(FILES) This file photo taken on December 13, 2016 in Banjul shows Gambian chief of staff Ousman Badjie looking on in a hotel to meet with Gambian president-elect with three other African heads of state. Gambia’s new president Adama Barrow replaces head of armed forces Ousman Badjie, one of the pillars of the regime of Yahya Jammeh’s, the longtime leader of the tiny West African state who was forced out of power last month after losing election, AFP reported on February 27, 2017.
SEYLLOU / AFP
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 Monday.
He was replaced by General Masanneh Kinteh, a special military adviser to Barrow since January.
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.
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.
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.