New ECOMIG Force commander takes over
By Cherno Omar Bobb
The outgoing Force Commander of the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG), Colonel Ousmane Aly Kane on Wednesday handed over to the incoming Force Commander, Colonel Bubacar Toure at a ceremony held at the ECOMIG headquarters in Bakau.
A handing and taking over parade, otherwise known as change of command is a military tradition that represents a formal transfer of authority and responsibility for a command from one commanding or flag officer to another.
The passing of colors, standards, or ensigns from an outgoing commander to an incoming one ensures that the unit and its soldiers is never without official leadership, a continuation of trust, and also signifies an allegiance of soldiers to their unit’s commander.
Col Kane was the 4th commander to have commanded the ECOMIG Force.
Her Excellency Miatta Lilly French, Resident President of the ECOWAS Commission and Head of Mission in The Gambia, in her remarks commended the outgoing commander for his immense achievements towards fostering peace and security in The Gambia.
Madam French also thanked The Gambia defence and security forces for their support to the mission as well as the ECOMIG troops, and advised the new commander to build on the achievements of his predecessor.
Colonel Ousmane Aly Kane, in his remarks after handing over explained that his mission was to work with defence and security forces of The Gambia to protect the government, president, political leaders and the population in general.
He added that his mandate also included building a secure environment and bringing peace, stabilising the nation but also conducting combined patrols with personnel of the Gambia Armed Forces and the Gambia Police Force to ensure Gambia’s security.
“We also trained GAF personnel ahead of international missions to ensure they raise the Gambian flag high everywhere they go,” he also said.
He went on to say that their mandate includes promoting civil-military cooperation to ensure the population understand their mission.
He stated that in addition to those, they conducted free medical consultations at their clinics, Gambian hospitals and other places.
Colonel Bubacar Toure said Col Kane had already established a favourable situation for him to work to strengthen.
According to Col Toure, with peace everything is possible, noting that that was why any country within ECOWAS that is about to experience conflict, a mission is sent to ensure peace and stability in that country.
“I intend to work with Gambian authorities, defence and security forces and the population to further strengthen The Gambia’s peace and security,” he also said.
He pointed out that Gambia’s peace is the peace of the sub region, adding that their aim is to see peace across ECOWAS states and the world at large.
The ceremony was chaired by Major Maxwell Asola, PIO for ECOMIG.