The Gambia charged eight soldiers with treason and conspiracy on Friday for their role in a foiled coup last month, the government said in a statement.
The government said on Dec. 21 that a group of soldiers had been arrested in connection with the coup attempt in the West African nation of 2.5 million people almost entirely surrounded by Senegal.
“The Gambia government this afternoon charged eight soldiers of the Gambia Armed Forces with two counts of Treason and Felony Conspiracy to Commit Treason,” the statement said.
One of the soldiers was still at large, while the rest were remanded in custody, it added.
They pleaded not guilty to the first charge and did not enter a plea on the second charge, a government spokesman told Reuters.
Two civilians and a police officer were also charged earlier this week with concealment of treason and conspiracy to commit a felony.
Coup attempts are not uncommon in Gambia, which is still reeling from over two decades under former president Yahya Jammeh marked by authoritarianism and alleged abuses.
Jammeh himself seized power in 1994 and foiled several attempts to overthrow him before he lost an election in late 2016 to Adama Barrow.
The latest coup attempt was condemned by leaders of the West and Central Africa region amid wider concerns about the region’s stability. There has been no information on who was behind it or whether it was linked to the previous regime.
West Africa has witnessed six successful military coups since 2020, marking a backslide of democracy in a region that had been seen to be making progress in shedding its “coup belt” moniker.
Chad’s government on Thursday said its security forces had foiled an attempt by a group of army officers to destabilize the country, which is already under the transitional rule.