chief of Defense Staff of The Gambia Armed Force (GAF) has made it clear that
promotion in GAF is not meant to witch-hunt anybody or pull anyone down, but is
aimed at testing the intellectual and professional ability of candidates.
Lt. Gen. Masanneh Kinteh was speaking on Monday during the start of a promo exam for 96 officers of the GAF, who are due for promotion to various ranks ranging from Captain to Lieutenant Colonel at the Joint Officers Mess in Kotu
“The promotional exam is meant to carry each and everyone along in this new reform agenda. It is necessary for us all to put in our efforts in ensuring that we understand the process and we are prepared to shoulder the responsibilities of junior leadership and senior leadership with the GAF.”
The exercise is also aimed at improving operational effectiveness, professionalism, respect for human rights and better civil-military relations within the Armed Forces.
“So those of you who are thinking that this exercise is meant to weed-out even those who work in the support services is false. We know we have lot of problem when it comes to promotion. We are not inventing anything new. All what I am doing and promise to do is to leave by the books with a view to enabling us run the Armed Forces based on principle,” he said.
GAF CDS acknowledged that that a lot has happened during the past 22 years. “Some of you run very fast and they escaped those huddles. However, for those of you who cannot run very fast you are caught off with realities and this is where we are. We will make sure that each and every one of you is given a fair chance.”
CDS Kinteh noted that they have drawn up series of questions which will be given to the officers in a form of essay topics, ranging from the GAF involvement in agriculture, reforms, civic military relations and role of women in the GAF among host of others topics.
The permanent secretary at the Ministry of Defense, Assan Tangara, spoke at length on the significance of the forum, saying this is part of the reform process The Gambia Armed Forces is undergoing.
Selection for promotion, PS Tangara went on, will now be based on meeting all the requirements. “The right personnel would be recommended for promotion so that we can maintain a professional army.”
Major Gen. Yankuba Drammeh, the deputy chief of Defense Staff, who is the chairman of the selection board, said one of the most important agendas of CDS Kinteh is to transform and restructure the armed forces in line with contemporary terms and conditions.
“We are given the responsibilities to conduct this exercise. We want to make sure that it is going to be a very structured, very coherence and very transparency way of accessing each and every one of you. Those that will emerge as legitimate individuals would deserve that promotion.” he added.
The promotional exams, he went on, is designed to access the individual’s ability to critically analyze events both at the local and international levels.