Two generals serving under former Gambian president and dictator Yahya Jammeh have been arrested amid rumours that former military officials, now based abroad, are working to undermine Gambia’s relatively new government.
Reuters reported on Tuesday that military authorities in the West African nation arrested two of Jammeh’s generals after they returned unexpectedly from exile over the weekend, the army said in a statement on Monday.
President Adama Barrow was inaugurated a year ago after regional intervention in the form of an Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) military force closed in on the Gambian capital Banjul when Jammeh refused to accept electoral defeat and step down.
He subsequently fled to Equatorial Guinea and both generals, Umpa Mendy, Jammeh’s principal protection officer, and the former head of the State Guards Battalion, Ansumana Tamba, accompanied him into exile.
“They were arrested at their respective homes and are currently being detained at the Yundum Military Barracks, where they are helping the military police with their investigations,” the military statement said.
No further information was given as to why the two men had returned home or on what charges they had been arrested.
Meanwhile, Barrow continues to try and assert his authority over the country following Jammeh’s 22-year authoritarian rule which incorporated jailing and torturing political opponents.
A number of senior military officers have been dismissed after they were suspected of being members of the Jungulars which carried out killings on behalf of the former government.
Other officers, who are currently still serving in the military, are believed to remain hardcore supporters of Jammeh.