Mai Fatty should not downplay threats to national security

Mai Fatty should not downplay threats to national security

Gambia’s homeland security secretary brushed aside a question in parliament about possible attacks on the country by hostile elements outside the country.

Fatty said “there is no invasion force coming into this country,” but the reports of external forces with intent to destabilize the country has been well publicized.

The fact is known that at least 300 Gambian soldiers that have deserted the army are housed in Mauritania, Guinea, and Guinea-Bissau readying to launch an attack.

Ecowas military command in the country warned further that there are hostile elements loyal to Jammeh within the army taking part in the effort to make the country ungovernable.

Although Mai Fatty has warned that “anybody who think our security is fragile and want to try it you will wish you never tried it,” he still tried to allay fears by dismissing it as a false alarm.

That is dangerous.

Although one may see the government is trying to make sure that citizens and businesses do not panic, the best way to calm them is by reassuring them through admitting that a threat exists but strong measures have been put in place and at the same time sending a clear warning to adversaries that they will be crushed.

It is important for this to come from the President, Adama Barrow.

Security in the Gambia is stronger than ever with the presence of the West African stabilization force.

Any attempt to disrupt the peace will be met with resistance and quelled quickly. But what measures are being put in place to prevent such after the Ecomig forces are gone?

Reforms within the army are slow and a shake-up didn’t happen until the intelligence brief highlighting this new threat was leaked.

Several military commanders and Gambia’s military intelligence chief were changed, a sign that defense chief of staff, Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh is taking the threat seriously.

President Adama Barrow has also assigned several trusted security officials to look into the allegations and Gambian security specialists have warned, the report must not be ignored and advised that long-term security plans be put in place for post-Ecomig Gambia.

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