Ousmane Badjie, the Chief of Defence Staff (CDS) under former President Yahya Jammeh has been redeployed to Foreign Service by President Adama Barrow.
This new decision comes a month after Barrow stated in Senegal – where he took his first oath of office – that Badjie will maintain his position as Army Chief of The Gambia. It is not known what exact destination he will be headed to.
He is to be replaced by Masaneh Kinteh who previously served as the Chief of Defence Staff between 2009 and 2012. Incidentally, when Jammeh removed him as CDS, he was redeployed to foreign service and served as The Gambia’s Chief of Mission in Havana, Cuba.
Badjie made the headlines during the post-election crisis in the country after exiled Jammeh refused to accept defeat from the December 1, 2016 polls. Badjie became famous for his pronouncements about loving his troops and that they were not going to fight regional troops deployed to oust Jammeh.
‘‘Let them not fear, there is not going to be any war or any fighting here. If our brothers (ECOWAS troops) even if they come, we are going to welcome them with a cup of tea, and they will put their weapons there and we will enjoy the smiling coast of Africa, honestly.
‘‘I am appealing to all Gambians who have fled to come back as I speak, nobody is going to fight. The former president (Jammeh) said it that he loves The Gambia, the coming President (Barrow) also said he loves The Gambia.
‘‘Why should we fight for any reason? Let everybody tell me. This is a political misunderstanding. There is no military solution to a political problem, let me tell you that, and we are not fools. I love my soldiers and I love the Gambian people, nobody is going to be hot here, take it from me,’‘ he told the DW Africa channel at the time.
But before his pronouncement, Badjie had ‘switched’ allegiance between Barrow and Jammeh. Twice to Barrow and once to Jammeh. Reuters reported that he had pledged loyalty to Barrow after the polls.
Barrow returned to The Gambia four days after Jammeh flew into exile after talks with Presidents of Guinea and Mauritania. Barrow took another oath of office on Gambia’s Independence Day at the National Stadium in the capital, Banjul. Jammeh is currently in Equatorial Guinea.