The chief of defence staff (CDS) of The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) has stressed that the entire members of his forces will not encourage tribal politics from any politician come the December 1 Presidential Election and other elections ahead.
Lt. Gen. Ousman Bargie made these remarks on Thursday during an interview with the Daily Observer at the Banjul City Council at the end of a ten-day countrywide tour embarked upon by the National Security Council.
“As members of The Gambia Armed Forces, we are not politicians and all political parties are equal to us but whoever wants to destabilise this country we will deal with you accordingly,” CDS Bargie warned.
He reminded Gambians about what tribalism brought to other countries within the region. Therefore, he emphasised, under no circumstances would GAF and other security apparatus in the country let this country down and her people because of tribalism. He said what the security services in this country want is to make sure that peace and tranquility prevail in The Gambia, before, during and after the elections.
“There will be no compromise on the security and integrity of this country and no compromise with the people whether living in or outside the country who indulge in violence,” CDS Bargie affirmed, urging all political parties in the country to be law abiding.
“Let this be clear to all the security services in the country and to the whole world in particular that security services of The Gambia treat all Gambians equally whether you are an opposition or a ruling party.”
He added: “Stability is stability, security is security and peace is peace and even if you don’t love the government of the day maintains peace in the country that is what the security forces in the country want to see happenning .”
Dilating on the National Security Council’s nationwide tour, CDS Bargie explained that it is a constitutional mandate for the Council to embark on such tour at least once every year.
The purpose of the tour, he went on is to discuss with their fellow service members in the regions and also to meet with the regional governors to exchange ideas with them as well as to discuss about the security issues in the country since we are heading towards elections.
“If we know their problems we can see how best we can solve them with the help of our Commander-in-Chief His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr. Yahya Jammeh Babili Mansa,” CDS Bargie said.
He finally thanked all the regional governors, chiefs, alkalolu, other security services and the community leaders for the warm reception accorded to him and his delegation during the tour.