Aug 23, 2016, 1:04 PM
Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) said it regretted the July 22nd coup that brought the
former president to power because the unconstitutional takeover “brought untold
terror and mayhem to Gambians”.
“GAF, therefore, regret July 22nd and wish it has never happened,” the armed forces said in a press release issued at the weekend.
In the statement, GAF said it has learnt its lessons and it is convinced that the military is not suitable in politics and governance.
The full press release is published below:
We the armed and security services of the Republic of The Gambia and The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) in particular are aware of the concerns of many on the potential repercussions on national security of the recently proposed celebrations of the 22nd July revolution.
However, it is clearly know that the date is a military date and not much linked to any political party at the initial stage. The July 22nd revolution was exclusively a military revolution, or better still an unconstitutional military takeover. It was the day the then Gambia National Army (GNA), now Gambia Armed forces (GAF), took over power from a civilian government and ushered in the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council (AFPRC) government.
Better still, it could be vividly recalled when the then AFPRC seized power, it made certain promises inclusive to set a time to return power to civil authorities. This was due to the consciousness of the elites constituting the council. Unfortunately, a ploy was developed and all genuine and honest personalities were eliminated, and the course of the council hijacked. All subsequent acts that ensued were derailment of the aims and objective of the government of the AFPRC.
Since then, all the subsequent acts in the name of July 22nd were acts by wolf in sheep clothing. Therefore, The Gambia Armed Forces wishes to disassociate itself with July 22nd, the birth of which has subsequently brought untold terror and mayhem to Gambians. The GAF therefore, regret July 22nd and wish it has never happened. It recognised its subservient to civil authority and is comfortable with that and wishes to assure Gambians that it has learnt its lessons and convinced that the military is not suitable in politics and governance. GAF wishes to further reassure Gambians that it’s an institution subservient to the current democratic government and will take all determined measures and conscious efforts to disassociate itself from the event and any other celebration connected to the July 22nd.
By this message, The Gambia Armed Forces wishes to state in clear terms it’s recognition of and complete submission to the current democratic government and by extension advises against any form of celebration of the July 22nd unconstitutional military takeover. The GAF shall never think in that line again. We once again apologise for the happening of July 22nd.
Colonel Omar B Bojang
(For Chief of Defence Staff)