By Momodou Jarju
Personnel of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) and the Gambia Police Force (GPF), have urged the Government of President Adama Barrow to lift the embargo on the recruitment of security officers.
The personnel argued that they do not have enough manpower to execute the tedious work they embark on, on a quotidian basis and as a result their abilities are over stretched.
Captain Landing F.B. Sanyang, Camp Commandant of Dasilami Border Post, said the lifting of the embargo will enhance GAF’s manpower capacities; that since the advent of the new dispensation, soldiers are leaving the Army without any recruitment to fill the gaps they leave behind. Captain Sanyang said some of these departing officers have served for over nine years and have no one to replace them.
Captain Sanyang made these comments during the five day tour by the National Assembly Standing Committee on Defense and Security last week, which was led by the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly Momodou L.K. Sanneh.
Adeline Basangeh, Commissioner of the Police Intervention Unit (PIU), said there is urgent need for Government to allow them to recruit officers because they are overstretched with only 789 officers.
“There is need for Police to recruit officers. The demand for us now is too high. As a result, Officers do not rest, because we do not get replacement for them when the serious need arises. So this is a serious concern which should be looked into,” Commissioner Basangeh said.
On his part, the Camp Commander of the 4 Infantry Battalion stationed at Kanilai, said his battalion is under strengthened and this is a major loophole they are grappling with.
Lieutenant Colonel Ebrima I. Krubally told the standing committee delegation that the issue is worrisome.
“Soldiers leaving the army and going on voluntary discharge have their whereabouts unknown to the authorities. The other worrisome factor is the number of command positions in the various Companies and platoons filled by senior non-commissioned officers, due to lack of officers in the battalion,” he concluded.