Gambian leader hands journalists government posts in reshuffle

Less than a week after an abortive coup attempt, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh handed the foreign and communications portfolios to journalists in a government reshuffle, officials said on Tuesday.

AFP| Last Updated: Jan 07, 2015, 04:04 AM IST

Banjul: Less than a week after an abortive coup attempt, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh handed the foreign and communications portfolios to journalists in a government reshuffle, officials said on Tuesday.

Sheriff Bojang, publisher of The Standard newspaper, enters government as minister of information and communications, according to a presidential decree.

The post had been vacant since his predecessor was sacked in late 2013.

Another journalist, and former communications minister, Neneh Macdouall-Gaye, returns to government as foreign minister, replacing Bala Garba Jahumpa.

She returned to Gambia only last week from the United States, where she had been living, a close source said.

No explanation was given for the reshuffle which followed the coup attempt days earlier.

On December 30, a group of heavily armed men attacked the presidential palace before dawn 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 blamed "terrorists supported by (foreign) powers".

US prosecutors on Monday charged two men with conspiring to overthrow the government of Gambia in a failed coup ostensibly aimed at restoring democracy to the small west African nation.