World Bulletin/News Desk
Members of the Gambian army and security services marched through the capital Banjul late Saturday to reaffirm loyalty to President Yahya Jammeh after a failed coup attempt last week.
"We shall be loyal and protect the integrity of this country unfailing," chief of defense staff Lt General Ousman Badgie told security officials after the parade.
"The forging of professional boundary, personal trust and consequently high moral is best uphold and sustain through cherish tradition and ethics," he insisted.
The army and security forces marched from the National Assembly building to the July 22 Square in capital Banjul.
Lt General Badgie, who led the parade, said the security service will always follow the lead of President Jammeh and defend what he represents.
"The Gambian army will never be misled by falsehood and lies spread by the real enemies of this nation," he insisted.
Residents of Banjul awoke Tuesday to sporadic gunfire in and around the presidential palace.
Witnesses said the shooting began at 2am and continued intermittently until around 5am.
As the day broke, commuters heading to Banjul for work were turned back at the Denton Bridge – the only access road into the capital – by State Guards personnel.
The central market and shops in and around Banjul's commercial district were all closed, along with government offices and private businesses in the Greater Banjul Area.
Reports suggested that forces loyal to Lamin Sanneh, the former commanding officer of the State Guards, had attempted to overthrow Jammeh, who was on a private visit outside the country.
President Jammeh, who has since returned to the country, blamed the coup on foreign dissidents from Germany, U.K. and the U.S. whom he called terrorist.
He praised the members of the armed and security forces for remaining loyal to him.
Badgie Lt General said members of the armed and security services shall never compromise their sacred duty prescribed in the constitution as the custodians of peace and security.
Vice President Isatou Njie-Saidy said the security forces have proven that they can be more gallant if the country is threatened.
"You have proven his Excellency [Jammeh] right because he has always said the armed and security service are loyal and indeed you are loyal," she told the assembled security officials.
Jammeh, 49, came to power in the West African country through a military coup 20 years ago.
He has since been elected to office in four consecutive presidential polls.
Last Mod: 04 Ocak 2015, 12:39