By Mustapha Darboe
A dozen Gambian soldiers on Friday were charged with treason and related charges in a court martial at the country’s biggest military camp in Yundum, near the capital Banjul.
The soldiers, appearing before a court for the first time since they were arrested at various times between July and November, are accused of attempting a coup against President Adama Barrow.
The 12 soldiers were led by Capt. Yahya Jammeh, a relative and former aide to former President Yahya Jammeh, who was forced out of power in January.
They reportedly scheduled meetings which were recorded and posted on the forum of their WhatsApp smartphone messaging app.
The military said they were talking about overthrowing the Barrow regime, which is currently being protected by regional and paramilitary forces.
A large section of the Gambian army reportedly remains loyal to the strongman Jammeh, but the current government is working on reforming the security sector.
Currently, 10 other suspected killers working for the former ruler are also being detained in military custody.
The soldiers could face up to life in jail or death if convicted. Their case resumes on Nov. 27 when the accused will enter pleas.