The Gambia

Banjul (Gambia) (AFP) The Gambia has revoked the diplomatic passports of ex-leader Yahya Jammeh and his associates, the foreign ministry said Thursday, as the new government pursues former regime figures it believes embezzled state funds. Jammeh plundered an estimated $50 million before leaving for exile in Equatorial Guinea in January after 22 years in power, the country’s justice minister announced in May, promising a commission would trace the money. The Gambian government revoked “the diplomatic passports of members of the former regime and this includes President Yahya Jammeh, his wifeRead More
Gunjur (Gambia) (AFP) The Gambia is courting Beijing’s attention after re-establishing diplomatic relations last year, but villagers and activists say Chinese investment is a double-edged sword as they fight a firm accused of dumping waste. Chinese firms in Africa are frequently accused of polluting the environment to produce materials ready to export back home, in incidents recorded by experts across the mines of Guinea, oil fields of Chad and forests of the Congo basin. The government is nevertheless keen to kickstart direct Chinese investment to turn around the stuttering economy,Read More
Banjul (Gambia) (AFP) Six months ago, businessman and political novice Adama Barrow took power in Africa’s smallest mainland country after delivering a stunning defeat against ex-leader Yahya Jammeh, who had ruled brutally for 22 years. When Barrow finally took power in The Gambia in late January after a prolonged political crisis, the euphoria soon turned to grim recognition that Jammeh had more or less cleaned out the nation’s coffers before leaving for exile in Equatorial Guinea, he tells AFP in an interview. “We inherited an economy that was virtually empty,”Read More
Banjul (Gambia) (AFP) The Gambia’s justice minister has promised a new constitution to be voted on by referendum as the tiny west African country transitions from the long rule of former strongman Yahya Jammeh. Attorney General and Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou said Thursday the new national charter would entirely replace the 1997 version written largely to consolidate Jammeh’s power after he took control in a 1994 coup. A Constitutional Review Commission would consult a broad cross-section of society for a maximum two-year period, Tambadou said, to “reflect faithfully and accuratelyRead More
Banjul (Gambia) (AFP) The head of a West African force maintaining security in The Gambia told AFP Friday that army officials loyal to veteran former leader Yahya Jammeh were plotting against the new government. West African troops were first sent to The Gambia in January to compel Jammeh to relinquish power to his elected successor Adama Barrow, but were retained at the new president’s request over fears for his safety. Colonel Magatte Ndiaye, the head of a Senegalese contingent deployed by the the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS),Read More
Banjul (Gambia) (AFP) The Gambia’s longtime former ruler Yahya Jammeh stole at least $50-million from the state, the country’s justice minister said Monday, in the first major anti-corruption move by the country’s new president. It is the first time the new government of the small west African nations has put a figure to the amount it believes Jammeh plundered from state coffers before leaving for exile in Equatorial Guinea in January after 22 years in power. “President Yahya Jammeh personally or under his instructions directed the unlawful withdrawal of atRead More
Banjul (Gambia) (AFP) Two fugitive former army officers have been indicted over the 2004 murder of prominent Gambian journalist Deyda Hydara, judicial sources said. The court in Banjul also separately issued an arrest warrant for ex-interior minister Ousman Sonko over the death of former intelligence chief Daba Marenah. Hydara, 65, an outspoken critic of then president Yahya Jammeh, was shot dead by unidentified gunmen in his car on the outskirts of Banjul in December 2004. He was the editor and co-founder of the independent newspaper The Point and a one-timeRead More
Banjul (Gambia) (AFP) Gambians want swift justice for the crimes of fallen dictator Yahya Jammeh’s regime but the new government faces an uphill battle to jail the most prolific abusers. Silenced for 22 years, victims shot or tortured by Jammeh’s security services are now speaking out, along with families whose loved ones have been pulled from recently found unmarked graves. But the cash-strapped government refuses to put anyone else in the dock, burnt by a high-profile, politically charged case this year that has run into procedural and systemic problems. “InRead More
Kunta Kinteh Island (Gambia) (AFP) As the rebel slave who defied his captors, Kunta Kinte, immortalised in print and on screen in “Roots”, put The Gambia on the map for historical tourism. But the island where he and tens of thousands of west African slaves faced the horrors of being chained, branded and separated before leaving their homeland forever, is under threat from sea erosion and neglect. Kinte’s descendants, along with heritage officials, warn that without urgent action, 550 years of history could be lost. They are pressuring the newRead More
Banjul (Gambia) (AFP) The Gambia’s United Democratic Party (UDP) emerged from decades in opposition in the country’s parliament to take its first absolute majority on Friday, as support for former leader Yahya Jammeh’s party collapsed. Official results from Thursday’s election, announced by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), revealed the UDP won 31 of the 53 available elected seats in the country’s National Assembly, while Jammeh’s Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) shrank from 43 elected seats to five. Five more seats are appointed by the president in the chamberRead More