Gambia’s military chief Lt. Gen. Ousman Bargie said the army has no chemical or biological agent in its inventory.
Military intelligence sources reported that West African troops who cleared and secured the presidential compound in Banjul found toxic chemical powder stuffed in the air conditioning units after former President Yahya Jammeh was forced to flee.
The regional military General Francois Ndiaye has declined to comment on the report.
There are still concerns about Mr. Barrow’s safety, who has appointed former military chief Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh as his National Security Adviser.
Jammeh has divided the army with his loyalists in the elite presidential guard being the most highly ranked, trained and equipped personnel.
Gambia’s President Adama Barrow returned to Banjul last week and has been staying in his home since. He is running the country from his temporal office at the Kairaba Hotel and has not been to The State House, the official residence and seat of the government.
Gambian soldiers were disarmed and demobilized last week ahead of Barrow’s arrival. Barrow was in Senegal, where he was sworn-in at the Gambia’s embassy in Dakar.
At least 4,000 regional troops remain in The Gambia to stabilize the political turmoil that followed Jammeh’s refusal to cede power. ECOWAS Commission President Marcel de Souza said the number of troops will be steadily reduced.
Gambian security forces will be vetted as part of a broader reform after two decades of dictatorship.