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 GUEST EDITORIAL – On Security Sector reform
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Momodou



Denmark
10897 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2020 :  14:28:39  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
GUEST EDITORIAL – On Omar Sarjo And Security Sector Reform

By Alagie Barrow

The Chronicle: Oct 30, 2020


https://www.chronicle.gm/guest-editorial-on-omar-sarjo-and-security-sector-reform/



The Gambia Police Force did not prosecute Abubakary Jawara, the proprietor of GACH Security Company who imported semi automatic AR 15 rifles


It’s an old saying that “loose lips sink ships”. And our elders did warn that “if your mouth turns into a knife, it will cut off your feet”! To have a government representative sit before the nation and reveal the name of an individual whom they “dismissed” from the army because he’s supposedly not a citizen, is the height of dangerous ignorance. And it was the same representative foaming at the mouth about decorum, visibly angry and threatening a journalist that he’ll report him to the boss. As Momodou Ndow is wont to quip, Gambian bi ak palass! We may not have as many natural resources but we sure don’t lack in mini dictators!

I was once asked what I would tell Barrow if he were to ask me what is the biggest national security threat facing The Gambia today. I responded that I’d tell Barrow to look in the mirror. Barrow will see himself in that mirror and he should be able to see Sankareh’s mouth right behind him with Omar Faye’s hypocrisy hovering over their heads. He, Barrow, and his team are the biggest national security threat our little nation faces today due to how they’re manifestly bungling the security landscape and its attendant threats. Ebrima’s mouth just provided the fuel that Jam Sarr and his ilk, hell-bent on fanning tribal war in The Gambia, needed to keep fanning the flames of civil strife. The Jam Sarrs and fellow clown Bala Jahumpa, along with Flat Top in England, are working overtime to convince the Jolas that it’s them against the rest of The Gambia, specifically the Mandinkas. Jam Sarr claims the security sector reform, or lack thereof, is aimed at purging Jolas out of the military! And guess what gave that idiocy the fuel it needs, Ebrima Sankareh’s mouth! The same mouth that had so much decorum that it could not resist calling fellow citizens “village *****s”, the same people on whose back he survives!


Omar Sarjo, dismissed from the Gambia’s military for allegedly being the son of Casamance MFDC rebel leader Salif Sadio which he denies.
What happened to Omar Sarjo needs to be looked into. It doesn’t pass the smell test and knowing how our government folks work, it’s difficult not to believe Mr Sarjo’s insistence that he’s a citizen of The Gambia. But even if Omar is not a citizen, his case definitely does not represent the success of the security sector reform and until the case is completely resolved, he shouldn’t be cited as an example of said success. But that’s what happens when you surround yourself with incompetent individuals who mistake chairing a press conference with being the authority, and ask them to go and talk to the nation. Ousman Badjie is the only one in that group with some knowledge on security sector reform. The rest of them were there to fill the seats! I can guarantee you Ousman would not have said what Sankareh said because he knows better. Sankareh unfortunately for him and our poor Gambia, seems to mistake his verbosity for intelligence! The interior minister was pissed because he said someone accused him of being a drunkard and marijuana smoker. That bothered him more than the accusation that he was in charge when Solo Sandeng was killed. I guess he’s okay with that accusation!

Any thinking person knows that Yahya Jammeh did indeed fill the ranks of the security forces with people he thought he could count on. Yahya Jammeh was a tribalist who pitted tribes against each other in order for him to lord over all of us. And he never lacked *****s willing to propagate his tribal nonsense. But we also know that there are many in the security services with forged documents, even if they’re bonafide Gambians! Wait till a real civil service reform takes place and see how many Gambians parade about with fake or exaggerated credentials. One of them was part of that team briefing us on security sector reforms! Security sector reform or any reform that requires looking at personnel issues is always a sensitive issue that requires careful analysis but bold decision making. That certainly does not include a so called government spokesman going to the media castigating one individual as a sign of what’s wrong with the security service!

To ensure a transformative security sector reform policy that responds to the realities of the security challenges faced by The Gambia today, one must commence at the foundation and ask difficult but fundamental questions that will frame the strategic direction of such a policy. It is tempting to consider the genesis of Security Sector Reform as more or less a process of realigning the existing security sector landscape but for a better and more comprehensive reform, security sector reform efforts must be realistic, people-centered, accountable, fit for purpose, financially viable and more critically, take into consideration our realities as a nation. That includes the tribal realities and its attendant ignorance!

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone

Momodou



Denmark
10897 Posts

Posted - 30 Oct 2020 :  14:35:36  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Embattled ex-soldier appears in court

The Standard: OCTOBER 30, 2020

By Omar Bah

https://standard.gm/embattled-ex-soldier-appears-in-court/

Embattled army corporal, Omar Sarjo, who was dismissed for purportedly being a non-Gambian and son of a Casamance warlord, appeared at the Banjul Magistrates’ Court Wednesday.

Following the dislodgement of the APRC government in 2017, Sarjo, 38 and father of two, was dismissed from the army and investigated for possessing Gambian citizenship through false pretence. He is currently being tried for trying to obtain a Gambian passport in 2018.

Sarjo’s case has become a cause célèbre since government spokesman Ebrima Sankareh told journalists last Friday that Sarjo and several others were foreigners who were removed from the army by the Barrow government and that Sarjo has since returned to his native Casamance. But the former soldier said he is a Gambian and has never “returned” to the southern Senegal province.

During Wednesday’s court hearing, Bakary Manneh, an immigration officer, testified as the first prosecution witness.

The case has been adjourned to 12th November.

Meanwhile, The Standard has learnt that an earlier investigation has confirmed that Sarjo is indeed a Gambian and not the son of the Casamance separatist leader Salif Sadio.

He is said to be a native of Kabakel village, Kombo Central and his biological parents were Alassana Sarjo and Mariama Manneh, both late.

The Standard was told that the findings and recommendations of the NIA investigation were given to the Gambia Armed Forces.

Contacted for comments on the matter, armed forces spokesperson and director of communication, Major Lamin Sanyang, requested for time to update himself on the matter before responding to our query.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
10897 Posts

Posted - 01 Nov 2020 :  22:51:45  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Breaking: Army Breaks Its Silence On Omar Sarjo By Saying Fraud Sparked His Dismissal
Fatu network: November 1, 2020 1603


https://fatunetwork.net/breaking-army-breaks-its-silence-on-omar-sarjo-by-saying-fraud-sparked-his-dismissal/

The army has broken its silence over claims Omar Sarjo was dismissed from the army because he was not a Gambian.

The government spokesperson Ebrima G Sankareh sparked huge furore when he said Omar Sarjo was removed from the army because he was not a Gambian. The army quickly came under heavy criticism with its former leader Masanneh Kinteh accused of spearheading a wicked purge campaign against Jolas.

The army in a statement signed by spokesman Major Lamin K Sanyang on Sunday clarified: “It may be recalled that in 2017, the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) received an intelligence tip off that ex – Corporal Omar Sarjo, with Regimental Number 84GNA/13529 was alleged to be the son of Mr. Salif Sarjo, the leader of the MFDC separatists in Cassamance, Senegal. Given the sensitive nature of the allegations, the GAF deemed it fitting and appropriate to conduct an investigation into the matter to establish the veracity of the allegation.

“Accordingly, a Joint Investigation was conducted at different intervals by the GAF Intelligence Directorate and the State Intelligence Services (SIS). Although there was no evidence to prove that ex – 84GNA/13529 Corporal Omar Sarjo is the son of Salif Sarjo, the outcome of the investigations, however revealed that the ex – Corporal gained admission into the GAF on 1 July 2005 as a member of Intake 27A under false pretense.

“The findings of the investigations were as follows: it was revealed that Ex Corporal Sarjo’s real name is Saikou Sarjo which was later changed to Saikou Sanneh to conceal his identity; he enrolled in schools in Kabekel, Marakissa and Darsilami Upper Basic School where he obtained a Grade Nine—West African Examinations Certificate using the name Saikou Sanneh; in 2005, he fraudulently used the Junior Secondary School Leaving Certificate of one Omar Sarjo, who is believed to be his cousin from Kabekel and enlisted into the GAF as a member of recruit Intake 27A; it was further revealed that Corporal Sarjo changed his identity to gain enlistment into The Gambia Armed Forces thereby making a false declaration and entry into The Gambia Armed Forces. Therefore, his enlistment into The Gambia Armed Forces constituted a flagrant breach of the Terms and Conditions of Service (TACOS) for Soldiers; the investigations substantiated that former Corporal Sarjo engaged in falsifying documents, consciously presented fraudulent academic credentials, impersonated third parties by using their biographical identities/information as well as used multiple names or aliases to conceal his real identity which are all offenses punishable in the Armed Forces; [and] there was no evidence to prove that 84GNA/13529 Corporal Omar Sarjo is the son of Salif Sarjo.

“Pursuant to The Gambia Armed Forces Regulations for Discipline 1994, he was subsequently charged under Section 75 (a) for willfully making a false entry in an official document and Section 78 of The Armed Forces Act for Conduct prejudicial to good order and discipline.

“Based on the forgoing, The Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) wishes to state that ex – Corporal Sarjo Omar with Regimental Number 84GNA/13529 was dismissed from the GAF in 2017 after investigations by GAF and the SIS established that he gained admission into the GAF through irregular and fraudulent means.

“It may be equally instructive to note that this disciplinary measure is not an exception but the rule and is in line with established administrative military procedures. Additionally, similar cases, once discovered, have been treated in a similar manner in the past.”

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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Momodou



Denmark
10897 Posts

Posted - 24 Jan 2022 :  14:25:22  Show Profile Send Momodou a Private Message  Reply with Quote
Court declares Omar Sarjo’s dismissal from army unlawful

The Standard: JANUARY 24, 2022

By Bruce Asemota

https://standard.gm/gambia-news/court-declares-omar-sarjos-dismissal-from-army-unlawful/

Justice F. A. Achinboga of the High Court in Banjul has declared that the termination of the services of Omar Sarjo, a soldier, by the then Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) in 2017, was a clear contravention of the 1997 Constitution.

The trial judge also declared the dismissal of Omar Sarjo was a clear contravention of Section 33(1)a and b of the Gambia Armed Forces Act chapter 19:01.

The judge delivered this judgment in a civil matter filed by the applicant, Omar Sarjo against the Chief of Defence Staff and the Attorney General and Minister of Justice.

Justice Achibonga told the court that Omar Sarjo’s main contention is that he was enlisted into the Armed Forces on the 1st July 2005 and had his services terminated in 2017.

Justice Achibonga stated that the Chief of Defence Staff opposed the application and contended that Omar Sarjo made false declaration on the enlistment form in order to get enlisted into the Gambia Armed Forces.


The Trial Judge stated that Section 33 (1) a and b is plain and clear and that a person cannot be dismissed as a soldier based on a declaration made for enlistment be it false or otherwise after three months of making the said declaration.

Justice Achibonga pointed out that Omar Sarjo wasn’t given fair hearing and wasn’t given opportunity to be heard before he was dismissed.

He noted that his dismissal was contrary to the principle of natural justice and section 24 of the 1997 Constitution.

Justice Achibonga declared that the CDS does not have that power to dismiss the applicant in 2017 based on his declaration made on the 1st July 2005 for enlistment and by his dismissal was contrary to the law.

A clear conscience fears no accusation - proverb from Sierra Leone
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