Mar 8, 2013, 11:00 AM
It is not an exaggeration to say that nowadays, Gambians are not going about their business in peace and tranquility nor are they sleeping peacefully at night all because of the fear of insecurity.
The country is awash with reports that a sizeable number of Yahya Jammeh’s death squad, the notorious Jungullers have absconded to some neighboring countries. There are also reports that several soldiers that have deserted the army are having arms and ammunition and have taken refuge in countries close to our borders.
It is reported that these Jammeh agents, loyalists and sympathisers are planning to regroup to destabilise The Gambia.
Given Yaya Jammeh’s unbridled ambition and his demonstrated insanity and brutality, these reports should not be taken lightly and government should move to re-assure the population that it is capable of defending the country from any attack by Yahya Jammeh and his cohorts.
Although national security and intelligence cannot be discussed in the open, it is imperative for the government to confirm or deny the allegations of Jungullers and soldiers re-grouping in neighboring countries. This, at least, will show that our security apparatus are abreast with developments and that the population is given credible information that will allay the fears of the people and re-assure investors that the New Gambia is stable, open for business and capable of repelling any act of aggression or destabilisation.
In addition to this, government should upgrade our intelligence gathering capabilities with modern technology and engage sister countries in the sub-region on intelligence sharing. This is the only way we can track and neutralise the roaming forces of Yahya Jammeh before they can take advantage of the porous borders in the sub-region. Our security personnel should be given facilities like transport, mobile, and other equipment and incentives a well as more training.
The government should also embark on an offensive diplomatic campaign to engage the countries where these renegade soldiers have found sanctuary. The President should be more assertive and establish strong relationships with his counterparts to ensure that no neighboring country will harbour elements that are hostile to The Gambia.
We have noted the strategic upgrading of all military installations into battalions, but we suggest that this should be complemented by training and the provision of equipment. Only a well-trained and adequately equipped army can defend us and the territorial integrity of our country.
Security should be paramount and in this regard, government should monitor Yahya Jammeh’s enablers who are still in the country and may be travelling in and out as courier.
On another note, please be informed that an information campaign is making the rounds that Yahya Jammeh was expected to return for the Koriteh prayers but will now make it for Tobaski. This shows that apart from the security threat, there is also an active misinformation campaign and if left unchecked, it will create doubt and confusion in the country.
The security of The Gambia and Gambians must therefore be handled swiftly and decisively. In the meantime, please strengthen our military pact with ECOWAS and consolidate further our relationship with Senegal.
Have a good day Mr President.