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Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Letters to the Editor : Why is Gen. Saul Badjie not arrested and court-martialed?

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Dear editor,

When generals Umpa Mendy and Ansumana Tamba returned from Equatorial Guinea they were arrested and put to a court-martial in 2019. But they got freed from desertion charges because they claimed they were asked by Gen. Badjie to accompany the tinpot dictator into self-imposed exile.

These two generals claimed Saul Badjie was their commander and he gave them the order to leave The Gambia! Therefore they claimed the army command knew of their whereabouts.

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Therefore, now that Saul Badjie himself who also deserted the army for five years is back in town, why has the CDS Gen. Yakuba Drammeh failed to immediately arrest Badjie and send him to a court-martial?

Who gave Saul Badjie the authority to leave the army and The Gambia in 2017? As Commander of the Army at the time, Gen. Badjie was answerable to the CDS Ousman Bargie. Did the CDS Bargie give him the order to leave or not? The court-martial should determine that.

It is clear that the time Gen. Saul Badjie left the country the Commander-in-Chief of The Gambia Armed Forces was Pres. Adama Barrow who was sworn in on January 19, 2017. Did the President give order to Saul Badjie to leave The Gambia National Army and follow the tinpot dictator at that time? The court-martial should determine that.

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Without a court-martial on what basis should Saul Badjie be allowed return to the country and left to go home freely? Is he still the army commander or not? Did he resign or was he sacked or retired? What is the legal basis for any action he has taken or taken against him? The Gambia Armed Forces Act is very clear about the lawful and unlawful actions of soldiers. Has the CDS enforced the Act in the case of Gen. Saul Badjie?

Therefore why is The Gambia Government failing to hold Gen. Saul Badjie accountable? The Minister of Defense and the CDS owe Gambians a story as to why they have failed to subject Gen. Saul Badjie to accountability and for disciplinary measures if found wanting?

Gen. Saul Badjie should face accountability for his desertion of the army. This is what the National Security Advisor Gen. Momodou Badgie should have advised the Government to do! General Saul Badjie needs to explain if he had lawful orders to be absent from duty and post or not. Failure to subject him to an accountability process is to condone misconduct, abuse of power, disregard of the rule of law, and impunity.

Madi Jobarteh

Kembujeh

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