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Wednesday, January 27, 2021

Sallah calls for respect, recognition of the armed forces

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By Alagie Manneh Halifa Sallah has rushed to the defense of the Gambia Armed Forces in the wake of heavy criticism following what many perceived as their inability to dislodge former ruler Jammeh from power, after he lost to the Coalition party in the December polls. Ex-President Jammeh first conceded defeat but later made a U-turn rejecting in ‘totality’ the outcome of the December elections. Many Gambians felt the Army should have intervened at the time but failed to do so. But addressing a house-packed of journalists at the Kairaba Hotel on Tuesday, Mr Sallah who is also the government’s spokesperson said: “We are calling on all Gambians to recognise the Armed forces which exists and leave President Barrow to work with that Armed Forces security apparatus and see how through reforms they could be made instruments of the republic that serve the people and the republic, not personalities.” Mr Sallah said it is equally important for Gambians to understand that the conflict, which may have been emerging in the country because of the ‘exuberance of the population’ where the Gambian military is conceived to have kept Jammeh in power after the people made their voice heard at the polls. He called on Gambians to pay due attention to the constitutional provision that whoever is president of the Republic is Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Republic, and those who refuse to owe allegiance, obedience or adherence to the authority becomes rebels and would be seen as mutiny. “So consequently, one must understand that a country must have a public service, it must have a military, it must have a security force and when you have a power that does not recognise the National Assembly, does not recognize the judiciary, and does not recognize the guards and fences around the executive, around the legislature, around the judiciary, which holds bounds you must not exceed, which ensures us to have good governance. If you have a government which recognize those bounds, control the legislature, control the judiciary, obviously you must have abuse of power, you must transform the state into an instrument of cohesion instead of an instrument of protection. Rather than an instrument of service, it becomes an instrument that dominates and expects to be served. So rather than government serving, government is served. So this has been the case, but Gambians remain Gambians irrespective of the type of government that exists and when that government departs and a new government comes in, the fundamental objective is to include everybody in the process, and as a result do things according to law.”]]>

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