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By Omar Bah

The National Assembly has finally approved the appointment of Bakary Sanyang as the new Ombudsman.
Lawmakers last month referred Sanyang’s appointment to the Assembly Public Appointment Committee for scrutiny.

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The assembly also requested that Mr Sanyang resign from his position as Governor of West Coast Region and submit his resignation to the committee with immediate effect.
Addressing the National Assembly yesterday, the vice president Isatou Touray welcomed lawmakers’ productive engagement with the executive on matters of national interest.
“You can be assured of government’s willingness to continue strengthening our new found democracy. I want to assure you that Mr Sanyang serves his position with due diligence,” she said.

The president’s first pick for the Ombudsman Babucarr Suwareh was rejected by lawmakers. The vice president Dr Isatou Touray returned to the National Assembly with a new name, Bakary Sanyang.

Appointments to armed forces council
Meanwhile, lawmakers voted to refer the appointment of Momodou Ndow-Njie and Yusupha Baboucarr Dibba into the Gambia Armed Forces Council to the assembly public appointment committee for scrutiny.

The Gambia Armed Forces Council which shall comprise the vice president as chairperson, minister of defence, Chief of Defence Staff and armed forces chief staff, commanders of the army, Navy and air force, PS ministry of defence and two other persons appointed by the president subject to confirmation by the National Assembly.

Tabling the motion for the consideration of the two, Minister of defence Sheikh Omar Faye said there has never been a functional armed forces council in the history of The Gambia.
“It is my ministry’s belief that the establishment of this council with this caliber of people will significantly assist in the oversight processes and democratic civilian control of the armed forces,” he said.

Retired Colonel Momodou Ndow-Njie was one of the founders of the Gambia National Army in 1984 and became its first Commander in the same year. He attended several military trainings in The Gambia, USA, UK and France and he has verse experience in military operations. He also served as Gambia’s ambassador to France.

While Yusupha Dibba has MSC in International Agricultural Development from the university of California, MA degree in history and political science from the University of Botswana and Swaziland as well as BA in sociology, economic and history from Botswana. He is a retired civil servant who has served in various ministries and capacities including the ministry of defence as permanent secretary and served as Gambia’s ambassador to Cuba.

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