Why Jammmeh’s Allies Return Home

Three of former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s trusted guards and aide who accompanied him to Equatorial Guinea returned home to face whatever awaits them rather than enduring endless hardship in another man’s land.

Unlike other fugitives who sneak their way into the country, State Guard Commander Brigadier General Ansumana Tamba, Principal Protection Officer Brigadier General Umpa Mendy and Momodou Lamin Jarju had the guts to fly into the Gambia on Friday night. They were cleared by Banjul International Airport security, an act that invited protest from a civil aviation officer who questioned why the men who might have blood on their hands be allowed to enter the country without interrogation. The three men safely went home but their arrival in the country soon spread like a wild fire, with social media news junkies turning their daggers on Gambian security officers, reviving the common narrative that “our security is just too fragile.” Gambian security officers, particularly those at the airport, have become the punching bag. Their failure to arrest and interrogate the three military officers who flew with Jammeh to Equatorial Guinea and lived with him for a year has once again raised more questions than answers. But the steadfastness of Gambian citizens to guard everything that poses serious challenge to their democracy at teething stage is a sign that despite sabotage or connivance to discredit the new government, there will be light at the end of the tunnel.

Ordinary citizens, who are not taking anything for granted, alerted top military command, asking them to act swiftly on people who deserted the army. These civilians want answers to their mountains of questions: why did the trio leave with Jammeh? Why they didn’t return after two weeks to complete their remaining years of service? What were they doing in Equatorial Guinea. Why did they return at a time the country’s security was threatened by political fracas? What did they know about the tortures and murders they have been accused of committing? These questions and many more should be asked by interrogators and answered by the three deserters who, according to our information, are being held at the Yundum Military Barracks.

After losing elections in December 2016, Yahya Jammeh did the unthinkable: conceded defeat and ready to hand over power to then President-elect Adama Barrow. What does one expect from an unpredictable power-obsessed leader other than unpredictability? Jammeh threw the country into confusion nine days later by annulling the election results, complaining of vote rigging. Was it not the same leader who described the Gambia’s”electoral process as rig-proof?” What resulted after his adamancy is left for historians to write about. The tyrant who bragged to own the Gambia left for exile to the land of unknown faces, history and culture. The greed that took him to power had eaten up his soul as evidenced by his shipping of 13 expensive luxurious cars. Mr. Jammeh also dried up the national coffers and continued to milk even after he had left for Equatorial Guinea.

He also went with his trusted advisors and aides: unschooled General Saul Badjie, head of the Republican National Guard; Lt. General Umpa Mendy, Personal Protection Officer and Lt. General Ansumana Tamba, Lt. Col. Wandifa Barrow, Col. Amadou Joof, Capt. Ousman Jallow and Sgt. Lamin Nyassi of the elite presidential guard unit, among others. Most of these people have been accused of taking part in tortures and murders of citizens.

Gambians elected a new government mainly because of their thirst for change. Therefore, any resistance for change by any sector or department of the government will be costly. The security of any country, especially the Gambia that has just emerged out of 22 years of brutal dictatorship, is not a joke. The better this gets into the skull of our sleeping security officers the better for all of us. Gambians will shift their trust to the ECOMIG officers where their own security units fail.



  1. Well the escape of these three monsters of yaya jammeh from the airport without being question or arrested spells a lot about our security sector. Care should be taken to avoid such things happening because it could result to instability in our country. May Allah guide and bless us all.

  2. Don’t you worry, guys. ECOMIC is here. MA Bah is quoted as saying that President Barrow does not trust the Gambian Army. In actual fact, NO REASONABLE GAMBIAN, trust them. Mr President is not alone.

  3. Kemo Touray

    What a weak security those at the airport should be sack starting from the interior minister.The so call sis director the IGP we are paying this people’s to save our nations but the taxpayers are not save in our nations.

  4. Morro Jawneh

    We need answers starting from the Royal Air maroc.How did they board the Aircraft without a Gambia legal binding document? Who gave them the travelling passport? Who were the contacts at the Airport? Who pick them up? Let our intelligent units stop sleeping or are they are aiding and abetting perpetrators?

  5. Mr. Morro Jawneh, you’ve asked the multi million dalasi questions:
    “How did they board the Aircraft without a Gambia legal binding document? Who gave them the travelling passports? Who were the contacts at the airport? Who picked them up? ………………….?”
    Or, in my own curiosity; have the extradition process technically started? Anyway, that shouldn’t be a reason for these people’s secret readmission into the country.
    With regards to relying on Ecomig as emphasized in other comments, we have very little choice if at all, but rely on them as at now. However, we should hope that Gambia’s security institutions in general, are restructured totally with as much new and highly educated recruitments as possible, psychologically and morally prepared, and expertly trained in modern security technology systems, and information sharing within the ECOWAS for the country’s different security entities to be reestablished and trusted as the reliable Gambian national security networks. Gambia and Senegal in their capacities as sovereign ECOWAS states, in collaboration with joint wider ECOWAS efforts and mandate, can bring about peace, stability and security in the Gambia, Senegal and the regional community as a whole. Corruption must be curbed first of all within the ranks of government and politicians. Again, corruption, the idea of ethnicity, political motivation, partisanship, and militancy that evidently has infested the mindsets of personnel within the ranks of the country’s present different security institutions, should be seriously addressed to be brought to end through proper education and training of personnel. Gambians and residents alike, must make it their concerted point of duty, to help within confines of the constitution, in the security the of country, against the wrathful intentions of those hell bent on seeing chaos and unrest in her territories. We cannot afford to be taken off guard by drugged, maddened and trained killers on the run whose psychopathic conditions will be hard to cure. Some are at large and some are still around like highly venomous “green snakes under green grass”. I have always argued that there are very dangerous, unenlightened, greedy, contemptuous and hypocritic types of Gambians across sections of all of its population, a reason why it prevails to be a country lagging well behind in development. I anxiously want to see myself backing down on that kind of a view of a country that I am also part and parcel of.
    May God Almighty guide and protect the Gambia and her people with HIS gracious light.

  6. Or in other words; “within the confines of rule of law …………………”

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