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Gambia Releases Opposition Figure After Coup Bid

The tiny West African nation on Tuesday set up an “investigative panel” to probe the alleged coup.

The Gambia has released a former minister detained last week as the government announced it had foiled a coup attempt, his lawyer said Friday.

Opposition politician Momodou Sabally, a former minister of presidential affairs under ex-leader Yahya Jammeh, had appeared in a video suggesting current president Adama Barrow would be overthrown before the next local elections.

“Sabally has been released,” his lawyer Abdoulie Fatty told AFP.

“He has not committed any offence, so keeping (him) in detention is unlawful and it is a violation of his fundamental human rights.”

The government on December 21 said it had thwarted a coup attempt the previous day, and authorities have since arrested seven soldiers.

The tiny West African nation on Tuesday set up an “investigative panel” to probe the alleged coup.

The Gambia is a fragile democracy, still scarred by a brutal 22-year dictatorship under Jammeh.

He was defeated in a presidential election in December 2016 by political newcomer Barrow and fled to Equatorial Guinea but retains clout back home.

Barrow was re-elected in December 2021 for a second five-year term in the former British colony, which is the smallest country on the African continent, straddling the river that gives it its name.

It has a tiny Atlantic coastline but is otherwise surrounded by Senegal.

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