By Shout-Africa Gambia Correspondent – The Government of the Gambia has denied allegations by Guinean President Alpha Conde that it was aware of the actions leading to the attack and destruction of his private residence in Conakry, stressing that it would not take lightly accusations of this kind.
In an interview with private Senegalese radio broadcaster Sud FM on Sunday, Guinean President Alpha Conde said he “believes the governments of Senegal and Gambia were complicit in a failed attempt to assassinate him in July.”
A statement issued in Banjul by the ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Relations and Gambians Abroad yesterday said The Gambia did not have any involvement or prior information surrounding the attempted assassination of the Guinean President.
“The Gambia is a strong advocate of peace and security in the sub-region and will not take lightly accusations of this kind, especially since this is not the first by Guinea,” it said.
Conde escaped two gunfire and rocket attacks on his residence in the capital Conakry on July 19, that killed at least three people and left his home riddled with bullets.
“I think the Senegalese government was complicit and so was the Gambian government, even if they say they were unaware,” Conde said in the interview.
He said he believed that the attacks on his residence were planned at one of Senegal’s top hotels, the Meridien President.
“I told (Senegalese foreign) minister Madicke Niang and the Gambian foreign minister that I believe this (attack) was planned at the (Meridien) President Hotel in Dakar, and that there was a lot of back and forth with Gambia,” Conde said, adding that “This could not have been done without their knowledge.”
Senegal also denied the accusations Sunday, with presidential spokesman Serigne Mbacke Ndiaye saying there was “no question of Senegal’s involvement in the problems of destabilisation in Guinea”.
Guinean authorities arrested 39 people in connection with the attacks, including 26 Guinean army officers. The assaults in July raised concerns about stability in the West African state.
Conde also said he believed Guinean opposition figure Oury Bah, was one of the attack’s main organisers.
For the benefit of our readers, we reproduce the full text of the Gambia Government’s reaction:
“It has been brought to our attention that the Government of The Gambia was aware of the actions leading to the attack and destruction of H.E. Prof. Alpha Conde’s private residence. In his own words, Prof. Conde accused The Gambia and Senegal of collaborating with the perpetrators of the attack and using Dakar as a meeting point.
“In response to the above allegations, the Government of The Gambia would like to state that it did not have any involvement or prior information surrounding the attempted assassination of the Guinean President. The Gambia is a strong advocate of peace and security in the sub-region and will not take lightly accusations of this kind especially since this is not the first by Guinea.
“The Gambia has contributed significantly in fostering stability in the region, in addition to major roles in mediation and peacekeeping, most recently in the peaceful transition and election in Guinea.
“In light of the above, the Gambia Government would like to urge the Guinean President to refrain from making unfounded accusations. As a responsible Member State of ECOWAS, The Gambia strongly believes that all member states should work together in the spirit of cooperation and solidarity for the betterment of the sub-region”.