Editorial: Another Coup in the Gambia-Part one!!! Jammeh will die by the sword
Gambians will win the war against Yahya Jammeh!!!

GNA is the most stubborn army in the sub-region

“Political Change is inevitable in the Gambia”

The Gambian Army is an unpredictable security outlet. Very unpredictable. They have proven to be the most stubborn army in the African sub-region. Our soldiers have tasted the “sweetness” of power and would rather die than staying in the barracks. They want to see Jammeh go through the barrel of the gun, which is alien to democracy and international standards. Despite the arrests, killings and disappearances of their colleagues  over the years in the name of “coup attempt” against the government of the day, The Gambian  soldiers are still committed to unseating Yahya Jammeh. No amount of threats  is cowing these soldiers. Democracy is at risk in The Gambia. Our men in uniform believe in the “might of the gun” to effect change.

From 1994, to date, the government claimed to have uncovered more than 15 coup plots against Ruling APRC Government. Our soldiers are still determined to send Jammeh packing. They want to hide in the name of liberating the oppressed masses to effect political change. A change that will better the lives of Gambians. A change they say would end Jammeh’s impunity and oppression. A change they say will end corruption in the country. Calm down the NIA. Don’t  rush and conclude that we are privy of a security threat against this country.  Coups are bad in all its forms. It’s about time for Jammeh and the APRC to meet these soldiers and find out what their problems are. The soldiers are not talking openly, but they have strong reservations against President Jammeh and his cronies. They are totally opposed to current political happenings  in the country.

Another disease threatening the fabric of the army is discrimination. There is open discrimination in the Gambian military. The President favors his immediate tribe men to the expense of experienced and highly trained officers of the armed forces. Peter Singhateh ought to have been the army’s number one man today, but due to tribal politics, Lang is being promoted ahead of him. Peter is a trained officer, unlike Lang. Lang can only brag about the trainings he had in Turkey. He has never been admitted into  a recognized military training school. Peter had numerous trainings in the US and elsewhere.  Lang has always been a doll student. He’s handicapped in terms of written and oral English. Perhaps, Peter, Masaneh Kinteh and co would help to prepare  his speeches for him. This is the type of army chief we have in The Gambia.

On the subject of discrimination, the  state guards are given special preferences against their own hard-working colleagues in our Barracks. They are better paid. They got risk allowance, clothing allowance, perdieum allowances, the list goes on and on. It’s easy to get promotion if posted at Kanilai or the state house. Soldiers in local barracks are marginalized for nothing.  Some of these soldiers have not been promoted for the past 13 years. Their salary remains stagnant, while the state guards are enjoying by the day.

President Yahya Jammeh has been bragging about the sophistication of  his intelligence network both at the home front and outside Gambia’s frontiers. The events leading to the  Farafenni armed attack are clear indications of a “weak and fragile security” this country is exposed to. The attackers freely interacts with soldiers at the Farafenni army camp. They brew attaya for the soldiers , some of whom they ended up murdering in cold blood. These attackers were in Farafenni for a week or so before ambushing the military barracks. Where is the is intelligence Jammeh is talking about? Where were the NIA and the army intelligence when these rebels walked into our barracks to survey their key instillations?

If the government’s  story regarding the March coup attempt allegedly led by Ndure Cham is to go by, then this country is far from being secured. That Ndure Cham can coordinate a coup without the NIA and the army intelligence knowing about it? Throughout the investigations of the said plot, there was no report linking the NIA to the discovery of the plot. There was also no report linking the army intelligence to the foiling of the coup. And these are the main security apparatus Jammeh is banking on to cling onto power.

Intelligence failure is a threat to a nation’s national security. Most coups and rebellions in Africa succeeds in the absence of intelligence failure. Gambia’s intelligence network is as weak as the Kanilai porous borders. It’s very easy to sneak into the Gambia. Our border guards are easily corruptible. Just dash them with few couple of dalasis and they will accord you with VIP reception. Some of us being called dissidents can walk into  Banjul without being identified. People can always disguise  to evade border control. This is our country and we master its geographical boundaries. It’s easy to navigate within this small impoverished country we call our Gambia. Many visited home unnoticed ay the port of entry.

Those accused of being threat to this country are not the real threats. Our intelligence community acts on assumption, hear say and unauthenticated security briefings without proper research. Such security institutions are always taken by surprise if forces of change knocks on their door steps.

Take for example, about the Liberian and the Sierra Leonean decade long crisis. The war was as a result of growing discontent among the army and Civilian population. Oppression forced  citizens to retaliate against their respective governments. They took arms in the name of changing a corrupt system.  Most of these rebels never had military training. They were recruited and handed with AK 47 rifles to fight the government loyal forces. These rebels ended up causing untold suffering and nightmares for the people they claimed to have wanted to liberate. Some had their hands and legs chopped. Some maimed and killed.

The Gambia is heading towards full blown political crisis. The government of the day is making more enemies than friends. Jammeh is more  concerned about  what they called at the state house as “the external security threat.” These external security threats have been blacklisted. The government accuses Senegal of supporting dissident soldiers. Senegal emphatically denied such allegations. This is a confused government living in fear and uncertainty. Gambians will change Yahya Jammeh and no dissident soldiers. Our people are pissed off with this ruthless dictator.

Little, did Jammeh knows that there is domestic threat as well. When one talked about domestic threat, they will rush into conclusion and point accusing fingers against the army. The absence of war is not sufficient justification for peace in a particular democracy. 90 percent of the Gambian population today want to see the end of Yahya Jammeh’s government. Our people are hard hit by the economic downturn, characterized by insecurity. If  the freedom and basic liberties of citizens are threatened, there is no security in that particular country. Our people would be the first to welcome any democratic change that is to come today. It depends on what definition one uses to gauge such democratic change.

Yahya Jammeh must bear in mind that his opponents are not resting. Gambians must win the war against Yahya Jammeh come what may. Yahya got to go!! Our people are determined to risk their lives to liberate this country. Change will come as a surprise to Jammeh. You live by the sword, and will certainly  die by the sword. A new Gambia to be born, God willing!!!

Posted on Monday, August 06, 2007 (Archive on Wednesday, August 29, 2007)
Posted by PNMBAI  Contributed by PNMBAI
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