RSM Babucarr Jeng, the nineteenth witness before the Truth Commission investigating the human rights violations of the former dictator Yahya Jammeh, said reforming the army will need a decisive action from its leadership and civilian authorities.
RSM Babucarr Jeng, an ex-military officer of the Gambian army has appealed to the Government to restructure and resize the Gambian army.
Jeng who was arrested, tortured and relieved from the army following the July 22 takeover, said the army is not fit for purpose.
“As it stands right now, the army is not fit for its purpose… The army needs to be restructured, resized and provided with enough facilities and training…,” said Jeng on Wednesday.
A former witness before the Commission Bubacarr Bah who tortured Omar Jallow has made similar remarks. Captain Bah who is a serving member of the army said the former dictator has “radicalized the army”.
“The army was not training,” said Bah. Gambia claims to be conducting a security sector reforms but there were several serving members of the army and other security forces who were involved in past atrocities.
“Without proper training, discipline and regimentation we will not get anywhere…,” said Jeng.
Jeng said the army has the right people within who can reform the institution but they needed to be supported by the civilian leadership.
“Gambia has no external threat to fight. Our biggest threat is internal,” said Jeng.
Jeng also urged for improved welfare for the men in uniform. He also urged President Adama Barrow to pay a surprise visit to the barracks “to see first-hand the condition of soldiers”.