Defence minister says army ready to deploy in the fight against Covid-19

The Gambia’s Defence minister has said the army is ready to be deployed in the country’s fight against the deadly coronavirus pandemic.

The minister’s statement comes barely a day after the government announced that the army may be used to support civil authorities in the fight against the COVID-19 pandemic.

“During these unprecedented times in which our great country finds itself, and under the direction of our military’s Commander-in-Chief, His Excellency Adama Barrow, I wish to assure all citizens and all those residents in the Gambia of the Gambia Armed Forces’ commitment to work in support of all civilian authorities charged with leading the country’s multi-agency response to the Covid-19 crisis,” the Defence minister Sheikh Omar Faye said.

“The Gambia’s armed forces stand ready to operate under section 187 (1) (b) of the country’s Constitution to undertake military assistance to the civilian authorities across regional and local levels of government. We wish to assure all citizens that our servicemen and women are well- trained in this area.

“As our prayers remain with those whose health has already become impacted by the pandemic, and the families who have lost loved ones, we support the efforts of our government to deploy all

national resources under the direction of the civilian authorities to keep the country safe and strong. 

“Defending and protecting our nation and people from the current challenges requires a solid and unwavering partnership between those who serve at the front line and those who benefit from these services.”

The Defence minister urged both Gambians and non-Gambians to adhere to the current emergency regulations – to respect curfew guidelines, wear masks and demonstrate ongoing respect for the rule of law.

Reporting by Adama Makasuba

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