By Mustapha Jallow
Four (4) active soldiers of the Gambia Armed Forces (GAF) were on Tuesday arrested and detained for allegedly plotting to overthrow the government of President Adama Barrow, which is currently being protected by regional (ECOMIG) and military forces.
On Wednesday, 21the December 2022, the government statement said it has foiled a military coup plot and arrested soldiers plotting to overthrow President Barrow’s administration.
According to the statement, the arrests of soldiers linked to alleged coup were made by the Gambian Armed Forces High Command during a swift military operation on Tuesday (20th December).
The arrests were “Based on intelligence reports….that some of the Gambian army were plotting to overthrow the democratically elected government,” the statement asserted.
It said the detained soldiers are currently helping the military police with their investigations. The army is in pursuit of three more alleged accomplices, it added.
Meanwhile, the government promised to inform general public accordingly in any developments as the situations unfolds. It further urged Gambian citizens, particularly diplomatic representatives and consular corps to carry-on with their normal activities as the situation is under control and they should not be panic.
Foroyaa tried to speak to the army spokesperson on the matter but his cell-phones kept ringing without any answer.
The names of the arrested soldiers were given in a subsequent government press release as Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera from the Gambia Navy as the alleged ring leader of the plot; Corporal Mbarra Touray from 1st Infantry Battalion, Yundum Barracks; Corporal Ebrahima Sanno from the Military Police who is currently on study leave and Sergeant Gibril Darboe from The Gambia Navy.
The subsequent press release also named the involvement of the following who are either being pursued or are on the run: Corporal Njie B from the State Guards Battalion; Warrant Officer Class 2 Jadama from The Gambia Navy and one Badjie from The Gambia Navy.
This is not the first time soldiers plotting against Barrow’s government. In 2017, immediately after ex-president Yahya Jammeh was forced out of power in January, 12 soldiers were round-up for plotting to overthrow President Barrow’s government, with the help of his ousted predecessor (ex-president Jammeh), a military court earlier said.
The soldiers confessed of scheduling meetings to overthrow the government, which were recorded on voice-notes and posted on their WhatsApp group chat. The soldiers were later charged with treason and related charges in military court referred as “the court martial.’’
However, seven of the accused soldiers received a nine-year sentence and one got three years.