Friday 23 March 2018

Gambia army arrests two renegade generals

Gambia army arrests two renegade generals
(AFP (eng) 01/24/18)
Gambia Chief of Defence Staff, General Masaneh Kinteh

Two renegade generals who left The Gambia to go into exile with former president Yahya Jammeh last year have been arrested after returning to the tiny West African nation, the army has confirmed.

General Ansumana Tamba and General Umpa Mendy had sought refuge in Equatorial Guinea alongside Jammeh in January 2017 after his brutal 22-year rule came to an end.

The pair are believed to have arrived in their home country on Sunday on a flight from Morocco but were not stopped by airport security.

Gambia Chief of Defence Staff, General Masaneh Kinteh, told local radio on Monday that the pair were "arrested by the members of the Gambia Armed Forces Military Police" at different locations.

He added that the military was investigating how the two wanted men were not detained at the airport.

"Umpa Mendy was found at his residence, I believe somewhere in Busumbala while General Tamba was also found at his residence in... I think Yarambaba."

The generals are being held at Yundum barracks close to the airport in the capital Banjul, a military source told AFP on Tuesday.

Both had worked to protect Jammeh. Tamba was his state guard commander, while Mendy had been employed as his chief protection officer.

Jammeh, who came to power via a military coup in 1994, was forced from power last year after losing a democratic election.

Elements of The Gambia's armed forces are known to have maintained support for the former president and last year a number of soldiers went on trial on treason and mutiny charges for plotting to overthrow the country's newly elected government.

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