Several dozen military personnel and civilians were arrested, and a large cache of weapons and explosives were found following a reported coup attempt in The Gambia, an intelligence source said Thursday.
The suspects have been interrogated and were being held in “four villas” in or near the tiny west African nation’s capital Banjul, said a source close to Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
Gambia’s strongman leader Yahya Jammeh, who was visiting Dubai at the time of the attack, blamed unidentified foreign dissidents and “terrorists” for the assault Tuesday on his presidential palace, and denied it was an attempt to unseat him.
“It is an attack by dissidents based in the US, Germany and UK,” Jammeh said in a televised address Wednesday. “This was not a coup. This was an attack by a terrorist group backed by some powers that I would not name.”
Jammeh insisted that the armed forces “are very loyal” and that only former soldiers, including a senior commander, had taken part in the attack on his palace.
“No force can take this place and nobody can destabilise this country,” he said. “Anybody who plans to attack this country, be ready, because you are going to die.”
A group of heavily armed men led by an army deserter attacked the presidential palace before dawn, but were repelled by forces loyal to Jammeh, who has ruled for 20 years since he seized power in a 1994 coup that ousted Gambia’s founding leader Sir Dawda Jawara.
Investigators have allegedly seized the plan laying out the attack, in which the three suspects, including the alleged ringleader were killed, according to a military officer.
One of the alleged conspirators also led authorities to “a large quantity of very sophisticated automatic weapons and explosives,” in a shipping container disguised as second-hand clothing at Banjul’s port, the source close to the NIA said.
Four officers suspected of participating in the attempt had taken refuge in the neighbouring west African nation of Guinea-Bissau, a military source told AFP.
- ‘Failure is unforgivable’ –
Jammeh returned home to his palace overnight Wednesday from Dubai where he had been on a private visit.
He claims to have foiled a succession of coup plots and has come under fire for serious human rights abuses, including repression of the media and the disappearance of rivals.
The United States said in response to the attack on the palace: “We strongly condemn any attempt to seize power through extraconstitutional means.”
Neighbouring Senegal “strongly” condemned the apparent coup attempt, which it said was undertaken “by a group of insurgents”.
UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for a probe of the failed takeover and also urged the government and security forces in Banjul to “act in full respect of human rights.”
A Dakar-based researcher, Gilles Yabi, warned Wednesday of a “major risk of repression extending beyond the military figures involved in the coup attempt”.
“There are fears the regime could take advantage of the situation by blaming people who had nothing to do with it.”
Courtesy of www.dailymail.co.uk
AU is the most irrelevant organization out there. First of all, they need to move the Headquarters from Ethiopia–a repressive regime that constantly brutalizes and violates it’s citizens’ human rights–to an African nation that is reputable for holding and promoting the civil and human rights of its citizenry.
Yayah Jammeh is a repressive, brutal psychopath who is constantly butchering his people. The man is also corrupt to the core. When he took over, he was just 29 years old and abjectly poor. Now, Yaya has the best of everything Gambian. He owns the best residential and farmlands, owns properties all over the world, forcibly use the Gambian people to work on his land at no reward, owns two or three private jets as we speak whilst his subjects are wallowing in abject poverty.
THE BEST AU can at least do for the Gambian people is to ask this animal to resign. The people are yawning for freedom away from the clutches of his iron-fist. This man cares about no one but he and his family and tribesmen. His tribe(the Jolas) are less than 15% of the population but now occupies atleast 80% of all key Governmental posts.
This Psychopath needs to go and we need the moral help of UK and America in that regard !
Saaed Ahmed, you absolutely hit the nail on the head. Yaya jolanization of The Gambia is clearly manifested in every aspects of his deeds, policies and laws but the same time is using them for his benefits. However, the vast majority of those jolas in military today are non-Gambians who are there to protect his interest. Gambians jolas are also his number one victims since they formed the majority of disappearances, death and continuous detention. In essence, Jammeh brutality has no ethnic or tribal boundaries but his hatred for Mandingo tribe is the clearly evident for all to see because he singled them out in any of his major outburst. Jammeh is a cancer for Gambian society and this cancer is so evil that it is destroying every fabric of our existence as society. Every Gambian tribe needs to understand his divisiveness, brutality and self centeredness so that we can live in peace and harmony again as we had in the past.
When it comes to Jammeh personal interest, he doesn’t care whether you are Asombi Bojang or pa Bojang, he will sacrifice you to get what he wants. This is evident for all to see as in the case of his blood cousin pa Bojang who is currently exile in USA.
Jammeh is epitome of every aspect of worst or evil human being . His self righteousness and mystification is evident by his pomposity, falsificaton, lies about his abilities to cure every kind of diseases including hiv aids and Ebola and ability to continuously deceive and oppress Gambians. Jammeh is total disaster for this generation and generation yet unborn. I hope very soon his deception, lies, mystification, pomposity will catch up with him.
I’m “For The Gambia”, and not for Yaya Jammeh! Only fools would die for Jammeh .