The Gambian government has confirmed a foiled coup attempt in the country.
Four soldiers had been arrested and three alleged accomplices were on the run.
In a statement, government spokesperson Ebrima Sankareh said following a “swift” military operation, four soldiers linked to the 20 December coup plot were arrested.
“Those arrested are: Lance Corporal Sanna Fadera from the Gambia Navy as the alleged ringleader 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,” Sankareh said.
“Meanwhile, alleged soldiers involved in the plot either being pursued or on the run are: Corporal Njie B from the State Guards Battalion; Warrant Officer Class 2 Jadama from The Gambia Navy and one Badjie from The Gambia Navy. First names of Jadama and Badjie are yet to be established.
The Gambia Government announces that based on intelligence reports that some soldiers of the Gambian army were plotting to overthrow the democratically elected Government of President Adama Barrow. pic.twitter.com/5kUK9dMswE
— State House of The Gambia (@Presidency_GMB) December 21, 2022
It is still unclear who exactly was behind Tuesday’s attempt to overthrow President Adama Barrow, who won a second term election last year.
The Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas) has condemned the alleged attempted military coup in The Gambia, saying it rejects all unconstitutional change of government in any member state.
Ecowas on Gambia pic.twitter.com/i0mZOher1e
— Isaac Kaledzi (@IsaacKaledzi) December 22, 2022
The Gambia is a largely peaceful country in West Africa which is popular with holidaymakers because of its beaches and wildlife.
Mr. Barrow defeated long-serving President Yahya Jammeh in a shock election victory in December 2016.
Mr Jammeh was forced into exile in Equatorial Guinea, though he remains an influential figure in The Gambia, one of Africa’s smallest countries.
The Gambia’s capital, Banjul, is peaceful, with life going on as normal.
No gun shots have been heard, and there is no sign that loyalist forces have been deployed to secure strategic sites.
The government statement, however, said that military reservists had been put on stand-by. “The situation is under total control,” it added.
“Based on intelligence reports… some soldiers of the Gambian army were plotting to overthrow the democratically elected government,” the government said on Wednesday.
When reports of a coup attempt first surfaced on Tuesday, the army denied it, saying it had only carried out a “military drill.”