Papa Faal, Why Did He Attack Gambian Presidential Palace?

papa Faal traffic convictions
Papa Faal Arrest Photo


Papa Faal, one of the men who attacked the Gambian presidential Palace on December 30th, 2014, is currently awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to two federal criminal charges on Thursday January 29th.

 i. guilty of conspiracy to export firearms to Gambia without a license

 ii. guilty of conspiracy to participate in an attempted overthrow of a country with whom the U.S. is at peace

Each guilty plea carries a maximum of 5 years. However, U.S. District Judge Ann Montgomery told Faal on Thursday that federal sentencing guidelines call for a jail term of 51 to 63 months, and a fine that could range from $10,000 to $100,000. Unless Fall is granted a presidential Pardon by president Obama, which is highly unlikely, Fall is heading for big trouble. 

His troubles were on full display during his initial court appearance on Monday January 5th, Faal was unable to hire a lawyer and had to rely on the government to provide him a lawyer for free. As Andrew Mohring, his government appointed lawyer stood by his side, , Faal told the court that he and his wife own two cars, a $150,000 home mortgage (loan), and a $150,000 in student loans between him and the wife Sainabou Bah Faal. He said he teaches computer courses at a technical institute

Papa Faal, a nephew of the former Gambian president
Papa Faal, during a demonstration in Minnesota, USA

In 2012, Faal and Fatou Jaw Manneh organised a demonstration in front of Minnesota Capitol building protesting Jammeh’s excution of 9 death row inmates. He has been found guilty of traffic violations in absentia, in 1999 and 2005 in Fairfax county in Virginia. In December 2005, Faal became a US citizen and in 2010, he married Sainabou Bah. Faal joined the Air Force Reserve in the summer of 2002 After seven years with the Air Force, Faal joined the U.S. Army. In 2011, he deployed in Afghanistan as an information technology specialist. By the time he retired from the military in 2012, he had earned two master’s degrees and is now doing an online doctorate degree.

Although Faal  admitted his role in the attempted overthrow of the Gambian president, he emphasize, the violence took him by surprise. That was an astounding statement from a fellow who served in the military. Faal is not a fan of Jammeh and he does not hide it. He published a book decrying the attempted overthrow of the former president in 1981, while defending the Jawara government as a good one. Papa Faal is a nephew of the former president Sir DK Jawara.  One of Sir DK Jawara’s big brothers, Sheriffo, is the father of Papa Faal Mother, Nenneh.

Papa Faal, a former US Army soldier
Papa Faal, a former US Army soldier

Incidentally, the former president was overthrown by the current president in a military coup in 1994. This is the root of Faal’s hatred of the current president. Despite the fact that Papa Faal left Gambia since 1991, he is still unable to come to terms with the fact that Jammeh, the current president was the man responsible for his nephew’s overthrow. Needless to say, Faal is very unhappy. His privilege status as a member of the former ruling family was over. But no one thought Faal would actually take up arms to act on his emotions. Because almost all of his siblings are living abroad in Germany and Seattle, WA. He does not need any ministerial portfolio from Cherno M Njie, the alleged mastermind of the plot to overthrow Jammeh’s government in the Gambia.

As we conclude this piece, online newsmedia was claiming that Papa Faal has been granted bail, but this medium has been unable to verify that information.

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