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City of Banjul
Friday, October 23, 2020

Gambian Army must be restructured from Jammeh-era style

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By Tabora Bojang

Captain Ebrima Kambi observed that for the country to avoid the problems of the past the army has to be changed to make it professional.
The former State House chief of staff said the military will risk repeating its past mistakes under Jammeh if the many irregularities within the army are left unaddressed as part of their reforms under a democracy as well as the achievement of the ‘Never Again’ slogan.
“The army must be restructured from up and down as far as I am concerned and I have not seen any changes in the army yet because we still have the bogus ranks that were issued out by Yahya Jammeh to people who did not go through the courses.

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You cannot be a General without going through some military courses. If there is no regimentation in the military things will always go upside down and you will see junior officers giving orders to senior officers as it happened in the past 22 years. During that time a sergeant at the State House will not take orders from a major in the battalions because he feels he is answerable to Jammeh, so that turned things upside down,” Kambi said.

He said promotions in the army must be base on merits and not political or individual affiliations, adding that for an officer to move from one rank to another he or she must undergo trainings, which involve theory and practical exercises.
Kambi further warned that ‘there must not be special units in the forces directly answerable to the president because that causes problems.

“Members of such special units always conduct themselves as superior to even colonels, majors and captains Kambi,” said,
Further dilating on his concerns in relation to the mandate of the commission’s Never Again slogan, Captain Kambi said the commission should first consider bringing in the perpetrators to appear and admit their misdeeds and then the victims could come reconcile with them rather than calling victims first to narrate their stories to promote reconciliation instead of retributions.

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