(JollofNews) – Authorities in Gambia ordered the closure of a popular radio station as part of a crackdown following a failed attack on the presidential palace, a source close to the government said Sunday.
Security agents ordered the manager of Teranga radio station, Alagie Ceesay, “to stop broadcasting with immediate effect”, said the source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The independent station, which translates news from English into local languages, was taken off air Saturday.
The police kept Ceesay for questioning Saturday night. He was released on Sunday without charge, the source added.
No explanation was given for the clampdown on the station, which was also shut temporarily in 2012 amidst international outcry over the state’s execution of nine prisoners.
Analysts had warned that President Yahya Jammeh, who has been accused of widespread human rights violations during his 20 year rule, could use Tuesday’s attack on State House in Banjul as justification for stifling dissent.
Jammeh was in Dubai when a group of heavily-armed men travelling by canoe launched the attack in the coastal capital.
Presidential guards repelled the attack, which was led by an army deserter, according to military sources.
Dozens of soldiers and civilians have been arrested over the attack, a source close to the investigation said.
Jammeh has led the small west African nation of two million people since taking power in a coup in 1994.
He accused unidentified foreign forces of attempting to unseat him and insisted the army is “very loyal”.