Gambia arrests, indefinitely detains 10 former presidential guard soldiers

Gambia arrests, indefinitely detains 10 former presidential guard soldiers

At least 10 soldiers of former President Yahya Jammeh’s elite guards are being arrested and facing indefinite detention by the police as authorities probe disappearances and murders of the defeated regime.

The repression and abuses created a climate of fear during Jammeh’s 22-year rule. Jammeh’s presidential State Guard Unit is often implicated in human rights abuses, frequently targeting journalists, rights defenders and political opponents.

“As you may know already, we started with the grave of the late Solo Sandeng and on Friday the bodies of three people, believed to be the December 30 attackers were exhumed and others will be exhumed in the near future,” said Baboucar Sarr of the Gambia Police Force.

Gambia’s military law permits the detention of an officer, indefinitely, during investigations until at such a time that such probing becomes conclusive.

Gambian authorities are probing the whereabouts of some 33 citizens, including two U.S. citizens, whom Washington said have been killed by former dictator Jammeh.

The remains of three people killed by forces loyal to Jammeh during a coup attempt in December 2014 have been unearthed by the police at a military training ground in a forest in southern Gambia.

At least two dozen people have been arrest since Jammeh’s ouster. Nine of them, former intelligence officers are being prosecuted by the Justice Department for the torture and killing of an opposition activist, Ebrima Solo Sandeng.

Jammeh fled with some of his most trusted military generals. At least four of those left behind have been fired by Mr. Barrow, who is seeking to reform and rebrand the military.

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