Coup staged in Gambia against president Jammeh, failed
Banjul (Gambia), Dec 30: The Gambian presidential palace in Banjul was attacked by armed men early Tuesday morning.
Reports said that some soldiers loyal to President Yahya Jammeh have defected and staged a failed coup. There is reportedly complete chaos in the city.
The alleged leader of the coup, former State House Commander, Lieutenant Colonel Lamin Sanneh was killed in the clashes, according to reports. Sanneh was appointed commanding officer of the State Guards in July 2012. He was removed from the post a year later and later fled the country after falling out with Jammeh, reported the allafrica.
Jammeh is currently in France.
“Contrary to rumors being circulated, peace, order and calm continue to prevail in the Gambia,” read a statement signed by Kalidu Bayo, the secretary-general and head of the civil service.
The gun fight started at around 1am local time and lasted until the early hours of the morning.
Traffic to the capital Banjul was blocked, while the security facility is in the hands of the alleged coup plotters. Ports, the airport, Mile Two Prison and other barracks were reportedly in the hands of the coup plotters. Five government soldiers were killed in the mutiny and dozens of others injured.
Armed soldiers are reported to be patrolling the streets of Banjul and Kanilai.
Gambia is a small former British colony surrounded by Senegal on both its northern and southern borders. Human rights activists have long criticized Jammeh’s regime as repressive and charged that it targets political dissidents, journalists, gays and lesbians.
The Oslo Times