Gambia’s military Chief Lt. Gen. Ousman Bargie rebutted media reports that he promoted a handful of soldiers from Lieutenant Colonel to Colonel.
“I have no right or power to promote any officer from Second Lieutenant and above without the approval of His Excellency the President who is the Commander-in-Chief of The Gambia Armed Forces,” Bargie told pro-opposition newspaper, The Daily Observer.
Bargie does, however, has the power to promote junior officers from Lance Corporal to Warrant Officer.
Bargie found fame at an unusual time when the country was thrown into chaos by his former Commander-in-Chief Yahya Jammeh. He refused to order his men to resist regional troops, who were advancing towards the capital, Banjul to oust the longtime leader.
The army chief has found himself in a row of criticism after he acknowledged ordering the unlawful detention and beating of a 19-year old boy at the Fajara Barracks.
President Jammeh, before his ouster, promoted at last 45 soldiers to senior positions, hoping to gain their support and loyalty to remain in power, including his former Interior Minister, whom he reinstated into the military as Finance Director and promoted from Lieutenant Colonel to Brigadier General.