Gambia detains 2 top intelligence chiefs

Gambian authorities confirmed on Tuesday the arrest of two former spy chiefs believed to be former president Yaya Jammeh’s henchmen.

Yankuba Badjie, Director General of National Intelligence Agency (NIA), and Sheikh Omar Jeng, Director of Operations in the agency, were arrested Monday night, police sources confirmed on Tuesday.

The two men are currently being detained by the police at the Brusubi Police Station, some 18 kilometers from the capital Banjul, said police spokesman Foday Conta.

However, the authorities have declined to comment on the reasons for arrest, claiming that the matter is under investigation.

Badjie was fired from his post a few days after Jammeh stepped down and left the country for Equatorial Guinea, bringing an end to the political crisis that lasted for two months following Jammeh’s rejection of losing the presidential election.

The NIA has over the past two decades been accused of human rights violations, including enforced disappearances, sexual abuse of women, torture, arbitrary detention and killing.

The new government said it intends to change the name to State Intelligence Services as part of the reform.

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