By: Mustapha Jallow
The Ministry of Defence has instructed the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) to redeploy ninety-five personnel from the Gambia Armed Forces to other State Security Services.
GAF spokesperson Major Lamin K. Sanyang made this disclosure on Wednesday during an interview with Foroyaa in his office at Defence Headquarters in Banjul.
Sanyang remarked; “Following the new dispensation, there is a moratorium on recruitment on both GAF and other security services. After the new dispensation, the Police had additional roles assigned to them, and due to this moratorium, they have capacity gap in terms of human resources. This is what precipitated the redeployment issue.”
He said this matter was discussed at cabinet level and the Ministry of Defence was asked to instruct GAF to redeploy all personnel who were as a result of executive directive from the former President brought into the Armed Forces, to the Ministry of Interior.
He remarked, “We withdrew our personnel from the Tourism Security Unit and the Police were assigned that responsibility and several others where we had our personnel. It is as a result of this capacity gap that they are requesting their (Ministry of Interior) personnel.”
According to him, the ministry of defence wrote to GAF in mid-March instructing the Chief of Defence Staff of the Gambia Armed Forces to ensure that these personnel from the ministry of interior were redeployed to their respective security service.
GAF spokesperson remarked, “Majority, about 86 of them are from the Gambia Police Force and the rest are from other services. They were absorbed into the army into our ranks and have been working with us since that time. Others have worked with us for over 15 years now and they contributed a lot in the army. Their transfer to GAF was a directive by ex-President Jammeh.”
He added that the personnel are still serving in the army, adding the GAF command wrote and invited them for a discussion at the Joint Officer’s Mess in Kotu on Monday, 15 of April, to brief them about this decision by the Ministry of Defence to redeploy them to their various services.
“This new development was to sound their opinion as to the way forward,” he said.
Major K. Sanyang explained that the process is ongoing for now, adding it is going to be a long process, because the Army cannot just send them back like ‘that’.
He remarked, “There was no memo from GAF asking the personnel to leave. We are acting based on instruction from the Ministry of Defence as result of discussion they had at cabinet level. GAF is not sending anyone away on its own will.”