The Chief of Defense Staff Lt General Massaneh Kinteh has refuted claims that the soldiers have now taken over the security at the State House.
Since the regime change in December 2016, the new government led by President Adama Barrow has given security at State House to regional forces and paramilitary.
And all VIP protections and security of government installations were also given to the paramilitary, thus making them the elite forces.
However, a number of the soldiers and some paramilitary officers were sent to Senegal to train on VIP protection and they have returned few days ago.
Following their return from Dakar, the trained officials most of whom are soldiers have taken over the security at the State House.
“I think it is important that we clear the air on this issue, the Gambia Armed Forces have not taken over the State Guards. What we have in place is an arrangement to increase the security present at the State House,” Kinteh said at a press conference at Officers Mess on Monday.
“So what use to be at the State House initially, was an arrangement were the PIU are responsible for security at the State House together with the ECOMIG forces.
But once our personnel in the presidential guard security return from their training in Senegal, we find it necessary to inject them into the State Guard to beef up the security and ensure a shared responsibility between ECOMIG, PIU and GAF.”
Kinteh said under the new arrangement, there are four security units at the State House.
They are the GAF, SIS, PIU and ECOMIG.
“We think this is necessary because eventually ECOMIG is going to withdraw…And among the key areas that needs to be manned at all times is the State House— is in the heart of our national security priority,” said Kinteh.