Army public relations officer Major Lamin K. Sanyang has revealed that a
decision has been taken that the country’s military peacekeepers will now be
paid in the local dalasi currency instead of the dollar as it used to be.
Speaking to The Point Pa Modou Cham in Banjul yesterday, Major Sanyang explained that the decision was taken because they always face difficulties in accessing enough dollar currency to pay everyone. He said when GAMCOY 19 returned from Sudan’s troubled region of Darfur in 2017, they had serious problems in accessing dollar in the country to pay them.
“A precedent was set during the last 22 years to pay our troops in hard currency but we understand there is a central bank policy that regulates payment in hard currency at home,” he said. He also said that if the troops were to be paid in Darfur, then they will be paid in hard currency but when they are in the country, they should be paid in local currency because all countries pay their troops in their local currencies.
According to him, they came to clearly realise the difficulties after the 2017 episode and to correct it, the ministries of finance, defence and the accountant general briefed members of GAMCOY 21 contingent about the changes of payment before they departed. “We told them the fact so that before they return they can know that they will be paid in dalasi but using the exchange rate,” he explained.
Major Sanyang further explained that the GAMCOY 20 contingent that just returned last Sunday will not be paid 100 percent in dalasi but will take effect with the GAMCOY 21 contingent. He said the contingent that just returned home will be paid 50% in dollar and 50% in dalasi with the higher exchange rate in the market and that will be the last time contingents will be paid in the dollar currency.
He said the contingent members have accepted the change and GAMCOY 20 will be last to be paid in foreign currency. “What we pay our soldiers is the highest paid rate in the world because some of the countries give their troops half payment.”