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Statement By The Family Of Ebrima Sanno Regarding The Alleged Attempted Coup

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Ebrima Sanno, One the detained Soldiers regarding the alleged attempted coup

Press Release: 23rd December, 2022.
By The Family Of Ebrima Sanno

1 Following the announcement by the Government of The Gambia regarding an attempted coup in the country, on behalf of Ebrima Sanno and our family, I would like to make the following statement to clear the air and put the records straight.

  1. I have taken note of the two press releases issued by one Ebrima Sankareh, the Gambia Government Spokesperson and Presidential Diaspora Adviser, both dated on 21* December 2022. I cannot confirm the authenticity of the press releases as they have not been properly signed but since they are on a Gambia Government letterhead, I would assume they are authentic.
  2. I have also taken note of various statements most notably by ECOWAS and TANGO (The Association of Non-Governmental Organisation- The Gambia).
  3. I would like to make it very clear to the people of The Gambia and the whole democratic world that Ebrima Sanno was not aware of any coup, was not involved in any and was not part of any group that wanted to overthrow the Government of The Gambia.
  4. Ebrima Sanno is on a four-year study leave pursuing a degree programme at the University of The Gambia as a full-time student. He is studying Development Studies. He has not been in active service for nearly 2 years now and was perhaps not wearing army uniforms. I in-fact doubt whether he has any military uniform at the moment. He lives at home with the family in Brikama Nyambai.
  5. On the morning of Tuesday, 20th December 2022, he left home to go to Yundum Barracks to get some money at the credit union to buy rice for his wife. It was after collecting the money from the credit union and about to go home that he was approached by someone and told that there was a letter for him which he needed to collect.
  6. When he went to collect the letter, he was instead told that he was under arrest for a capital offence.
  7. He has since been under detention and up to date he has not been told what capital offence he was arrested for and has also not been charged. He has neither been interrogated nor questioned by anyone. So, the statement by Ebrima Sankareh on behalf of the government that my brother is helping with the investigations is simply outrageous absurd. I therefore expect Sankareh and whoever instructed him to issue such a ridiculous statement to withdraw it.
  8. I understand that 2 or 3 other people have also been arrested (according to both the press Release and the information I gathered from Ebrima Sanno). What is perplexing in the updated press release by
    Sankareh is that they do not know the first names of some of those alleged to have been involved in the attempted coup and are on the run. How can the government not know the first names of people who are serving in the army? This is insulting to common-sense. It also demonstrates that they are in fact fabricating stories to achieve their political ends. I am hence convinced that there are in fact no soldiers on the run.
  9. Ebrima Sanno is a junior officer with no access to resources, no authority to direct resources or instruct personnel and has no connections or popularity within the Army to carry out a coup. He is not in active service and has not been going to the barracks for a very long time.
  10. It is very important to note that those who have been detained with Ebrima Sanno are not known to him. He cannot even remember ever meeting them both at organisational and personal levels.
  11. Ebrima Sanno is well known among his peers and pals for always openly criticising the government. Knowing that of him they are taking advantage of the situation to frame and smear him for their political ends, so that whatever they say against him people will accept it as he is known for being critical of the government.
  12. Putting these current spates of arrests into context, it is important to mention that they are happening at a time when Barrow and his Government’s popularity is on a nosedive for several reasons all of which cannot be mentioned here. So the below are just a few:
    i.This is the most unpopular government the country has ever experienced

ii. There is rampant corruption in all the sectors of government. It is alleged that millions of dollars of covid funds could not be accounted for, millions of Dalasis missing / misappropriated at the Ports Authority, Government officials took travel allowances (per diems) without surrendering them – some of those travels never took place, the implementation of TRRC’s recommendations is in limbo and millions of dollars were spent on that, there is extortion of passengers at Banjul International Airport (where every traveller is forced to pay $20), and recently the deaths of dozens of Gambian children due to the incompetence, unethical and corrupt practices of Government officials and the Medicines Agency.
It is now well known that the last presidential elections were rigged largely through registration of ghost voters and people from Senegal as attested to by a Senegalese Member of
Parliament during one of their parliamentary sessions.
There is hyper inflation in the country and most of the health facilities are just mere

  1. Local Government elections are supposed to take place early next year and the government is not
    expected to do well.
  2. The ECOWAS Commission are also trying, if they have not already done so, to renew the mandate of unpopular ECOMIG forces who are blamed for killings of innocent Gambian citizens in Foni regions.
  3. I therefore suspect that the false attempted coup claims are strategies to gain sympathies from the people to boost Barrow’s popularity knowing very well that Gambians now dislike military governments following their experiences with Jammeh’s regime. It could also be intended to be used as a justification for extension ofthe mandates of ECOMIG forces.
  4. Since the Government said that investigations are ongoing, I hope it will be quick and that Ebrima Sanno will not be tortured either physically or psychologically into making any statements. I also hope that they will not try to implant some sort of evidence in the phone they seized from him. In the meantime, I look forward to the conclusions of-those investigations.
  5. I have recently been made to understand that Ebrima Sankareh is now claiming that it was the country’s State Intelligence Service – SIS (then NIA) who have reported the coup attempt. It should be recalled that it was this same institution who allowed themselves to be misused by Yahya Jammeh to
    carry out most gruesome human rights violations in the country’s history. The current head of SIS, Ousman Sowe is one of those enablers of the previous regime and has been adversely mentioned in the TRRC report. For them to come up with such a report against innocent people is a repeat of what they have been doing during Jammeh’s regime.
  6. I would like to reiterate that Ebrima Sanno was NOT involved in any coup attempt and evidence suggest that there has in fact not been any coup attempt in The Gambia. The response by the Army’s Deputy PRO Mr Malick Sanyang, to The Alkamba Times on 21 December 2022, that he is “not aware of any coup, and it’s not true” is nothing but the truth and the only truth.
  7. What the Government is doing resembles the tactics employed by Yahya Jammeh to frame and smear his perceived opponents to achieve his political ends thereby intimidating the population. It is not a surprise that it is the same Yahya Jammeh enablers who are mainly steering activities of government.

    By: Dr Morro ML Touray
    Twitter: @MMLTouray

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