Gambian soldier released after weapons breach

Gambian soldier released after weapons breach

A Gambian soldier held over a security breach has been released and returned to his battalion, military sources confirmed.

Jerreh Sonko was arrested by the Gambia’s military police and detained at its Fajara Barracks, not too far from the new President Adama Barrow’s office.

Sonko had gone home with his loaded gun at the end of his duty, prompting the military to take the measure to have him arrested.

The army said Sonko is placed on a restriction of privilege following other internal disciplinary measures.

Gambia’s President Barrow had barred Gambian soldiers from carrying weapons without proper authorization and has vowed to have those who fall out of order treated as rebels.

The strict security measures have been in place since the ouster of the militarily backed strongman, Yahya Jammeh, who is still believed to have loyalist within the security services.

A Gambian soldier is facing weapons charges in court after he was arrested by West African troops for being armed with a loaded pistol in a mosque where Barrow was attending Friday prayers.

At least four Gambian soldiers have been arrested in clashes between government and Jammeh supporters, and in a protest in southwestern Gambia.

About 12 soldiers are currently being held by the police for taking part in human rights abuses, mostly for killing Jammeh’s perceived enemies.

The Gambia is struggling to weed its security services of Jammeh’s loyalist, most of them members of a militia youth group that backed his APRC party.

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