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Gambian government says has foiled coup attempt

The Gambia’s government on Wednesday said it had thwarted a coup attempt the previous day and arrested four soldiers.

“The situation is under total control,” it added in a statement.

There was no immediate confirmation of the purported plot from other sources.

Scattered witness accounts reported soldier movements around the presidential headquarters in the centre of the capital Banjul on Tuesday evening, and rumours circulated during the night of a possible coup.

“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.”

The tiny West African state is a fragile democracy, still scarred by 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 percent 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.

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AFP

Agence France-Presse (AFP) is a French state-owned international news agency based in Paris. It is the world's oldest news agency, having been founded in 1835 as Havas.




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