Subalterns take up top posts in Gambia

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The Independent Online
BANJUL - The Gambia's new military ruler, Lieutenant Yayeh Jameh, unveiled his 15-member government yesterday, made up almost equally of soldiers and civilians. The non-military were mostly civil servants who served under the President, Sir Dawda Jawara, 70, who was toppled in a weekend coup and has since fled to neighbouring Senegal.

An official statement named Lieutenant Jameh as President and put four other lieutenants, earlier named as coup leaders, in key posts. Sana Sabally is Vice-President; Edward Singhateh, Minister of Defence; Sadibou Hydara, Interior Minister, and Yankuba Touray, Minister of Local Government.

Most of the officers involved in the coup were trained either at Fort Benning in the United States or the Royal Military Academy, Sandhurst, and were people the West 'could do business with', according to a Gambian journalist in the capital, Banjul.

Mr Jawara, who was prime minister at independence in 1965 and then became president in 1970, arrived in Senegal on Sunday with about 40 relatives and officials and was granted political asylum on humanitarian grounds.