Recent arson attacks that target the economic and political interests of the Gambian dictator have deepened cracks in the military and heightened suspicions among the various ranks and across services.

As a result, major realignment of the military is to be announced that will merge the Police Intervention Unit (PIU) – a paramilitary outfit – with the army, effective immediately. Formal announcement is expected today as the Interior Minister makes his way to Kanifing PIU camp to inform the paramilitary command.

The Gambian army under Yaya Jammeh has undergone a transformation that is dictated by his personal safety needs and the desire to maintain his grip on power than by the national security needs of the nation and the general welfare of the Gambian people.

It’s been two weeks since the rash of arson attacks started without anyone being arrested. The attacks were carried out with such precision that Jammeh has started to believe that they were conducted by persons within the military.

Sources suggest that General Saul Badgie, as head of the army, has fallen out of favor with the Gambian dictator because of the reported influence he has over a good portion of the army whose allegiance are with General Badgie rather than with Jammeh. It is for this reason that Jammeh decided to merge the PIU with the army to dilute and eventually sideline General Saul Badgie in favor of men of the PIU.

There is obviously a power struggle going on that has its origin in the 30th December 2014 attack on State House that further culminated in the May United Democratic Party (UDP) demonstrations demanding electoral reforms that led to the death in custody of Solo Sandeng.

General Badgie’s refusal to deploy the army against unarmed civilians was viewed as insubordination by the Gambian dictator. It was the PIU that stepped in to quell the peaceful demonstrations with excessive and brutal force that led to the furious international condemnation.

The men who led the PIU was Paramilitary Commanders Biran Mbye and Nfamara Jallow. Both of these men were members of the defunct Gendarmerie with Yaya Jammeh. This move is seen as preparing the ground to remove General Badgie and his allies who are considered disloyal to Jammeh in favor of Biran Mbye, Nfamara Jallow and elements of the PIU.

Meanwhile, investigations into the arson attacks continues as more attacks are expected. It is because the permanent threat that these attacks posed to the regime’s existence that has resulted in Jammeh’s postponement of his annual leave according to a source. The ultimate aim of the arson attacks is to remove Jammeh from power and as long as the military remains fragmented the attacks are likely to continue.

Culled from



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