News and Views
Gambia reshuffles cabinet after coup attempt
Gambia’s President Yahya Jammeh has replaced justice minister Basiru Mahoney in the second cabinet reshuffle since soldiers attempted to seize power in the tiny West African state late last month while Jammeh was out of the country.
State television gave no reason in its announcement late on Thursday for the removal of Mahoney and his replacement by Aboubacar Senghore, former minister for higher education, research, science and technology.
Jammeh also replaced Kalilou Bayo, secretary general and minister for presidential affairs and the civil service, with Lamin Nyabally.
Jammeh, who came to power in a 1994 coup, has accused foreign-based dissidents of fomenting the coup bid. Security forces have made arrests but few details have been released, stoking fears in a country regularly accused of human rights violations.
Jammeh replaced the ministers for foreign affairs, information and transport earlier this week, also without giving a reason.
Meanwhile, a US man accused in the failed coup has been denied release as his case is pending.
Papa Faal, 46, is accused of conspiring to violate the Neutrality Act.
Prosecutors accuse Faal, a US citizen of Gambian descent, of buying rifles in the US state of Minnesota that were shipped to the West African country in an unsuccessful plot to overthrow President Jammeh.
Faal’s attorney Andrew Mohring asked the US District Court in Minneapolis on Thursday to free his client while the case is pending, citing his military service, community volunteerism and support from the community.
But Magistrate Judge Franklin Noel denied the request, calling Faal a flight risk with siblings in Europe and community support that could facilitate his escape, the Star Tribune reported.