Police have arrested Gambia’s former head of the national intelligence agency and his deputy, part of President Adama Barrow’s attempts to re-establish democracy in the small West African nation, a police spokesperson said Wednesday.

Spy chief Yankuba Badjie and director of operations Omar Jeng were detained on Monday and are being investigated for potential abuses of power, spokesman Foday Conta told dpa.

Mr. Badjie took over at the intelligence agency in 2013, with Mr. Jeng as his deputy.

During this time, the intelligence agency carried out kidnappings, arbitrary arrests, torture, killings and rape, according to international human rights activists.

Mr. Barrow has released dozens of opposition activists from prison since he took office on January 19, replacing Yahya Jammeh, who had ruled the Islamic Republic for the previous 22 years with an iron fist.

Mr. Jammeh caused weeks of political impasse by refusing to accept the result of the December presidential election.

After weeks of regional pressure and the threat of arrest by West African troops that had entered Gambia, Mr. Jammeh eventually conceded defeat and went into exile in Equatorial Guinea.

(dpa/NAN)

Former Gambian President Yahya Jammeh is living in exile in Equatorial Guinea

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