Army commander, General Mamat O. Cham

The commander of the Gambia Armed Forces has warned that his troops will put down any illegal power grab in the country.

General Mamat O Cham told the state broadcaster, GRTS, on Thursday that “any group that tries to subvert the peace and stability of the country will come across his army.”

The army commander said no group has the right in a democracy to remove a legally constituted government by the use of force.

“So from that perspective, anybody who associates with anybody through whatever means, either in person or using electronic means or canvass for anybody to partake in any action which is calculated to subvert the constitutionally elected government is involved in what is called a treasonable action and you could be prosecuted and locked,” General Cham told GRTS.

A plan protest in December by an organisation calling itself Three Years Jotna – meaning three years is up in the Wolof language – is causing alarm in the corridors of power.

The group is planning a direct action in its bid to force President Adama Barrow to honour “his electoral promises in line with the 2016 Coalition agreement”.

President has confirmed that he will serve his full five years term in line with his constitutional mandate.

Many are worried that the plan December protest will plunge the country in a political crisis.

General Cham’s warning has been interpreted as an attempt to cow the Three Years Jotna protest group.

His statement has been met with surprise and derision on social media.

Meanwhile Hamat Bah, the Tourism Minister, confirmed to GRTS that “President Barrow was given a five year Return Certificate by the electoral commission and will serve his constitutional mandate”.

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