A former Gambian military intelligence officer has accused the former army Chief of Defense Staff Masaneh Kinteh of being part of the December 30th failed munity, which was spearheaded by some Gambian diasporans. Retired Major Kebba Gibba made the allegations in an interview with Freedom Radio Gambia over the weekend. Base on my intelligence analysis, he has a hand there. He condemns and then he was congratulating the armed forces, the gallantry soldiers and then demolishing the coupists, giving them all sort of names, that they are traitors, they are terrorists, then after few years, you come by getting them onboard, you employed them, what kind of hypocrisy is that? Who is fooling who here?” Gibba remarked.
According to Gibba, Kinteh was in town on the night of the failed coup. He flew from Cuba to attend his mum 40 days burial. Kinteh was Gambia’s Ambassador to the Communist nation Cuba, prior to the change of government in 2016.
Gibba says the late Lamin Sanneh, the ringleader of the failed December 30th was Kinteh’s close buddy. He says Kinteh’s visit to Banjul on the night of the failed coup raises doubt on his alleged complicity to the incident.
He also couldn’t understand why Kinteh would facilitate the reinstatement of the coupists he had denounced and purged innocent Jolla officers from the army.
When asked how sure he was that Masaneh Kinteh was part of the December 30th coup, Gibba said his allegations were premised on circumstantial evidence.
“I am very, very convince because if you can condemn people and come again and bring them onboard and then sack us, who you think we are loyalists to Jammeh, was he not an Ambassador? I think he benefited a lot than we. As long as I am concerned, we were just there to do our work. I have never served under the State Guard. I don’t even know Jammeh. I wonder if Jammeh even knows me,” Gibba remarked.
Gibba was prematurely retired from the force in 2017, together with his fellow Jolla officers. Sadly, there was no justified reason advanced for their premature retirement besides a fabricated intelligence report that was jointly authored by Captain Alhagie Camara and Lieutenant Modou Wally, accusing Gibba and co of being loyal to the exiled former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh. The report also accused the retired Jolla officers of plotting to unseat the then newly elected Coalition government. However, due to the absurdity and frivolousness of the allegations, the army command then under the leadership of Masanneh Kinteh decided to retire the Jolla officers. Two officers from the Fullani tribe were also retired. No Mandinka officer was retired.
Gibba says he was the principal witness who testified in the December 30th coupists treason trial. He added that he was the officer, who quelled the coup plot. He says he was in contact with the Lamin Sanneh, the ringleader of the coup prior to foiling of the plot. He told Freedom radio Gambia that he was introduced to Sanneh by Lieutenant Buba Sanneh, one of the coupists who was sentenced to death. Buba Sanneh sold Lamin Sanneh and co coupists to intel officer Kebba Gibba. Gibba says Buba Sanneh was his main source. He added Lamin Sanneh was speaking to him for months before the execution of the failed coup. Lamin Sanneh didn’t know that he was talking to intelligent officer, he said.
According to Gibba, Kinteh fired him because of role in foiling the December 30th coup. He recalled Kinteh meeting him at his office, when (he) Kinteh was newly hired CDS. Gibba says Kinteh’s facial expression towards him showed that he was determined to send him home.
“So, Masaneh thought it with his crew that hence, I was, he knew or either it is heard that I was part of those who aborted the December 30th attack, which I think I was doing my job, that even up to now, even this present government they will not allow anybody to plot a coup against them, which is undemocratic. So, to say that I was loyal and I aborted their so called activists in the army, so, we are the loyal officers, that we should be removed, I think they got it all wrong and I am not remorse on that and I will never be regrettable for being to loyal to Jammeh’s government at the time. This was a government, whether it is dictatorial or is what, but people elected it,” he said.
“I was an intel officer. I knew most of these officers what they do, how they are related, I can profile each of them, who and who they are related to, and what motivated. Masaneh and the late Lamin Sanneh were very good friends. There was an officer cadet selection, which one Captain, currently Major Abdoulie Jobe, after the exams, he emerges first, but Masaneh has to come and rescind the processes and he unilaterally conducts that selection and then put Sanneh on top of that Jobe, Sanneh went to Sandhurst, when he came he was promoted to Lieutenant, second Lieutenant at a very quick pace and then Sanneh became his boy, boy, we all know very well until when he recommended Sanneh to be the State Guard Commander. Sanneh became a State Guard Commander under his watch,” he added.
He added that Sanneh was later demoted to the rank of Major and subsequently dismissed from the army.
Masaneh Kinteh is Gambia’s Ambassador Ambassador to China. He could not be reached for comment.
Two participants of the December failed coup said they are not aware of Kinteh’s complicity into the incident. Bai Lowe and Mustapha Faal told me in a phone conversation that despite their disagreements with Masaneh Kinteh, they can report to me with authority that Kinteh was not part of that coup. Both Lowe and Faal have promised to join us on air in the near future to explain what actually transpired during that failed coup.
The duo said Gibba was right when he said the operation was compromised by Lieutenant Buba Sanneh. They agreed with Gibba’s account on Buba Sanneh.
“He was right, it was Buba Sanneh, who compromised our mission. He was talking to other people, who were not supposed to be in the picture,” they said.
Mr. Faal also said General Saul Badjie was not part of the coup. ” I played counter intelligence on Saul Badjie and Karamba Barrow, Jammeh’s ADC. I used to call Sarjo Jarju through Karamba Barrow’s phone. Sarjo was part of the coup. He was my asset at the State House. I made an arraignment with him to be conveying false messages to General Badjie each time I called him through Karamba’s phone. I would call and tell him that there would be an ambush of Jammeh’s convoy, and he would relay the message to Saul Badjie after our conversation. I will in turn call Saul Badjie to tell him that there was going to be an ambush. Saul Badjie never knew that I was playing with his mind. He would tell Sarjo that I communicated the same message to him. I never phoned Sarjo on his phone. There was no phone records available to link him to me. They nailed him on the mobile phone that I bought for him. He was the one, who told his colleagues that I bought a phone for him,” Faal said.
Sarjo Jarju was Jammeh’s principal protection officer. He was among the officers jailed in the December 30th failed coup. He was reinstated into the army, following the change of government.