Friday, January 2, 2015

US deny involvement in Gambia coup attempt

On December 30, 2014, an armed group led by former State Guard Commander Lt. Col. Lamin Sanneh attacked the presidential palace in Banjul, the capital overnight – with heavy gunfire that lasted hours.

The United States has on Thursday denied any involvement in an apparent coup attempt in Gambia following a December 30, 2014 attack on the presidential palace, State House, according to reports. 

“The US government had no role in the events that took place in Banjul,” AFP quoted a US State Department official as saying.

The US had earlier denounced the assault, saying in a statement: “The United States is aware of reports of a coup attempt on December 30 in The Gambia. We strongly condemn any attempt to seize power through extra-constitutional means. 

“We regret the loss of life and call on all parties to refrain from further violence. The United States will continue to monitor the unfolding events in The Gambia.”

Neighbouring Senegal has also “strongly” condemned the apparent coup attempt, which it said was undertaken “by a group of insurgents,” AFP reports.

Meanwhile, UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has also condemned the attack, reiterating the United Nations principled condemnation of all attempts to seize power through unconstitutional means.

A spokesperson said on his behalf: “Referring to reports that indicate that the situation in Banjul is calm, he calls for all parties to exercise restraint and to refrain from further violence.

“Noting the seriousness of any attempt to overthrow governments by force, the Secretary-General encourages the establishment of a transparent investigation into the events of 30 December, in compliance with due process and respect for the rule of law.

“In that regard, he urges the Government of The Gambia, and its security and defense forces to act in full respect for human rights. The United Nations will continue to closely monitor the situation.”

Source: The Voice, additional reporting by  Modou S. Joof  

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