Gambian troops that returned from war-torn Sudan’s Darfur region have not been paid their allowances, a security officer familiar with the case said.
At least 200 soldiers returned from the region after a year of service under the United Nations after thriving in the hostile region. Levels of violence fell after 2005, but have risen since the start of 2013. Nearly 400,000 people were displaced in the first half of 2014 alone.
The source, accused former President Yahya Jammeh of taking huge sums from the allowances sent by the UN. The Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh has been accused in the past by the military of taking at least 30% of the allowance allocated to peacekeepers from the West African nation.
Gambia’s military spokesperson, Lt. Col. Lamin Bojang said the soldiers should be patient as they work towards having the remainder of their allowances paid.
The Gambia has a new president who took over power after a political standoff in January. President Adama Barrow has vowed to reform the military, which has been accused of human rights abuses.
Jammeh’s military chief Lt. Gen. Ousman Bargie has been replaced by Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh and a former Interior Minister, Lt. Col. Momodou Bah, who has been promoted to a Brigadier General and appointed as the military’s finance director shortly before Jammeh fled has been fired.
Gambia has deployed another badge of 200 troops to Darfur. The UN says the troops will help with escorting officials and humanitarian aid to the most affected areas. Darfur’s population of about 7.5 million is scattered over an area the size of France.