Gambia’s new president replaces armed forces chief

General Badjie, a Jammeh loyalist, had pledged allegiance to Barrow along with top defence.

Gambian President Adama Barrow looks at the audience from the opened roof of a car as he arrives at the Independence Stadium in Bakau for the inauguration ceremony, on February 18, 2017. Barrow has promised to probe human rights abuses under Jammeh’s rule. PHOTO | SEYLLOU | AFP 

IN SUMMARY

  • He was replaced by General Masanneh Kinteh, a special military adviser to Barrow since January.
  • General Ousman Badjie was also spotted among revellers on the streets of Banjul celebrating Barrow’s inauguration in Senegal.
  • Kinteh has previously served Gambia’s ambassador to Cuba.

BANJUL

Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has fired the head of the armed forces, General Ousman Badjie, a former loyalist of the ousted government, a military source said today.

He was replaced by General Masanneh Kinteh, a special military adviser to Barrow since January.

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Barrow retook his oath of office on February 18, a month after he was sworn in across the border in neighbouring Senegal during a tense power struggle with his predecessor Yahya Jammeh, who had refused to step down following his defeat in December elections.

Mr Barrow told the crowd at his swearing-in he would probe human rights abuses under Jammeh’s mercurial and despotic rule spanning 22 years.

Badjie, a Jammeh loyalist, had pledged allegiance to Barrow along with top defence, civil service and security chiefs on January 20, one day before the former president fled the country. (AFP)

The general was also spotted among revellers on the streets of Banjul celebrating Barrow’s inauguration in Senegal.

The military source said Badjie would be redeployed to a foreign mission, but has yet to be told which one.

Kinteh was first named as armed forces chief in October 2009 following the removal and arrest of his predecessor, General Lang Tombong Tamba.

He was dismissed in July 2012 and appointed Gambia’s ambassador to Cuba, and replaced by Badjie.

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