The ECOMIG Commander to the Gambia Colonel Magatte Ndiaye, has categorically rejected allegations made by a disgruntled Gambian soldier that his men are in the business of using luxurious vehicles belonging to the former exiled Gambian president Yahya Jammeh to navigate around town. Mr. Ndiaye, speaking in an interview with the Freedom Newspaper on Thursday, morning vehemently debunked the allegations. “ All the vehicles our men used belong to the Gambia government. For anyone to claim or suggest that we are using Jammeh’s cars is unfounded. Our mandate includes providing VP protection. We use Gambia government vehicles to provide VIP protection and mission services. Not all vehicles can be used for VIP escort,” he said.
Mr. Ndiay said his troops are professional elites, and would not engage in any act outside the dictates of the ECOMIG mission to the Gambia. He added that the ECOMIG troops are currently busy working to keep The Gambia and her people safe, and not to engage in any unethical conduct.
“We are a professional elite force. No one can stain us. All our activities are in line with our mandate as ECOMIG forces. ECOMIG’s rules of engagement and mandate is being followed to the letter,” said the Senegalese born ECOMIG Commander.
Mr. Ndiaye noted that Senegal and The Gambia are one people, and it would be in the best interest of the region for peace to rain in the two neighboring countries. He said the two countries have been bonded by one family tree and its peace and tranquility should be nurtured at all times.
Mr. Ndiaye, was asked to shed light on the recent intelligence report issued by the Senegalese intelligence community. In response Ndiay said, the report has been confirmed by the Gambian intelligence community. He said some of the deserted soldiers had blood stains in their hands. As such, some of the former Jammeh loyalists have decided to evade justice by fleeing the country, he said. He said the intelligence report is credible, but ECOMIG and the Gambian security officials will continue to work hand in hand to keep the country much safer.
Mr. Ndiaye also rejected reports peddled by some Jammeh supporters that the intelligence report was fabricated to justify Senegal’s forces stay in the country. He said it is not in the interest of any of the neighboring countries for instability to happen. Senegal, has an obligation to work with the Gambia to secure both countries, he told this medium.
Mr. Ndiaye said he is not going into details as to how the intelligence was gathered, but he maintained that there are Jammeh loyalists both within and outside the country, who posed as a security threat to the West African country. He said some of the folks have attended meetings locally, and participated into the protest marches, while those away are plotting to disrupt Gambia’s new-found democracy.
Mr. Ndiaye noted that significant achievement has been recorded in the area of peace maintenance and close collaboration between the ECOMIG forces and the host country security forces in maintaining peace and stability in the Gambia.