By MUHAMMED S. BAH
The Chief of Defence staff Lieutenant General Ousman Bargie assured the media of the loyalty of the armed and security forces to the new President, Adama Barrow.
CDS Bargie made this remark during a Press conference held at the Defence headquarters in Banjul on Saturday 22 January 2017.
The CDS further noted that the political impasse wasn’t a crisis but was a political misunderstanding.
“The problem was not a crisis but a political misunderstanding, and the military was not involved during the solution of the problem, and we shall never fight against any ECOMIG soldier if they enter in the Gambia,” he asserted.
CDS Bargie said that he told his soldiers not to fight against any ECOMOG soldier if they were to enter the country.
CDS Bargie further stated that he thanks God that the political misunderstanding was solved without any violence.
“I avail myself of this opportunity to thank all Gambians most profoundly for the high sense of political maturity and patience exercised during the period under review,” he remarked.
He further said that it should be remembered that the armed and security services are the last line of national Unity, as they the armed force demonstrated during the trial period.
He said the armed force’s responsibility to preserve the peace and security of the country is rooted in the constitution of the Gambia.
He said the deployment of the sand bags at the strategic locations points within greater Banjul area was a calculation designed to avert any potential conflict that may emerge between rival political parties and supporters.
“If I may emphasise, the developments undertaken by the armed and security services before, during and after the elections period was purely a preventive measure,” he disclosed.
He added that this is contrary to what other media houses both local and international portray.
Asked whether there was any invasion by the ECOMOG soldiers, he answered in the negative. He further noted that ECOMOG soldiers have never attacked any camp, and there was no shootout.
He said at Kanilai, there was an incident but not a shootout, adding that he was told that something exploded in one compound and killed Ruminant animals.
He said there were no causalities, no shootings; he added that they are executing the order given to them by President Adama Barrow, to deploy all the military back to the barracks.
He said they are very much willing to receive the new commander in chief.
CDS said all soldiers who were arrested are released and have re-untied with their families.
CDS also assured that no one will be arrested with the #GambiaHasDecided T-Shirts. He said people can print as many T shirts as they want to.