The country’s former two generals who fled with the ex-ruler Yahya Jammeh has had strained relations with the autocratic ruler, which led them to abandon him in Equatorial Guinea and fly back to Gambia, preliminary findings by the military stated.
Generals Ansumana Tamba and Umpa Mendy, two generals who have closely worked with the autocratic ruler have come back into the county unexpectedly and have passed airport security without raising alarm.
Lt. Gen. Masaneh Kinteh said the generals are also unsatisfied with their living conditions under Jammeh in Equatorial Guinea.
“The two generals… are being investigated. Our preliminary investigations revealed that the two were dissatisfied with their living conditions and has strained relations with the former president in Equatorial Guinea,” Kinteh told journalists in their first major press conference since the regime change.
“Let me hastily add that the investigations are still ongoing and the two are cooperative in helping the investigators to establish the facts behind their unexpected return.”
CCTV cameras later showed two intelligent officers on duty chatting and laughing with them before they were allowed to go home where they were arrested almost a day later.
Kinteh said the coming of the generals exposed huge security lapses at the airport but the army had, the incident shared the list of soldiers who reportedly deserted with sister security forces.
General Kinteh was giving members of the Gambian media an update on their yearly activities, the first of such an event in over two decades.
Gambia’s Army has come under huge criticism after many thought they have sided with the ex-President Jammeh in his attempt to overturn the country’s 2016 December 1 election results.
However, Kinteh said the general membership of the armed forces loves The Gambia and they are ready to take a bullet to protect its people.
“So we had some elements who were used by the former regime to commit human right violations. But I can tell you that majority of men and women I serve with will are decent and dignified citizens of this country,” Kinteh said.
“The soldiers have love of this country in their heart and that was what motivated them to join the army forces and that spirit is still in the arm forces… At our level, the ones who have been known to have been involved in rights violations and are in the country were dealt with. The ones who have gone out of the country, we are seeing how best we can bring them to justice.”