The Gambia is at the brink of total political turmoil. The writings are on the wall for all to see. Tensions are building up ahead of the much talked about December, 1st Presidential elections. The international community should step in before The Gambia will end up becoming another Burundi, South Sudan, and Rwanda.
We heard about coordinated arson attacks directed at Jammeh’s businesses and the ruling APRC Political Bureau, ahead of the polls. No one has been charged so far since the attacks occurred.
There is also growing mistrust amongst our men and women in uniform. Members of the security forces are being routinely arrested without any justification. Some are even abandoning their guard posts (AREAS OF RESPONSIBILITY) to flee the country.
Acting out of fear, Jammeh decided to annex the paramilitary to the army. In other words, Yahya Jammeh, has disbanded the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) widely referred to as the paramilitary. The PIU falls under the purview of the police. They have been trained as law enforcement officers and not as soldiers.
Jammeh’s primary goal is to relegate his key henchmen in the army. In coming weeks, the PIU officers tuned soldiers will be in charge of Presidential security. Slowly, but surely, the State Guard (Republican Guards) would be relegated. Their commander General Saul Badjie, has found himself in a precarious situation—given the fact he (Badjie) and Jammeh are on a power struggle.
There are so many unusual activities taking place in the army. Gen. Badjie’s command supersedes Jammeh’s orders in some occasions. For example, Badjie would not only override Jammeh’s orders, he would also use the discredited NIA to release detainees under the radar of the dictator. So many detainees have escaped to Senegal, thanks to the intervention of General Badjie. Badjie has also averted a collateral damage during the April opposition showdown, as he vehemently refused to execute Jammeh’s orders for the army to be deployed to shoot and kill peaceful protesters.
Overtime, General Badjie, was able to build up a solid support base within the members of the security forces; particularly the Republican Guards. Gen. Badjie ensured that both the NIA and the military intelligence are in his pocket. But Badjie, will soon be reduced to a General, without troops to command. Just watch!
In an attempt to recover his lost powerbase, Jammeh has resorted to undermining the army command. To start with, he merged the paramilitary with the army—knowing fully well that there is a stark difference between the paramilitary’s modus of operandi and that of the army. Imagine, some GAF officers reporting to the PIU? Imagine Jammeh replacing General Badjie’s loyalists at the State Guard and Kanilai? Imagine Jammeh replacing Gen. Badjie’s loyalists at the NIA?
At the end of the day, the police will be tasked with overseeing Jammeh’s security, until such a time that Jammeh accomplishes the “secret war” that he has declared against General Badjie and co. Jammeh is determined to accomplish his mission against Gen. Badjie. Unless General Badjie made early interventions to subvert Jammeh’s treacherous conspiracies.
Unless General Badjie is dumb, Jammeh has lost faith in him. The recent Jammeh snub against the NIA, is a clear testimony that the Kanilai monster is up to no good. Now cases are being referred to the police for investigations. Intelligence collection has been dominated by the police and the military intelligence. The NIA overtime has been rendered redundant.
Yahya Jammeh is preying on General Badjie’s lack of education to reclaim his lost powerbase. By the time Badjie realizes that Jammeh has succeeded in undermining his consolidated command, it would be too late.
Gen. Badjie got to understand that he is about to lose the following key commands he once dominated: One, the NIA, the Republican Guards, and the jungullars.
The recent exclusion of the NIA in key cases forwarded by Jammeh to the police, is a glaring example of Jammeh’s attempts to isolate and possibly relegate General Badjie, Yankuba Badjie, and Ousman Sonko. The coming of the PIU into the military is also another attempt on the side of Jammeh to show seeds of discord among the security forces.
Gen. Badjie, will now be supervising people he is not familiar with. The PIU will be reporting to him, before Jammeh finds his replacement.
In as much as General Badjie thinks that he is powerful, Badjie must understand that Yahya Jammeh, has more experience than him, when it comes to manipulating troops. Jammeh mastered the game of divide and rule conquer. He should not be underestimated at all.
Unless General Badjie, is a fool, he should start bracing up for the inevitable. Jammeh wants to disown him ahead of the polls. If Gen. Badjie goes down, Jammeh will succeed in further consolidating himself in power. General Badjie is Jammeh’s headache today. Badjie has derived too much power and Jammeh wants to reclaim that power. Jammeh is working very hard to have him replace or liquidated. We rest our case!
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai