Home | News    Tuesday 2 November 2004

Gambia ready to send troops to Sudan’s troubled Darfur

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BANJUL, Nov 1 (AFP) — Gambia is ready to commit part of its small army to an African Union truce-monitoring mission in Sudan’s conflicted Darfur region, Radio Gambia said Monday, reporting a foreign ministry statement.

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Yahya Jammeh

"The Gambia is willing to send troops to Darfur, and I will be liaising with the AU to look into the modalities," Foreign Minister Sidi Sanneh said after talks Sunday with his Sudanese counterpart Mustafa Osman Ismael and Gambian President Yahya Jammeh.

Gambia has a small army of about 1,900 men, and an annual military budget of less than one million dollars (786,000 euros), but has neverthess participated in West African collective intervention in Liberia, and taken part in several other peacekeeping operations, including in Bosnia, Kosovo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Sierra Leone, Eritrea, and East Timor.

The Gambian president offered the Sudanese visitor full
cooperation of his small West African country in the search for an overall peace in Darfur.

Radio Gambia said Ismael and Jammeh also discussed bilateral questions.

The 20-month conflict in Sudan has resulted in the death of 70,000 people and the displacement of about 1.5 million, due mainly to raids by the Sudanese army and a proxy Arab militia against the black African population in Darfur.

Ismael later went to Mauritania, which also has announced its readiness to commit troops to African Union attempts to bring peace and stability to Darfur.

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