Gambia: Former coupists reinstated into military

Gambia: Former coupists reinstated into military

At least four ex-Gambian soldiers who fled into hiding after their release from prison have been reinstated into the military, military spokesperson, Lt. Col. Omar Bojang said.

Lt. Col. Bunja Darboe, Captain Wassa Camara, Captain Yahya Darboe, Captain Pharing Sanyang were among more than 24 military officers that were accused of conspiring with former army chief, Col. Ndure Cham of staging a coup to ousted former autocratic president, Yahya Jammeh in 2006.

Also reinstated are: Lt. Col. Pierre Mendy and Major Abdou Karim Jah.

President Barrow has reinstated at least a dozen military officers that were jailed or fired by Jammeh. Gambia’s military stands accused of human rights violations and crimes against the state after backing Jammeh during his two-decade rule.

Jammeh, a former military officer came to power by ousting President Dawda Jawara in a coup in 1994 at age 29. He ruled The Gambia with an iron fist, tortured and executed his political opponents and perceived enemies.

In 2015, Jammeh released tens of political prisoners, including former military officers serving long prison sentences and those on death row. Those released included the reinstated military officers and a former military chief, Lt. Gen. Lang Tombong Tamba.

Most of the former coupists fled the country after one of their colleagues died and reports of a planned mass arrest became rife. Most went into hiding in neighboring Senegal’s capital, Dakar where many Gambian expatriates were campaigning against Jammeh.

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