Gambian leader President Adama Barrow held a meeting with the senior command of the Gambia Armed Forces amid claims of disloyalty within the ranks of the military said to have been politicized by former ruler, Yahya Jammeh.
Barrow, who calls his meeting with the GAF high Command a “family reunion” has urged soldiers to remain loyal to the Gambian people and the government of the day to ensure stability.
“We won the war,” Barrow said referring the toppling of dictator Jammeh. “Let us maintain the peace and collaborate with others like ECOWAS.”
The security of the Gambian presidency is in the hands of the regional forces that forced Jammeh out after he rejected the election results that brought him to power.
Barrow emphasized the role ECOMIG played in the country’s transition but equally praised the maturity of Gambian soldiers, who refused to engage the regional forces in Jammeh’s defense.
Mr. Barrow informed the soldiers that plans are at advanced stage to have an academy to support the capacity building of the Armed Forces.
He pledged support to the soldiers in their reform process, adding that he wants to leave behind a legacy not by how long he stays in power but what he is able to achieve.
The Chief of Defence Staff, Lieutenant General Massaneh N. Kinteh made a presentation of the GAF’s reform strategies, gave an overview of its history, the structures and vision.
He highlighted the re-structuring activities they undertook to strengthen the capacity of the forces, the challenges and recommendations to modernize the army.
The detailed briefing outlined logistical issues, infrastructure and other needs of the GAF. During the interactive session, it gave an opportunity for other members to express their loyalty to the country through their Commander- in- Chief, President Barrow.