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Army chief pledges loyalty to President-elect Barrow

Dec 8, 2016, 10:53 AM

General Ousman Badgie, chief of defence staff of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF), called president-elected Adama Barrow on phone Sunday to pledge allegiance to him and his government, Reuters has reported.

According to the news agency, Barrow’s spokeswoman Amie Bojang-Sissohor yesterday confirmed that General Badgie had called to congratulate Mr Barrow on his victory and to pledge his loyalty.

Barrow, backed by a coalition of seven opposition parties and an independent candidate, ended Jammeh’s 22 years of rule by winning 43 per cent of the vote in the 1st December poll; Jammeh got 40 per cent.

A spokesman for the army was not immediately available to comment.

Barrow, a low-key character who has quietly risen in the ranks of Gambian politics, has promised to form a unity government that will oversee a three-year transition of power before new elections are held.

On Friday, shortly after the Independent Electoral Commission declared the result of the election, General Badgie and IGP Yankuba Sonko were on the state TV, GRTS, to assure the victor and his team of the security forces’ support for the progress of the country.

Badgie told the president-elect:  “We are here for you and your government and the people of The Gambia in general, and let me inform you that all security forces in the country are behind you and your government for the betterment of this country and nothing else.”

Similarly, IGP Sonko also congratulated Mr Barrow for his victory, while thanking the outgoing President Jammeh for conceding defeat.

He also warned against post-election violence, saying people can call 555 (toll free) to report any incident of violence.

Sonko said security officers are deployed at strategic places to make sure that the peace in the country is maintained, and to protect lives and properties of people as they go about their normal business.