Gambia’s Army Chief, Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh has made changes in the West African nation’s military amid growing concerns about external opposition to the country’s unity government.
It is the second reshuffle in the country’s military top ranks since the arrest of at least 23 soldiers suspecting of espionage and plotting to assassinate the new leader, President Adama Barrow.
According to military sources, Director of Administration Col. Sambou Barrow has switched positions with Naval Commander Col. Dembo Jarju, Disaster Management Chief Col. Alhagie Sanneh is the Director of Peacekeeping Operations and Col. Paul Gomez will be commanding the military training academy.
The Army in July appointed new commanders for two strategic military barracks. Lt. Col. Abdoulie Jatta was made the Commander of Farafenni Barracks and Lt. Col. Samba Baldeh became the Commander of Yundum Barracks.
Gambia’s Army has arrested the son of a rebel general fighting for independence in the southern Senegal region of Casamance. Omar Sadio, son of the rebel leader, Salifu Sadio was apparently enlisted into the army.
President Adama Barrow is purging the army of Jammeh’s loyalists, most of them said to have been corruptly recruited to give the former authoritarian ruler a firm grip on power.
Barrow is under the protection of West African troops, mostly Senegalese soldiers that helped him to dislodge Jammeh. He has extended their mandate to next year and widened it to help him enforce security sector reforms.
(Reporting and Writing by Lamin Jassey; Additional Writing and Editing by Sam Phatey)