Some Gambian soldiers, who had recently finished their peacekeeping mission to Darfur, Sudan, have accused the former Army Chief of Defense Staff General Masanneh Kinteh and his Finance Team of allegedly deducting twenty two million and five hundred thousand dalasis (D22.5 million dalasis) from their UN pay, Freedom Newspaper can report. The disgruntled soldiers were part of the Gamcoy 21 contingent. They had served nine months in the war-ravaged Darfur, before their home return.
Upon their return to Banjul, the soldiers said, they were each deducted three hundred thousand dalasis (D300,000 dalasis) from their UN pay. The contingent was consist of seventy-five (75) soldiers.
In total, the seventy-five soldiers were deducted twenty-two million and five hundred thousand dalasis (D22.5 million dalasis). The deductions were made by The Gambia Armed Forces Finance Department.
“We were supposed to be paid for one year, but they only paid us for nine months. The UN had decided to downsize the operations in Darfur, which had resulted to our home return. The former CDS Masanneh Kinteh, the Finance Director, and some senior officers have decided to cut our pay. Instead of paying us for one year, they paid us nine months,” said one of the peacekeepers.
“We felt being exploited. This is unfair. We want the whole world and Gambians to know that we are victims of robbery. We have been robbed by the command in Banjul,” he added.
Kinteh was recently retired from the army, amid allegations of corruption. He has been redeployed to Gambia’s Foreign Service. He has been appointed Gambia’s Ambassador to China.
The Army spokesman Major Lamin Sanyang couldn’t be reached for comments at press time.