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Nigerian army deploys 197 personnel to Gambia

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The mandate of the ECOMIG forces in Gambia expires in August 2019 but the Nigerian military leader said their forces are expected to be in Gambia for about a year. This signals an extension of the ECOMIG mandate whose presence in Gambia is funded by the European Union.

According to the News Agency of Nigeria, the West African powerhouse has on Thursday said it is deploying 197 soldiers and officers to Gambia for a peacekeeping mission.

The Chief of Army Staff, Tukur Buratai, made the disclosure during the graduation of participants for the NIGCOY 4 ECOMIG pre-deployment training, held at the Lt-Gen Martin Luther Agwai International Leadership Peacekeeping Centre, Jaji, in Kaduna State.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports Mr Buratai was represented by the Commandant, Nigerian Army School of Infantry, Ali Keffi.

NAN also reports that out of the 197 army personnel for the peacekeeping mission, 12 are officers while the remaining 185 are soldiers.

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Earlier, the Commandant of the Centre, Abubakar Tarfa, said the pre-deployment training lasted for four weeks, and that the troops were expected to be in Gambia for a year.

Mr Tarfa said the training was intensive and comprehensive in line with the UN pre-deployment modules.

Kerr Fatou has made attempts to reach the ECOMIG spokesperson and also head of the Nigerian contingent Colonel Ismail Ibrahim on the story but the phone calls were unsuccessful.

Source: Premium Times

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