Gambia: More arrests linked to failed coup bid

More arrests have been made in connection with an alleged coup plot by units of The Gambian Armed Forces, a…

More arrests have been made in connection with an alleged coup plot by units of The Gambian Armed Forces, a government statement said.Those arrested over the weekend include Captain Ebrima Baldeh, GAF military intelligence and security unit based at the Defense headquarters in Banjul and Second Lieutenant, Omar Colley of the First Infantry Battalion of the Yundum barracks.

Both were linked to an abortive plan to overthrow the current government led by President Adama Barrow.

Other suspect who were nabbed last week include Corporal Baboucarr Njie of the State Guard Battalion who was identified as part of the abortive plot.

It brings to seven, the number of suspects under detention in connection with the failed insurrection after the arrest last Wednesday of Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera of the Gambian navy, who is reported as the ringleader. 

The others are Couple Mbarra Touray of the 1st Infantry Battalion, Couple Ebrahima Sanno of the military police who is currently on study leave and Sergeant Gibril Darboe of the navy. 

Corporal Baboucarr Njie was one of three suspects thought to have been on the run as the coup attempted was thwarted by the high command of The Gambian Armed Forces.

The military hierarchy said a manhunt is still underway to apprehend two others still at large and identified as one Warrant Officer Class 2 Lamin Jadama and another named simply as Badjie.

The full nature of the alleged plot is still being investigated, spokesman Sakareh said.

The West African regional grouping Ecowas and the African Union have condemned the attempted takeover as an unacceptable affront on democracy.

Despite addressing the nation over the festive Christmas season, there has been no word about the alleged coup from President Barrow, who won a second mandate in December 2021.

Mr. Barrow defeated predecessor Yahya Jammeh for his first mandate in December 2016.

His six-year rule has come under strong criticism from citizens over an apparent inaction to fix the rising cost of living and state of insecurity across the country.

Meanwhile, life across mainland Africa’s smallest state appears to be going on as normal with people going about their business in the aftermath of the foiled coup plot.

Reports of a foiled coup come just days after Jammeh who fled into exile in Equatorial Guinea six years ago, vowed he would return to lead The Gambia at an unspecified period and purge the government of those who’d apparently betrayed his legacy.

He was speaking to supporters while phoning in on a recent rally of a faction of the former ruling party still recognizing him as their leader. 

Jammeh 57, is accused of gross human rights violations including rape, torture and forced disappearances during his 22-year rule.

He made a dramatic U-turn from conceding defeat to Barrow to challenging the results which plunged the country into a month-long political crisis.