour for 13 of its students. The War College’s scholars met the country’s new President Adama Barrow.

The military scholars will share knowledge and experiences with those in the Gambia’s Army, who are working with other West African troops to stabilize the Gambia’s security.

“I hope the knowledge sharing from the tour will benefit both countries. It is good to see African countries confidently sharing experiences with one another and I hope we will continue this spirit,” said President Barrow

The scholars from Nigeria’s Air Force War College were led by Air Commodore MC Nnaji. Nnaji said the objective of the Nigerian Air Force War College study tour was to strengthen the knowledge gained in the classroom with experiences from the field.

“The group looked forward to learning from The Gambia how its military uses skills in engineering, construction, and medical outreach to engage and contribute to national development,” said Nnaji.

Nigerian fighter jets pierced the Gambia’s airspace in January in a military intervention to uphold the outcome of the election that brought President Barrow to power.

West African troops were sent to the small country to compel longstanding president Yahya Jammeh to relinquish power to his elected successor, Mr. Barrow.

The air power of the ECOWAS forces, which Nigeria was part of could not be matched by then-authoritarian ruler Yahya Jammeh, forcing him to flee to Equatorial Guinea, where President Theodore Obiang offered him asylum.

“Nigeria is a leader in ECOWAS and I thank President Muhammadu Buhari and his government for supporting The Gambia during our political impasse,” said Barrow.

“A well trained professional military will know the important role to play in society and in the region. I extend my sincere gratitude to President Buhari for his commitment to The Gambia, and for defending truth and democracy.”

Nigerian troops remain in The Gambia as part of the West African stabilization force protecting Barrow, state buildings, and senior government officials.

President Barrow has widened the mandate of the force, mainly from Senegal and Nigeria to include training of the Gambia’s Army and urged other ECOWAS members to contribute additional troops.

Regional leaders urged Barrow to establish the required framework and mechanism that will promote national dialogue and reconciliation, and render justice to past injustices, and strict respect for international norms and principles.

The Gambia is mainland Africa’s smallest nation running across Senegalese territory from east to west either side of the Gambia River with Banjul located on the broad estuary giving on to the Atlantic.

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