Gambian authorities have arrested a sixth man for being part of a group of former loyalists to the ex-autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh, accused of plotting a revolt.
SSgt Malick Bojang was arrested August 14, first according to military sources and his family, following his return from an overseas training mission.
SSgt Bojang is suspected of being part of a WhatsApp chat group, where at least a dozen soldiers were plotting an insurrection and engaged in behaviors that were in breach of the military guidelines.
The accused ringleader of the plot and several other soldiers escaped arrest and are reported to be in hiding in neighboring countries.
SSgt Bojang’s family is accusing authorities, which is trying to weed out Jammeh’s loyalist, of targeting him for being from the Foni region, where Mr. Jammeh still enjoys a strong backing.
“He was invited to the army headquarters, where he met CDS Kinteh. After the meeting, he found himself detained at the Yundum Barracks’’ a relative said.
Foni has been the epicenter of unrest after Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea. At least three soldiers have been arrested for taking part in post-electoral protests.
Gambian authorities have arrested five other soldiers, including LCpl Samboujang Bojang [no relations], for being part of the same WhatsApp chat group.
LCpl Samboujang Bojang since accused state intelligence agents of torturing him while being interrogated in holding cell at its office in the capital, Banjul.
Gambia’s army is shuffling its ranks, purging the military of Jammeh’s suspected loyalists and in a patent bid to regain control and ensure stability.
The army has been on high alert since the leaking of an intel brief that indicated that a group of Gambian soldiers, who have deserted the army were plotting an armed insurgency.