As we reported earlier, all is not well at The Gambia’s Armed Forces. The former Regimental Sergeant Major at the Guards battalion Manga Bah, has been arrested. Bah has been taken into custody by CDS Masaneh Kinteh’s “loyal” forces.
In another development, two soldiers, who were posted at the Gunjur guard post, have absconded. The fleeing soldiers had left their rifles behind.
The Army Command in Banjul should stop the cover up and come out clean and tell The Gambian population what is going on. This followed reports that there is growing resentment amongst soldiers against the Chief of Defence Staff Masaneh Kinteh. Kinteh is not in the good books of some section of the armed forces, sources said.
Masaneh Kinteh was hired CDS thanks to the former UDP led government. Diplomat Suntou Touray and co had played a part towards his appointment.
Abdoulie Sanyang of Switzerland told Freedom Radio in a recent interview that he was contacted by Suntou and co to help them with Masaneh’s contact details, following the change of government back in December of 2016. What followed next was Masaneh joining Barrow and his team in Dakar, during the political impasse.
Kinteh was Gambia’s Ambassador to Cuba at the time of the UDP folks contacting Sanyang to help them with Kinteh’s phone number. Kinteh had resigned from his position to join the dozens of Gambian Diplomats, who defected to the new government.
Kinteh was first appointed National Security Adviser, and later elevated to the position of CDS. He replaced former CDS Ousman Badjie.
Kinteh immediately embarked on an in house cleansing by firing the Jolla officers believed to be loyal dictator Jammeh. He also prematurely sent General Musa Savage, MA Bah and co into retirement.
Not long ago, Kinteh accused some soldiers and officers of GAF, of using the social media APP, whatsapp, to plot to overthrow Barrow’s government. The accused soldiers and officers mainly from the Jolla ethnic group, were recently convicted by a military tribunal headed by Colonel Salifu Bojang.
Kinteh is determined to get rid of any soldier or officer, who is not willing to toe his line. There is a rift among the rank and file of the military. Some section of GAF’s army command, said they are of the view that Kinteh is on a “fishing expedition” by falsely arresting and charging soldiers on trumped up charges.
Kinteh has also been accused of consolidating himself. He has surrounded himself with officers he could manipulate, one insider alleges. For example, GAF insiders cited the recent promotion of Major Lamin Fatty, who has been accused of torture before the TRRC, to head the Yundum Barracks. Fatty ought to have been placed on an administrative leave, pending the outcome of the TRRC, but Kinteh decided to keep him on the job.
Meanwhile, General Alhagie Martin, who was adversely mentioned before the TRRC, has been sent on leave.