Eight Gambian Soldiers Jailed Over Coup Plot

5/28/2019

A Gambian military court on Monday sentenced seven soldiers to nine years in jail for plotting to overthrow President Adama Barrow, and handed a three-year prison term to another.

The sentences relate to events in 2017 after the ouster of strongman Yahya Jammeh, who ruled the West African country with an iron fist for 22 years.The court in Yundum, about 25km from the capital Banjul, acquitted four other soldiers arrested along with the eight who got jail terms.

Tribunal head Colonel Salifu Bojang said two of the 12 soldiers accused had accepted plotting "how to arrest cabinet ministers, the Chief of Defence Staff and battalion commanders of the Gambia Armed Forces."

He said the soldiers had also created a WhatsApp group where they planned an attack on the West African Military Force (ECOMIG) stationed in Gambia to help keep order.

The Gambia has set up a Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, modelled on South Africa's post-apartheid Truth and Reconciliation Commission, to shed light on Jammeh's brutal 22-year reign in the hope of providing justice and closure for victims.

It began its work last October, empowered with the right of investigation and recommendation for prosecution or reparations, but not to pass sentence.

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