Gambia’s army chief has called for unity amongst his soldiers, warning against tribal and political divide amid reports that the country’s ousted ruler, Yahya Jammeh still has loyalist within the military.
Jammeh had been long backed by the military, helping him to have a strong crib of power and commit human rights abuses. He was defeated in last year’s elections and had since fled after regional troops were deployed to depose him.
Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh reminded the soldiers to accept the verdict of the Gambian people, “forget about the past and focus on what lies ahead.”
Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow vowed to reform the army. A vetting process is about to start to weed out those that were illegally conscripted into the army to “reports other officers and commit human rights abuses.”
Jammeh has reportedly recruited his tribesmen and members of a youth militia group, loyal to him into the army raising fears of instability after the mandate of West African troops end.
At least two dozen former military officers have been arrested and dozens more, who have fled the country wanted for murder and other crimes.
A court in Banjul has issued arrest warrants for some of Jammeh’s military generals and close aides, some of whom have fled to Equatorial Guinea with him. Authorities may be involving the Interpol to help with having some wanted officers arrested.