The Military Police Unit of The Gambia Armed Forces has yesterday arrested generals, Umpa Mendy and Ansumana Tamba following the duo’s return from Equatorial Guinea on Friday.
“These two were part of Jammeh’s devilish hand who perpetrated serious crimes against the Gambian population under Jammeh. It is shocking they are allowed into the country through the main gates without apprehension,” a security source said yesterday.
Umpa Mendy was a Principal Protection Officer for President Jammeh for many years. He was alleged to have been personally responsible for a number of crimes that are currently being filed at the Attorney General’s Chambers for the consideration of the soon-to-be established Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
“So his presence in the country is indeed very awkward for healing and reconciliation process the population was promised by President Adama Barrow,” a political analyst said.
Gen. Umpa Mendy was born in Kachumei and a resident in Bushumbala (home of the recent political unrest that saw destruction of properties and attacks of supporters on both sides of the political divide).
He was reported to be a key member of Jammeh’s infamous and much-feared hit squad, The ‘junglers.’ Gen Mendy either personally supervises the team’s operations or lead it in some cases, our sources said yesterday.
Another among the confirmed returnees was a native of Kassa Kunda, a village outside of Brikama, Gen AnsumanaTamba. He has been a State Guard Commander and strong Jammeh loyalist for about three years prior to the departure of Jammeh.
Sources said Gen. Saul Badjie has also moved from Equatorial Guinea and is currently dawdling in a neighbourhood country. “He is either in Senegal or Guinea Bissau but not in Equatorial Guinea,” our source said.
It is not yet clear as to why these top military aides of Jammeh “sudden” appeared in Banjul. Analysts, however, believed that it is part of “subtle moves” by exiled dictator to “return” to Gambia.
Our sources also confirmed that the various intelligence services are coordinating to establish the facts surrounding the “sudden return” into the country. However, it came as a surprise to them since none were aware at the time of their entry.
Despite his official replacement as “leader of the APRC party by former Majority Leader FabakaryTombong Jatta”, the party supporters still print Jammeh’s faces on party T-Shirts, banners and profess their support to him.
Last week, the party announced it has appointed a new deputy leader in the person of ex-Col Modou Alieu Bah, a one-time convict and pardoned officer of The Gambia Army who has been appointed as the director of finance of The Gambia Armed Forces by Jammeh.
Upon his release from prison, M.A. Bah was promoted to the rank of colonel in the Armed Forces, and subsequently appointed the Interior minister after Jammeh’s long-time ally, Ousman Sonko fled into exile at the peak of the #Gambia Rising protests.
Again, Col. Bah was promoted to the rank of general of the Gambia Army during the political crisis especially when Jammeh refused to step down and accept the democratic decision of the Gambian voters.
Whether the government of Adama Barrow is being fed the right intelligence on these “subtle moves” is matter of concern for many, our analyst maintained.