Colonel Paul Gomez (Papou) and Major Baboucarr Jarju (Stephen) were respectively promoted to the ranks of Brigadier and Lt. Colonel. The promotions, which took effect last Wednesday, followed the duo’s successful graduation from Taiwan’s War College.
Gambian leader has not publicly advanced reasons for promoting the two senior military officers, especially at a time when he demoted and humiliated others, including his Personal Protection Officer in the person of Umpa Mendy.
However, Kairo News sources believe President Yahya Jammeh is preparing the two officer to take over the top military positions in the Gambia. “He wants to have his most trusted officers at the helm of affairs because he is living with fears of what could happen next,” said a trusted source. “So don’t be surprised if Lt. Col. Baboucarr Jarju becomes the deputy Army Chief of Staff, a position that has remained vacant since the removal of Lt. General Masaneh Kinteh and the subsequently promotion and appointment of his deputy (now General Ousman Badjie) in July 2012.
Our sources further hinted that General Badjie who is sitting on a knife edge could be replaced by one of the newly graduated officers in the near future. It could be recalled that General Badjie was promoted shortly after the public humiliation and imprisonment of his elder brother Essa Badjie, the former Inspector General of Police. Before their fallout, President Jammeh described Essa Badjie as the “best police officer the Gambia ever had.” Badjie is now serving life sentences stemming from robbery and drug-related offences.
“I believe General Badjie’s replacement could be Lt. Col. Jarju who is a capable, smart and intelligent officer,” a military source said.
Lt. Col. Jarju was the former Army Public Relations Officer until he was moved to State House as the head of military intelligence unit. Jarju and Brigadier Gomez have benefited from Taiwanese scholarship. One military officer said Jarju, a member of the 24th army intake, does not have age qualification to attend a war college.