Dlamini-Zuma calls for calm after failed coup in Gambia

2015-01-01 09:05

Banjul - Gambia's iron-fisted ruler Yahya Jammeh said on Wednesday plotters would never win, as fears mounted of possible reprisals by his regime a day after a failed coup.

Jammeh returned overnight on Wednesday from Dubai where he was on a private visit when the putsch attempt was staged in the west African country.

"Those who advocate and sponsor violence for regime change should know that they are not only acting in violation of the human rights and legitimate interest of those affected, but it is also against the will of the Almighty Allah," Jammeh, a devout Muslim, said in a New Year address.

He however did not specifically mention the putschists.

A group of heavily armed men led by an army deserter attacked the presidential palace in the capital Banjul before dawn on Tuesday, but were repelled by forces loyal to Jammeh, who has ruled for 20 years.

Flaws in the military system

Three suspects including the alleged ringleader identified as Lamin Sanneh were killed, according to a military officer.

After returning, Jammeh went directly to the presidential palace where he was shown the damage caused by Tuesday's attack and bodies of the slain assailants, the source told AFP.

The 49-year-old strongman made no public comment but his demeanour was stern and some men "appeared to be nervous", the source said.

The source said there were fears that Jammeh, who himself seized power in a coup in 1994, may launch a purge.

The coup bid "has exposed some flaws in the military system even though the attackers were repelled. Some officers are certain to be singled out."

'Major risk of repression

Jammeh claims to have foiled a succession of coup plots and has come under fire for serious human rights abuses, including repression of the media and the disappearance of rivals.

A Dakar-based researcher, Gilles Yabi, warned of a "major risk of repression extending beyond the military figures involved in the coup attempt".

"There are fears the regime could take advantage of the situation by blaming people who had nothing to do with it".

Jammeh, a former head of military police, has ruled the largely rural nation of some 1.8 million people since he came to power in a coup that toppled founding leader Sir Dawda Jawara.

The United States and Britain voiced concern about the coup attempt in The Gambia.

Neighbouring Senegal "strongly" condemned the coup attempt, which it said was undertaken "by a group of insurgents".

Jammeh was criticised by Washington and London in 2013 for Gambia's human rights record, but Commonwealth nations sprang to his defence on that occasion.

The UN chief Ban Ki-moon called for a probe of the failed coup as the Security Council met to discuss the turmoil. Ban also urged the government, security and defence forces in Banjul to "act in full respect of human rights".

Democracy and respect for human rights

African Union commission chief Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma also voiced her "preoccupation" and called for calm while stressing the need to deepen "democracy and the respect for human rights".

Banjul, a small tropical city which lies on an island in a river leading to the Atlantic Ocean, was tense but calm on Wednesday, but there were many soldiers and police on the streets.

"Soldiers armed to the teeth are still patrolling the streets of Banjul. Some are on foot and some are on board vehicles," resident Fatu Sall said.

Public offices, banks and shops were open for business after closing on Tuesday while public television and radio, which went off air briefly after the coup bid, were operating again.

Ordinary people were reluctant to speak out about the situation for fear of reprisals by the formidable National Intelligence Agency.

But on social media, people were more open.

"#Gambia if you stage a coup, make sure it is successful. Failure is unforgivable. Jammeh will have your kidneys for dinner! #Gambiacoup", posted Twitter user @FrMkaranja.

  • Pikestaff Quartermain - 2015-01-01 09:29

    We've now had three attempted coups, Ebola breakout (unchecked until the rest of the world stepped in, Boko Haram, continuing civil Wars, new civil wars etc etc all on Dlamini-Zuma's watch. Get rid of her.

      Akhenaten C.T. - 2015-01-01 10:28

      And this is the contribution from the AU. They are surely not relevant. People sitting there on huge salaries and contributing zero.

  • Cuan Mark Wood - 2015-01-01 09:39

    What's good for the goose is good for the gander, albeit 20 years later. The African Way!

      Chris Bothma - 2015-01-01 10:25

      What goes around comes around

  • Marius Nortje - 2015-01-01 09:44

    People of the world should demand a complete overhaul of the UN. They are ineffective and atrocities keep on happening even while they are actively involved. An organisation with a fake agenda...

      Walter Oldnal Latham - 2015-01-01 10:08

      Trouble is they have countries with opposing views on the security council and will never have the "teeth" to deal with this sort of thing..... all they can do is send "peace-keeping" forces.

      john.douglas.92798 - 2015-01-01 10:13

      The liberals will destroy this world!

  • Yvonne Maree - 2015-01-01 10:05

    Opening her stupid mouth because she has her eyes on the presidency after showerhead..... a zuma dynasty for SA perhaps?

  • john.douglas.92798 - 2015-01-01 10:09

    It's so hard to believe that these people are our leaders.... It's just unbelievable Where did we go wrong SA?

  • Huge Mar - 2015-01-01 10:28

    typical africa. .a mess

      Secrecy Bill - 2015-01-01 11:39

      @Anthony (white man defending black corruption) ... Yes, it's getting better, but like you, too slow !

  • Secrecy Bill - 2015-01-01 10:34

    Dlamini-Zuma's UN ..... Another African embarrassment !

      Secrecy Bill - 2015-01-01 10:55

      @Anthony - Please explain to news24 why you (a white man ! ) feel the need to so mindlessly hate anything white and occasionally comment white hate speech from behind a black alias ?????

      Secrecy Bill - 2015-01-01 11:17

      @Drivel - Everyone knows everything about her ! ..... Like you, she has a "braon" !

      Anthony Dafo - 2015-01-01 11:26

      Buffalo, ,,, hate anything White.......,,,, No, far from the truth ! I admire and look up to many Whites. But, I do have a problem with part of our White population. My take is that they are ex English speaking Nats, who came direct or via, to the DA, and brought this once proud party to its knees. In 1994 they already decided, they would NEVER accept the NEW SA, with a Black leadership. EVERYTHINHG and ANYTHING Black, they will attack !! They believe they are the CHOSEN ONES, and nobody has the right to take this away from them. It shows how self centred they are, by continiously referring to ,,, its MY money,,, They want to make believe, that the da, will make SA such a better place ! Well, we are soo fortunate....we have the PROOF, that this is just a load of crap; The voters gave the da a part of SA, to show how it is done ....... Eighty percent of the population, have now been waiting for SIX YEARS, But....NOTHING, ABSOLUTELY NOTHING, has changed in the W Cape Camps Bay is still the same, and so is Khayelitsha. NOWHERE in SA ,or in the rest of Africa, is there such a devide betweeen have and have-nots A POVERTY AND MISSERY not seen anywhere else on our continent. And which brings along a crime and violence, by far worst in AFRICA, if not the world. WHAT does the da do ?? They stand on street corners and in the courts, AND BLAME OTHERS !! .

      Anthony Dafo - 2015-01-01 11:40

      Buffalo, You want to talk about Whites ......? Have a good look at the FF Plus. Whites, who have such totally opposite views and values as ANC supporters, but nevertheless have accepted our NEW SA !! They don't stand on street corners shouting insults and abuse, but have offered and actively support the ANC government, to make SA a better place for ALL !! They share their expertise, like with agriculture, with those in need of this . THESE ARE GREAT WHITES, While the da supporters should hang their heads in shame !!! .

      Secrecy Bill - 2015-01-01 11:44

      Stop scraping the bottom of THE BORING BARREL !

      Secrecy Bill - 2015-01-01 11:51

      As with Linds, you don't care what you say just so long as there's A LOT OF IT !

      Secrecy Bill - 2015-01-01 11:56

      LeonardB summed you up perfectly !

  • Lesia Mohale - 2015-01-01 10:45

    If you kill with a sword, you will be killed with a swore. Life presidents will always be toppled with power. Otherwise their children will inherit the political power from them. Oh, Africa, my continent.

  • johan.nel.712 - 2015-01-01 10:49

    My experience has taught me that most of the people going on about how bad Africa is have never been in Africa. I have worked across the continent and have found that most of the stories flaunted around are not true, in fact there are prospering countries like Botswana, Ghana, etc. It is also sad that people forget how well Dr Zuma turned around the Department of Home Affairs to a well working unit before being assigned to the AU. I understand the frustration of people wanting to criticize government but give credit to those who deserves it

      Secrecy Bill - 2015-01-01 11:03

      Strange ! The vast majority of those who work around Africa have found the "scandals" to be quite true ! ...... Are you blind, ignorant or a passenger on some or other gravy train funded by Western aid ?

      John Smith078 - 2015-01-01 18:09

      There are exceptions Johan. But unfortunately that is just what they are - exceptions.

  • Sage Wiseman - 2015-01-01 10:50

    No one listening Deary. Unknown voice from nowhere.

  • Dan Canny - 2015-01-01 11:24

    Where muslims are, there will NEVER be peace and harmony as one is more radical than the other.

  • mmmmTim - 2015-01-01 11:32

    And why would anyone, other than media obeying their masters, take any notice whatsoever of anything she says?

  • GraemeMusto7007 - 2015-01-01 13:23

    Can't blame these dudes in Africa, they all see how rubbish like Bob and Zoomer get away with rape, murder, corruption and end with life retirement plans and fat pockets

  • GraemeMusto7007 - 2015-01-01 13:23

    Can't blame these dudes in Africa, they all see how rubbish like Bob and Zoomer get away with rape, murder, corruption and end with life retirement plans and fat pockets

  • GraemeMusto7007 - 2015-01-01 13:23

    Can't blame these dudes in Africa, they all see how rubbish like Bob and Zoomer get away with rape, murder, corruption and end with life retirement plans and fat pockets

  • Gary McDonogh - 2015-01-01 13:45

    Hey you also blame this on apartheid. no.1 does?

  • Ashley Ramaphakela - 2015-01-01 14:00

    Toothless AU is better to run by EFF youl c a real change in the contiment.

  • Jayden Bango - 2015-01-01 14:54

    AU my foot

  • Ken Sudding - 2015-01-01 18:27

    Calls for calm? By who? A senseless statement by a voice lost in the wilderness. Just as pathetic as JZ.

  • Jeff Rich Horn - 2015-01-01 21:42

    A nonentity commenting on a non event.

  • Bryan Coulter - 2015-01-01 21:52

    The AU are irrelevant. Africa is over under with political thugs.

  • Zid Barr - 2015-01-02 20:42

    AU is the most irrelevant organization out there. First of all, they need to move the Headquarters from Ethiopia--a repressive regime that constantly brutalizes and violates it's citizen's human rights--to an African nation that is reputable for holding and promoting the civil and human rights of its citizenry. Yayah Jammeh is a repressive, brutal psychopath who is constantly butchering his people. The man is also corrupt to the core. When he took over, he was just 29 years old and abjectly poor. Now, Yaya has the best of everything Gambian. He owns the best residential and farmlands, owns properties all over the world, forcibly use the Gambian people to work on his land at no reward, owns two or three private jets as we speak whilst his subjects are wallowing in abject poverty. THE BEST AU can at least do for the Gambian people is to ask this animal to resign. The people are yawning for freedom away from the clutches of his iron-fist. This man cares about no one but he and his family and tribesmen. His tribe(the jolas) are less than 15% of the population but now occupies atleast 80% of all key Governmental posts. This Psychopath needs to go !

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