By Kebba Jeffang
The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) and The Gambia Police Force (GPF), have both allayed fears that the recent armed robbery incidences in the country, were not carried out by deserted security personnel loyal to former president, Yahya Jammeh.
In exclusive interview, both spokespersons attributed the recent crime rise as misconceptions of democracy by a greater number people in society.
“You know, we have gone through 22 years of dictatorship and with this new democracy, there is this tendency of people abusing the new-found freedom they have,” Major Lamin K. Sanyang told Foroyaa. The army spokesperson said this misinformation is carried out by people who are misusing the new-found freedom.
“But with or without threat from outside or anywhere in the country, the Gambia Armed Forces and other security services, are already equipped and prepared to defend the country,” he said.
Meanwhile, the police spokesperson Superintendent David Kujabi, who also admitted to the rise of criminal activities in the country, holds the same reasoning.
“There is no proof whatsoever, that these armed criminals are Jammeh loyalists. There is no such indication as slight as it may be, that could point to that fact. In fact even during Jammeh’s period, we used to have incidences of armed robbery. They may not have been as frequent as prevailing during the first part of this year, but they used to happen,” he said.
Kujabi said given the laxity and the respect for human rights and democracy that the police have condoned recently, people feel that they can come and do whatever pleases them.
He cited unemployment, illiteracy as well as no meaningful engagement for returnees from the ‘back-way’, as the causes of crime escalation during the first quota of the year.
He however said the second quota of the year has seen a reduction of crime registered in the country.