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Gambia government says thwarted a coup attempt, four soldiers involved in plot arrested

BanjulEdited By: Manas JoshiUpdated: Dec 22, 2022, 12:22 AM IST
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(File photo) Soldiers with the Gambian Armed Forces patrol team gather in Kanilai on April 23, 2022, ahead of a visit to communities affected by clashes between the Senegalese Armed Forces and The Movement of Democratic Forces of Casamance (MFDC) militants. Photograph:(AFP)

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"Based on intelligence reports that some soldiers of the Gambian army were plotting to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Adama Barrow, the (armed forces) in a swift military operation conducted yesterday arrested four soldiers linked to this alleged coup plot," government statement said.

Gambian government on Wednesday (December 21) said that it had thwarted a coup attempt on the previous day. Four soldiers were arrested. "The situation is under total control," it added in a statement. There weren't any immediate reports of confirmation of the purported coup from other sources. Witness accounts mentioned soldier movement around the presidential headquarters in Banjul, the capital of Gambia. Rumours of a possible coup circulated during the night.

"Based on intelligence reports that some soldiers of the Gambian army were plotting to overthrow the democratically elected government of President Adama Barrow, the (armed forces) in a swift military operation conducted yesterday arrested four soldiers linked to this alleged coup plot," the statement said.

"The apprehended soldiers are currently helping the military police with their investigations."

"Meanwhile, the army is in pursuit of three more alleged accomplices."

Gambia, a small African nation, is a fragile democracy. It still bears the scars of a brutal 22-year dictatorship under Yahya Jammeh.

Jammeh was defeated in presidential elections in December 2016 to political newcomer Barrow and fled to Equatorial Guinea, but retains clout back home.

Barrow was re-elected in December 2021 for a second five-year term with 53 per cent of the vote. He won a narrow victory in legislative elections in April, but fell short of an absolute majority in the 58-seat parliament.

West Africa has been shaken by a series of military power seizures since 2020, in Mali, Guinea and most recently in Burkina Faso.

(With inputs from agencies)

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