The chief of Defence Staff Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh has said that gone are the days for lawlessness and coup d’états in the military, citing that the army is here to serve as per the dictates of the constitution of The Gambia.
The army general was speaking on Friday at the Joint Officers Mess in Kotu as part of his quarterly press conference which aims to inform the general public of the developments within the army and to further foster the army-civil relations.
“The Armed Forces is here to serve as prescribed by the constitution of the Republic of The Gambia which is the book of contract between us and the people of this great country,” Kinteh said. “We are totally subservient to civil rule and gone are those days of lawlessness and coup d’états and unprofessionalism.”
“The present Gambian soldier is more aware, determined and conscious; ready to serve the state and her people and nothing else.”
“The Gambia Armed Forces has a genuine portfolio of a military spokesperson and therefore any views and stance of The Gambia Armed Forces expressing any form by any other person other than The Gambia armed forces public officer should be seen as a mediocre at best,” he noted.
As part of their transformation agenda, the army chief said the army needs all the requisite to match with the times.
“We also want to look at our training and capacity building. The Gambia Armed Forces as an institution in the 21st century that is growing will have to have requisite training, the knowledge and the technical know-how to be able to match the times.”
“The array of security challenges that we have, the range of roles the military will have to play, I always cite an example for a peace keeping environment for instance whereby in one instance you will see soldiers with kids playing and giving them biscuits, in the other instance you see them being fired at by dissidents or rebel factions.”
He said they are focused on redirecting the mindset of the army personnel in understanding their role in the new found democracy, citing the challenges the Gambia as a country has in balancing liberty and security.
CDS Kinteh said civil disobedience is a security concern, citing the incidents in Mankamang Kunda, Busumbala and Faraba, saying “we must do our best to avert such occurrences.”
Kinteh therefore urged for enhanced army civil relations for better security service delivery.