Army chief advises Gambians against inciting tribal, political sentiments

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By Omar Bah

Addressing soldiers on the occasion of the GAF Inter-Battalion Drill Competition 2022 at the Fajara Barracks, Chief of Defense Staff, Yakuba Drammeh, has advised Gambians to desist from inciting tribal and political sentiments. 

“For us to succeed as a nation, we need to desist from inciting tribal sentiments as well as using politics to create division and tension in the country. This, I believe, if continuously unchecked, has the potential to degenerate into a conflict situation,” CDS Drammeh said.

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He added: “I have endeavored to preach the gospel of peace and security as well as good and cordial neighbourliness. It is evident that through the conduct of outreach activities in addition to its various operations, GAF, under my leadership, was able to win the hearts and minds of many Gambians and non-Gambians alike. This was clearly manifested in the unprecedented and overwhelming downpour of moral support from each and every one which was translated into massive votes that were cast for me that equally led to my winning of the ‘African Peace and Security of the Year 2022’ award.”

CDS Drammeh added that there is the realization that the contemporary security challenges facing “us today as a nation are more complex, crosscutting and multifaceted than ever before”. “In order to counter these new threats to our nation’s security, there is the need for greater collaboration and cooperation among the security services. When it comes to national security, no single service has a monopoly of response to effectively and comprehensively deal with the threats but a concerted effort is required. There is therefore a genuine desire amongst the services to work together and see their roles as complementary and not conflicting,” he added.

This, he added, was the main reason why he reached out to his colleagues Service Chiefs in the country as well as other stakeholders to extend a hand of fellowship to foster closer collaboration and work together for the maintenance of peace and security in the country.

“The presence of some Service Chiefs or their representatives in this august gathering is testimony to this assertion and position by my Headquarters. This is a trend I wish to continue because I believe in being part of the solution and not the problem especially when it has to do with the propagation of peace and security in this country,” he said.

He said the Armed Forces, under his leadership, will continue to nurture this relationship it has created with the sister Security Services and the population for whom they have taken oaths to protect at all times.