The Gambia has charged and remanded two former generals that were backing the country’s former demoralized ruler, Yahya Jammeh for deserting the army.
Generals Ansumana Tamba and Umpa Mendy fled with Jammeh to Equatorial Guinea after the threat of forceful removal by West African forces sent the ex-military strongman fleeing.
Brigadier General Ansumana Tamba was the State Guard Commander, heading the army’s elite presidential guard. He was also the army’s most trained weapon’s specialist.
Brigadier General Umpa Mendy was the Principal Protection Officer of former President Jammeh and in charge of Jammeh’s safety with that of his family. Mendy has extensive knowledge of Jammeh’s covert activities.
Tamba and Mendy were arrested in January after they returned to the country and bypassed airport security, sparking fears that the country’s security was loose and questioned President Adama Barrow’s ability to keep citizens safe.
Tamba and Mendy are being court-martialed and appeared before a Judge. Their attorney said that they should not be tried because the military has stopped their salaries and took their military gears after they fled to Equatorial Guinea.
Justice Awa Sisay Sabally, the judge presiding the case said administrative oversight will not overrule the fact that the generals were and are still part of the army, demanding they appear in military uniform in court moving forward.
Strained relations between Tamba and Mendy is suspected to be the reason for their return. They have headed military units that have been blamed for committing human rights abuses.