By Omar Bah
The Public Relations Officer of the Gambia Armed Forces, Major Lamin K. Sanyang has said that public’s misconception about the military over the years will be a thing of the past under the new dispensation.
Speaking to The Standard at the Christian Cemetery in Banjul where he was coordinating a joint cleansing exercise organised by the armed forces, Major Sanyang said the military under the former regime was termed as a close-door and non-friendly, “but I want to assure the general public that this is a new Gambia; armed forces is ready to build close and good collaboration with the civilians who are our brothers and sisters.
“It is true that in the former regime we were termed as not friendly, but believe it or not, we are only civilians in military cloths. We are committed to ensure that we serve the general public to the best of our ability at all times,” he said.
The military, he said is always ready to give their support to the public whenever their services are needed.
The PRO said all these moves will erase all the fear and misconception the civilians have towards the military.
“Whatever the civilians feel we also feel the same, because we are human beings like them. So, let them feel free to engage us whenever necessary,” he said.
On the cleansing exercise, Major Sanyang said the cleansing was requested by the Christian community in the Gambia.
“The community made a request to the Chief of Defence Staff that they wanted their cemetery cleaned ahead of their ceremony in December, so it is against this backdrop that we mobilised our forces to come and clean the cemetery as a social responsibility,” he said.
He added: “The Gambia Armed Forces sees this as our social responsibility that whenever we are needed by the community, we should be available to give our support at the right time as enshrined in the constitution.”
Major Sanyang further stressed that their work as soldiers is not only to carry rifles. “We belong to the civil society and whenever we finish our service in the military we go back to civilian life,” he said.