At least six members of The Gambia Armed Forces have appeared before Justice Edirisa Fafa Mbaye to appeal their conviction by a secret court martial for their involvement in an early dawn raid on the presidential compound to overthrow the government of President Yahya Jammeh.

Private Modou Njie (who was wounded and captured during the attack) with Lieutenant Colonel Saikou Jammeh (President Jammeh’s main bodyguard) and Lieutenant Buba Sanneh were sentenced to death whiles Captain Buba Bojang, Lieutenant Amadou Sowe and Captain Abdoulie Jobe were given life sentences.

The six soldiers are hoping their convictions will be overturned or sentences reduced

On December 30th, 2014 at least a dozen people (mostly dissidents) living abroad attacked the State House when the president was away to topple his government. At least three of the attackers who are now called “freedom fighters” were killed and the remaining fled the scene.

The attack was coordinated by a former commander of President Yahya Jammeh’s elite presidential guard Lieutenant Colonel Lamin Sanneh who had received military training in the United States.

At least two members of the US Army of Gambian descend (Alhagie Barrow and Captain Njaga Jagne) and a former US airman, Sargent Papa Faal.At least four others have been charged in the United States with violating the Neutrality Act by taking part or funding the military expedition.

Jammeh survived nearly a dozen coups

President Yahya Jammeh has called the attack to unseat him a terrorist attack and has sworn to kill anyone who tries it again. He had earlier said that “no serving Gambian soldier was involved in the failed coup d’etat.”

President Jammeh survived at least 12 coups and a 2006 coup led by his former Chief of Defense Staff Colonel Ndure Cham led to some extra judicial executions according to right groups and in 2009, at least another seven senior officers, including another Chief of Defense Staff Brigadier General Lang Tombong Tamba (a supposed relative of President Jammeh) who was credited for thwarting the 2006 coup were sentenced to death for trying to overthrow him.

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Foreign Affairs

President Jammeh himself was the principal bodyguard of former President Sir Dawda Jawara who he overthrew in 1994 after receiving US military training. He has since ruled the West African nation with an iron fist.

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