Turkey’s Training Mission Elevates 351 Gambian Soldiers for OIC Summit

Gambia partners with Turkey to train 351 soldiers, enhancing security for the upcoming OIC Summit. The training program focused on VIP protection and various military disciplines, strengthening Gambia's defense capabilities and paving the way for a successful summit.

Israel Ojoko
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Turkey’s Training Mission Elevates 351 Gambian Soldiers for OIC Summit

Turkey’s Training Mission Elevates 351 Gambian Soldiers for OIC Summit

As the Gambia braces to host the prestigious Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Summit in early May, a robust collaboration with Turkey has set the stage for an unprecedented elevation of the nation’s security forces.

In a display of solidarity and strategic partnership, Turkey has extended its expertise in military training to the Gambian soldiers, ensuring the summit’s success and the country’s long-term security stability.

From April 7-28, the capital city of Banjul became the crucible of military excellence as 351 Gambian soldiers underwent intensive training in various disciplines, including the critical skill of VIP protection. This specialized training program, meticulously designed and executed by Turkey’s seasoned experts, reflects a deep commitment to fostering peace and security in the region.

The closing ceremony of this transformative training program was a testament to the strong bilateral ties between the two nations. Dignitaries such as Turkey’s Ambassador to Gambia, Fahri Turker Oba, Gambian Defense Minister Sering Modou Njie, and Chief of Defense Staff Mamat Cham, along with many soldiers, marked the culmination of three weeks of rigorous preparation.

Ambassador Oba’s remarks during the ceremony underscored the enduring benefits of the training, emphasizing its significance not only for the upcoming summit but also for the future of Gambian security forces.

Defense Minister Njie’s expression of gratitude towards Turkey highlighted the latter’s role as a steadfast ally and a reliable development partner of Gambia. This partnership goes beyond the immediate context of the OIC Summit, paving the way for a sustained enhancement of the Gambian military’s capabilities and readiness.

The OIC Summit, slated to be held in Banjul, is more than a diplomatic congregation; it is a showcase of Gambia’s emergence on the international stage. The theme of the summit, ‘Enhancing Unity and Solidarity Through Dialogue for Sustainable Development,’ resonates with the very essence of the training provided by Turkey. It is a reflection of the shared vision to promote dialogue, unity, and solidarity among member states, which is the cornerstone of sustainable development and peace.

The training’s focus on VIP protection is particularly pertinent, considering the high-profile nature of the summit, which will see the convergence of leaders from the fifty-seven member countries of the OIC. The presence of presidents, kings, sultans, prime ministers, and rulers necessitates an impeccable security apparatus to ensure their safety and the smooth conduct of the summit proceedings.

Turkey’s contribution to Gambia’s military readiness is a clear indication of its broader foreign policy objectives in Africa. By investing in the capacity-building of African nations, Turkey is fostering an environment conducive to mutual growth and cooperation. This approach aligns with the principles of the OIC, which seeks to secure peace and harmony among its member states through collaboration and mutual support.

As Gambia gears up for the OIC Summit, the impact of Turkey’s military training will be closely watched by the international community. The successful hosting of the summit will not only be a feather in Gambia’s cap but also a testament to the efficacy of Turkey’s training program. The soldiers, now equipped with enhanced skills and knowledge, stand ready to protect and serve, embodying the spirit of unity that the OIC champions.

The military training provided by Turkey to the Gambian soldiers is a significant stride towards ensuring the security of the OIC Summit and fortifying Gambia’s defense capabilities. It is a partnership that transcends the immediate event, embedding itself into the fabric of Gambia’s national security and exemplifying the power of international cooperation.

As the summit approaches, the world looks on with anticipation, hopeful that this collaboration will herald a new era of peace and prosperity for Gambia and the broader OIC community.