The effect of centuries of domination and exploitation has transformed Africa into a land synonymous with hunger, diseases, poverty, conflict and a host of other social ills.
This is why the continent, even though the richest in terms of mineral resources, is still home to the poorest of the poor on earth. What makes it all the more pathetic is the persistence in perpetuation of conflicts, which has left an already impoverished people at the mercy of humanitarian catastrophes.
Africa, as such, needs ambassadors of humanitarianism to restore not only hope, but human dignity as well. In this venture, every African should serve as the others' keeper. Just as no individual is safe if a neighbor's house is on fire, war in one African country means war on the entire continent.
The Gambia, in the recent past, under the dynamic leadership of President Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya Jammeh, has vigorously defended this cause. Our position in bringing an end to conflicts in areas such as Casamance, Guinea Bissau, Sierra Leone, Liberia and more recently, our commitment to ensure that peace reigns in the troubled Sudanese region of Darfur, elucidates this reality.
As we bid farewell to yet another contingent of peacekeepers (GAMCOY 8), we pray that Almighty Allah permit them to fulfill our collective intention, which is the restoration of peace and the salvation of humanity in Darfur.
We seize this opportunity to remind these men and women that as soldiers, their duty is to save lives and properties. They should endeavor to be good ambassadors of our beloved country throughout their mission. They should also try to protect the integrity of the state as we, Gambians, are known for our unbeatable hospitality. It is the intention of the president, the commander-in-chief of the Armed Forces, to have a united Africa where peace and harmony flourish.
We are grateful that the Gambia Armed Forces is cooperating in that respect and serving as a role model for militaries in the rest of the continent.
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