BANJUL – The government of The Gambia claimed on Wednesday to have foiled a coup attempt and taken four troops into custody.
The capital Banjul was peaceful, and there was no quick confirmation of the alleged plot to overthrow the government of Adama Barrow from other sources.
According to a statement from the government, four Gambian army personnel were detained Wednesday in connection with an alleged coup plan “based on intelligence inputs that some soldiers of the Gambian army were plotting to topple the democratically elected government of President Adama Barrow.”
“The troops who were arrested are currently assisting the military police with their inquiries. Three other alleged collaborators are being sought by the military in the meantime.”
Following the broadcast of a video implying that the president will be removed from office prior to the upcoming local elections, Gambian police claimed in a separate statement that they had questioned Momodou Sabally, a former minister of presidential affairs under former leader Yahya Jammeh.
On Tuesday evening, many eyewitness accounts described troop activities near the presidential office in the city’s center. Throughout the night, there were rumors of a potential coup.
The Gambia’s Unending Troubles
The small West African nation, still scarred by Jammeh’s terrible 22-year dictatorship, is a precarious democracy.
Despite being ousted by political outsider Barrow in the December 2016 presidential elections, Jammeh still has influence in his own country and fled to Equatorial Guinea.
In a telephone message to supporters during a rally in The Gambia on Saturday, he promised to soon return and take over as president once more.
With 53% of the vote, Barrow was re-elected in December 2021 to a second five-year term.
He narrowly prevailed in the April elections for the 58-seat parliament, but he was unable to secure an outright majority.
“There is no need to fear because the situation is completely under control,” the government of the Gambia urged its people, residents, and diplomatic staff.
President Barrow is under pressure from The Gambia’s international allies to move through with changes to bolster the nation’s democracy, including a revamping of the security forces.