Gambia’s national security adviser and head of the security sector reforms committee has told journalists on Wednesday that they are about to start a forensic audit to weed out non-Gambians who have reportedly been registered in the nation’s security by former leader Yahya Jammeh.
Jammeh has ruled Gambia for 22 years with an iron fist during which he was accused of recruiting some people from Casamance and Guinea Bissau as part of jugglers, a paramilitary hit squad accused of several deaths.
A retired colonel Momodou Badgie who is in charge of reforming the army and other security sectors said they are coming to do a forensic audit to establish the facts.
“About the non-Gambians in the security sector, this has been brought to our attention… People have made the report and it is captured in our final assessment report,” Badgie said.
“We are going to do a forensic auditing to be sponsored by the European Union… Very soon that aspect of investigation will start and it will give us a lot of information concerning people’s documents, age, and strength of the forces among others. Then we can make informed decision… As soon as we did the forensic audit, we will take a decision. But obviously, no genuine Gambian will like to have foreigners in our midst.”
Badgie has had decades of experience in army and has served as deputy chief of army before being appointed ambassador to Turkey.
The team that is reforming the security sector has done the first phase of the work which is on assessment.
Badgie said they are working on a reform process to change the orientation of the forces from dictatorial tendencies to being more democratic and subservient to civilian authority.
“One of our major findings is that the legal frameworks that are supposed to guide the security institutions in the execution of their mandate is either absent or not adhered to,” Badgie said.
“We have found inadequacies in a lot of areas including their trainings, logistic, promotions, among others.”
This is the first time the security reforms team is facing the media on their ongoing reforms process.