Gambia’s President Adama Barrow was rushed out of a mosque in the country’s island capital after a man, later identified as an off-duty soldier was found with a pistol.
ECOMIG troops have arrested the soldier for being in possession of a pistol inside the King Fahad Mosque where President Barrow was attending Frayer prayers.
Baboucarr Njie, a personnel of The Gambia National Army is detained and being questioned who said he came with the gun to the King Fahad Mosque to hand over the weapon to Gambian security forces at the presidential compound, The State House.
Security sources said Njie claimed he had being around The State House but saw no Gambian soldier outside to talk to and decided to go to the mosque for Friday prayers.
The State House is currently under the security of the ECOMIG troops, who were deployed last month to secure the capital and ensure the safety of President Barrow after Jammeh refused to cede power.
President Adama Barrow had ordered for all Gambian soldiers to be disarmed. The West African troops demobilized the local army and Barrow warned those found with weapons without his authority would be regarded and treated as rebels.
ECOMIG forces will have their troops reduced to 500 from 7000 and their mandate has been extended to May and subject to renewal, said State House Press Secretary Amie Bojang-Sisohore.
Details about Njie’s service in the army are not completely released but former President Yahya Jammeh personally exercised control over certain units of the army, especially in the Republican National Guard and the State Guards, which made up his elite presidential guard unit and loyalists.
President Barrow had been in Senegal for nearly a month over safety concerns. He returned to Banjul late last month to take over power. He has retained Lt. Gen. Ousman Bargie as his Chief of Defense Staff and appointed former military chief Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh as National Security Adviser.
(Reporting and Writing by Sainey MK Marenah; Contribution and Editing by Sam Phatey)