Concerns raised on reappointment of some ex-security chiefs

Concerns raised on reappointment of some ex-security chiefs

Concerns are rife over the reappointment of a handful of security chiefs that have served under the ex-autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh.

A Security specialist and former senior law enforcement officer warned that several people have been reappointed without proper checks.

“I saw certain ex-officers reinstated into the said outfits even though they were clearly very close to the former regime and personal aides by all intents and purposes to Yahya Jammeh,” said Seyaka Sonko.

“By the fact of their continuous tenure of office till his downfall or shortly before, one can conclude that they were his henchmen.”

Sonko was a senior commissioner in the police before Jammeh’s take over of power and exiling of many officers to entrench himself.

Jammeh survived at least a dozen coups and had backing from senior security officers to remain in power.

Many senior police officers have been implicated in human and civil rights violations, including torture and prolonged detentions of Jammeh’s opponents.

Sonko is particularly concerned that they may keep communicating with the ex-leader amid new reports that army deserters are in touch with senior security officers loyal to the ex-dictator.

Sonko is confident they will not enjoy “the illegal largess” and indemnity they enjoyed under the former regime but counseled “unless there is an overhaul of all the security units and revamping as required, we are faced with a time bomb waiting to explode.”

The police have been accused of stalling the prosecution of nine former security officers and State Intelligence Service has been accused of destroying evidence related to the killing of an opposition activist.

Government supporters are deeply divided on some recycling of those accused of being Jammeh enablers into the new administration.

President Adama Barrow described the security services as “highly intoxicated” and vowed to have it cleaned up.

It has been revealed that the security services are filled with members of a Jammeh-backed youth group, who were wrongfully enlisted.

A report has revealed that Jammeh had used the state intelligence agency to infiltrate Barrow’s security detail and the special agent that carried out the assignment became Barrow’s personal bodyguard and now manning an important security post and only answerable to the Director of State Intelligence Services.

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