The World War II veterans Family Association has renewed call on both the government of United Kingdom (UK) through British Embassy in Banjul and The Gambia government through the Ministries of Defense and Foreign Affairs to take urgent action to address the situation of war veterans.
This, they believe, would improve the condition of war veterans by regularising decades old anomaly.
This will also ensure that these war veterans, who fought in World War II are accorded the recognition and dignity they deserve.
The call was made recently during activities making Remembrance Day celebration March parade held at the McCarthy Square.
In attendance were the vice president of The Gambia, Dr. Isatou Touray and senior government officials, members of the diplomatic corps, service chiefs and a cross section of the community.
Addressing the gathering, Alpha Ousman Jallow, Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the association, said that WW II Veterans Family Association has discovered that those charged with running the affairs of The Gambia Legion and for managing the funds, failed in reaching out to the eligible beneficiaries.
He explained that these war veterans had served the British Crown prior to their countries gaining
Independence, adding that the Remembrance Day is a unique opportunity to raise awareness and highlight the plight of war veterans and their widows; sometimes aptly referred to as the ‘forgotten soldiers and widows.’
“As siblings who continued to live and support the remaining WW II veterans and their widows, are calling on the RCEL and Gambia Legion to reach out and work closely with the association so that the support reaches the eligible veterans and their widows.” he said.
Jallow indicated that the association is indeed grateful and sincerely appreciative of the Goodwill of the British government and its citizens in providing support to the war veterans and their families especially widows in forty-eight (48) countries across the world including The Gambia.
“This grant we understand is being managed by the Royal Commonwealth Ex-services League (RCEL) in partnership with The Gambian Legion. The WW 2 Veterans Family Association, however, wishes to reiterate that in the case of The Gambia, less than 10 percent of eligible beneficiaries (WWII veterans or their widows) are aware of such support and do actually benefit from the fund.”
He stressed that it is important to highlight that majority of veterans and their widows in The Gambia until their death never received any such support.
“This is a reality and the WW II Veterans Family Association has adequate proofs to back this assertion.”