Gambian leader will get rid of plotters
07 January 2015, 10:02
Banjul - Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has vowed to track down the failed coup plotters who sought to unseat him last week, promising to "get rid of" them "one by one".
"I have always been merciful despite reports to the contrary. But now I would be what I am supposed to be - a good, a Muslim leader who has an eye for an eye philosophy," he told supporters at a meeting on Monday night.
"I have seen that less than 0.001 who are outside want to destroy 99.9% in the country, that's not going to happen under my rule," he insisted.
A group of heavily armed men attacked the presidential palace before dawn on 30 December but were repelled by the presidential guard.
Military sources said the gunmen, who were travelling by dugout, were led by an army deserter.
Jammeh has led the small west African nation of two million people since taking power in a coup in 1994.
Analysts have warned that the 49-year-old leader, who is accused of ruling with an iron fist, could use the failed coup as justification for a clampdown on dissenters.
Dozens of soldiers and civilians have been arrested over the attack, a source close to the investigation said.
Eye for an eye
Jammeh has accused unidentified foreign forces of attempting to unseat him and insisted his army was "very loyal".
On Tuesday he lamented that Gambia's supreme court had allowed previous coup plotters to appeal their death sentences. "It's not going to happen here again," he said.
"I will be happy if they [the coup plotters] are gone to hell, yes, but anywhere else, we are going to get them.... This time it is an eye for an eye. And I am going to get rid of these elements one by one until the last person."
Also read: Gambia charges ex-justice minister
US prosecutors on Monday charged two men with conspiring to overthrow the government of Gambia in the failed coup ostensibly aimed at restoring democracy to the small west African nation.
US-Gambian dual national Papa Faal and US resident Cherno Njie were arrested in the United States after they returned from Gambia, where they had travelled to help launch a 30 December coup attempt.