US charges two men over failed Gambia coup

US prosecutors have charged two men for their role in the failed December 30 coup attempt to overthrow the government of Gambia, the US Justice Department said on Monday.

Washington: US prosecutors have charged two men for their role in the failed December 30 coup attempt to overthrow the government of Gambia, the US Justice Department said on Monday.

US citizen Cherno Njie, 57, and US-Gambia dual national Papa Faal, 46, are expected to appear in federal courts in Baltimore, Maryland and Minneapolis, Minnesota, separately later Monday, Xinhua reported citing the department as saying in a statement.

The two went to the small West African country to help launch the coup attempt against President Yahya Jammeh`s government and both were arrested in the US after they returned from Gambia, according to the statement.

Faal reportedly told FBI investigators that he joined "the attempted coup" and that Njie is one of the coup`s leaders and main financiers.

"These defendants stand accused of conspiring to carry out the violent overthrow of a foreign government, in violation of US law," US Attorney General Eric Holder said in the statement.

"The US strongly condemns such conspiracies. With these serious charges, the United States is committed to holding them fully responsible for their actions," said Holder.

A dozen people entered Gambia earlier this year, expecting that "others in the country join and assist them," according to court documents.

Gambian authorities said they thwarted the invasion on the presidential palace on Dec 30, and Jammeh last week accused unidentified foreign dissidents and "terrorists" of being behind the attack.

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