West African forces in The Gambia are not compromising the safety and security of the country’s President Adama Barrow, military spokesperson, Lt. Cdr Andy La-Anyane.
La-Anyane said the force will do whatever it takes to safeguard its cherished working relations with the media “but we will not compromise on the security of the president.”
Gambian journalist Fabakary Ceesay wanted to force his way into a meeting being attended by Mr. Barrow after arriving late. West African troops mauled him out after a Senegalese soldier threatened to shoot him.
“We hope this incident will be the last to be heard and we will all do well to report on time to functions, especially ones that the president or the Vice president will be attending,” said La-Anyane.
“We will, however, wish to state that the above notwithstanding, we will at all times work professionally to safeguard the security of the president and the seat of government as established in our mandate without favor or ill will.”
Barrow, 52, has come under threat since assuming power in January. Gambian authorities have arrested at least 23 soldiers accused of plotting against the new leader in a WhatsApp chat group.
Unlike his predecessor, Barrow has been open to the media and so far, no journalist has been arrested for writing against his regime. He has had interviews with nearly every news outlet in the country.
West African forces entered Gambia and flushed Jammeh from power. Jammeh fled to exile after Gambian troops bowed down from standing up to the regional force. He has since stayed away from Gambian politics but soldiers loyal to him continue to pose a threat.