4 US citizens sentenced for attempted Gambian coup

MINNEAPOLIS (AP) – Four U.S. citizens have been sentenced in federal court for their roles in a failed attempt to overthrow the government in the West African nation of Gambia.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office in Minnesota said Thursday the men were sentenced for conspiring to violate the Neutrality Act.

Cherno Njie of Lakeway, Texas, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison. Prosecutors say Njie would have served as the interim leader of Gambia had the coup succeeded.

Alagie Barrow of Lavergne, Tennessee, and Banke Manneh of Jonesboro, Georgia, were each sentenced to six months in prison. Papa Faal of  Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, was sentenced to time served.

The charges stemmed from a Dec. 30, 2014, coup attempt in the former British colony, which came as President Yahya Jammeh was away.