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Gambia: Top Jammeh generals arrested after sneaking back into Gambia.

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Military authorities in Gambia arrested two of ex-strongman Yahya Jammeh’s generals after they returned unexpectedly from exile over the weekend, the army said in a statement on Monday.

Gambia’s current President Adama Barrow was sworn in a year ago as a West African regional intervention force closed in on the capital Banjul forcing Jammeh, who had refused to accept his defeat in elections, to flee to Equatorial Guinea.

Umpa Mendy, Jammeh’s principal protection officer, and the former head of the State Guards Battalion Ansumana Tamba had both accompanied the former leader into exile. But the army statement said they flew back into Gambia on Sunday.

“They were arrested at their respective homes … and are currently detained at the Yundum Military Barracks, where they are helping the military police with their investigations,” the statement said.

It did not say why the two men returned to Gambia or on what charges they had been arrested.

Barrow is still seeking to assert control following the end of 22 years of Jammeh’s rule under which the military served as a key pillar of a regime notorious for jailing and torturing political opponents.

The new government has replaced or dismissed a number of senior military officers, some of them suspected of being members of a group called the Jungulars, which many Gambians say carried out killings on behalf of the government.

However, the army still contains many former supporters of Jammeh. Barrow’s allies have repeatedly warned of the possibility that exiled officers were working to undermine the new government from abroad.

Motherland News

Families Identify Church Collapse Victims in Anguish

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Tears and anguish characterized the atmosphere as the grieving families of 13 worshipers killed in a church collapse arrived at the Richards Bay mortuary to identify the bodies of their loved ones.

The worshipers died when a wall collapsed at the Pentecostal Holiness Church near Empangeni in northern KwaZulu-Natal last Thursday night.

The KwaZulu-Natal Co-operative Governance and Traditional Affairs Department co-ordinated with various departments including health, home affairs and the police, to assist in speeding up the body identification process.

Six worshippers were from Ulundi, four from eSikhawini and three from Maqwakazi in uMlalazi.

Describing the collapse, Phumelele Simelane from eSikhawini said worshippers had just had their evening meal and were preparing to sleep when the wall caved in.

Simelane was with her 6-year-old son, who is recovering in hospital. She said she came to the mortuary to support congregants whose relatives died.

The Mthembu family, who lost grandmother Thembi Mthabela, 54, and Andiswa Mthembu, 10, in the tragedy were overcome with grief.

“Thembi loved going to church and she always took Andiswa with her. Andiswa was doing Grade 3 at Nyathini Primary School. As a family, we are very traumatised and it is hard for us,” said a relative, who did not wanted to be named.

Buhle Mzila, whose sister Samke, 33, died, said the family had lost a breadwinner.

Samke, who worked at the Ulundi Municipality, was with her 9-year-old daughter during the incident.

Buhle said her niece, who was in hospital, was in a state of shock about her mother’s death.

“Samke loved the church, she always made sure she attended every service. She played a big role in terms of assisting the family. We are still going to feel her absence,” said Buhle.

A sobbing Mbongeni Langa said his mother had died in a “place she loved”.

The memorial service will be held tomorrow

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Motherland News

CAF Sidelines Nigerian Centre Referees for 2019 AFCON

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Out of the Twenty-seven centre referees penciled down for the 2019 African Cup of Nations, countries like Burundi, Mali, Zambia and Sudan are represented on the list, but no Nigerian referee was selected for the big occasions.

However, only one assistant referee from Nigeria named Baba Adel was listed among the twenty-nine assistant referees selected by the African Football Governing Body.

The competition will be held from 21 June to 19 July 2019, as per the decision of the CAF Executive Committee on 20 July 2017.

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