The Gambian President, Yahya Jammeh, on Friday, July 6th relieved Lt. General Masaneh Kinteh of his services as Chief of Defence Staff (CDS).
On its Friday broadcast, the state-owned GRTS revealed that Kinteh has been assigned to the foreign service, and Major Gen. Ousman Badjie, who was his deputy for two years, replaced him.
The brief news release from State House, however, failed to state where and when would Lt Gen. Kinteh be deployed for his first diplomatic mission ever.
A native of Sankwia Village in Western Jarra, Lt. General Kinteh, who bags Masters degree in the United Kingdom, has a long, outstanding military career.
He was appointed head of the defence forces in October 2009, replacing jailed-Major General Lang TombongTamba, once a trusted ally of President Jammeh.
Tamba was dismissed in late 2009, and charged with treason shortly afterwards. He was convicted and condemned to death, alongside top army, police and intelligence officers.
Meanwhile, Kinteh’s deployment to the foreign service came as a surprise to many in the army, a military officer told The Daily News.
“It was just on Monday [July 2] that he began his biannual tour - assessing the conditions of his soldiers and military instillations,” our source said.
It could be recalled that three top army officers: Saikou Seckan, Lamin Bojang and Ebrima Bah were recently relieved and, like Kinteh, deployed to the foreign service, which now has a large proportion of former military officers.