Gambia’s feared intelligence agency to be overhauled

Gambia’s feared intelligence agency to be overhauled

Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow is not trashing the dreaded National Intelligence Agency but will recycle it and give it a new name.

The agency was only answerable to former Gambian dictator Yahya Jammeh and its agents take their orders from only the autocratic ruler.

The security agency was tasked with interrogating, torturing and killings detainees, activists, journalists and political foes of Jammeh.

The Director of the NIA Yankuba Badjie had met with Barrow for the second time this week but his colleague, former Interior Minister Ousman Sonko has been arrested in Switzerland on charges of torture and killings under his watch.

Senegal also arrested General Bora Colley, a top military officer who was also in charge of the prisons, where the UN said torture and extrajudicial executions were prevalent.

Activists have called for Mr. Badjie’s arrest for crimes against the state and human rights abuses.

Jammeh’s top associates fled with him to Equatorial Guinea, another autocratic state led by Africa’s longest-serving ruler. Other security forces remain in the country and need to be retrained, ideally by partners, Barrow said.

(Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Additional Reporting from AP)

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