Gambian soldiers stand guard during victory celebrations in The Gambia / PHOTO: REUTERS

Mass redeployment of troops as Gambia seeks to shrive Jammeh loyalists

Gambia’s army is restructuring the military and redeploying troops to different parts of the country, a senior official has confirmed.

The redeployment is part of the reforms to absolve the army of ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s loyalists. The new restructuring will make less powerful those left in the army.

“Many of those suspected to be loyalists of Jammeh are deployed to the provinces but that does not mean they will not be monitored,” the source said.

The Gambia’s has disbanded its elite presidential guard but several soldiers will be posted at the State House for ceremonial reasons.

The State House has been temporarily moved to Fajara, while the renovations get rounded up at the official seat of the government in the island capital, Banjul.

West African troops and the police are in charge of President Adama Barrow’s security. Jammeh had used the army to rule with an iron fist.

Some residual anger and frustration remain in the army after Jammeh’s ouster. Jammeh had prompted many in the army to protect his regime.

The ex-leader is suspected of recruiting people in the army without going through the formal process. Fears are rife that a mass dismissal may ignite turmoil.

At least a dozen Gambian soldiers have been arrested for committing human rights abuses and crimes against the state. A handful of others have fled the country and now in hiding in neighboring nations.

Jammeh’s loyalists that have deserted are reportedly plotting to destabilize the country and the army arrested five of its members for mutiny last month.

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