Coup attempt against anti-gay Gambian president fails

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

An apparent attempted coup against the adamantly homophobic Gambian president has failed as gunshots were heard at the early hours of this morning.

The AFP quotes military sources who said that three ringleaders of the coup had all been killed. The attempted coup took place while President Yahyah Jammeh was out of the country.

The Presidential palace was attacked at around 03:00GMT by armed men, according to a Gambian diplomat.

The attackers included members of the presidential guard who “wanted to overthrow the regime”, a military source told AFP.

During the attack, and for several hours afterwards, the national radio station went off air, and state television was suspended.

According to some, however, it remains unclear whether the attack was a coup attempt.

Jammeh earlier this year signed into law a bill which calls for life imprisonment for people caught having gay sex.

Same-sex activity in the country is currently punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment.

At least eight people have been arrested in Gambia for being gay in November, and Amnesty International called for an end to the harsh treatment of gay people there.