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Monday, October 19, 2020

Mai warns politicians against vilifying military

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By Omar Bah

The leader of the Gambia Moral Congress has warned his fellow politicians against vilifying the military.
“National security knows no partisan colours. It is a national project, and a national enterprise and everyone is a subscriber and a stakeholder and therefore it must not be politicised. As a former security Minister, it bothers me when politicians vilify our armed and security forces for political gain,” Mai Ahmad Fatty told The Standard.

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Fatty’s comments came after a row between the Gambia Action Party’s presidential candidate Gen Lamin Bojang and the Gambia Armed Forces over comments Mr Bojang made about the army.

The former special adviser to President Barrow said politicians should be guarded in their utterances and writings on matters of national security.
“Certain statements and actions that may create tension within the ranks of our security should be frown upon especially by those of us who aspire to lead this country. I will urge politicians to desist from making negligent and uninformed statements about the new military on the old standards of the Jammeh establishment,” Fatty said.

He continued: “Having said that, I will encourage the High Command to accelerate the reform process so as to enable GAF assume its statutory role. Then we can say farewell to the gallant Ecomig forces and regain our full sovereignty.”

“The military is going through restructuring. I know this because I worked on SSR. The military we inherited from the dictatorship is history. We are now in the process of building a reformed armed force that will be the pride of the nation. This effort should be supported by all, regardless of political orientation. When it truly matters, our men and women in uniform will lay down their lives for us to live, for our sovereignty and for our Republic,” he added.

The trained lawyer and former Interior Minister also took time to congratulate Gen Yankuba Drammeh on his appointment as the new Chief of Defence Staff of the army.
“I have had a working relationship with Gen Drammeh as Minister of Interior. In all of my official dealings with him, I have found him to be highly professional, highly disciplined, highly experienced, well educated, very unassuming and pious. GAF needs such an officer in its transformation agenda in overhauling the military to better serve a democratic dispensation,” he observed.

Fatty said the likes Gen Mamat Seckan worked with him closely on SSR matters when he served as special adviser to the President, and his capacity as chairman of the SSR Technical Committee.

“He served under me at the Committee and I found him to be very knowledgeable, deeply committed, disciplined and very professional. I am convinced that the President was right in these appointments and I urge them to stay on course, remain loyal to the Constitution and our Republic. I also wish to congratulate Col Turo Jawneh and his two colleagues. I wish them all well,” he said.

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