Friday, June 21, 2024

Gambia warns Jammeh not to return home from exile

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Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi
Isaac Kaledzi is an experienced and award winning journalist from Ghana. He has worked for several media brands both in Ghana and on the International scene. Isaac Kaledzi is currently serving as an African Correspondent for DW.

The Gambian government has warned the country’s ex-leader Yahya Jammeh against ever planning to return home from exile.

Jammeh who was ousted in 2017 after losing the 2016 presidential election, went into exile in Equatorial Guinea in a deal that ended his long reign in power.

Last year his supporters staged a rally and demanded his return home in a move analysts believe was instigated by him far away in Equatorial Guinea.

The campaign for the return of Yahya Jammeh to the Gambia continues to gather storm despite moves by the Barrow government to prosecute him.

The country’s Justice Minister had hinted that the former president must be charged for stealing over $1 billion and the atrocities he allegedly committed whilst in office.

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Campaign for Jammeh’s return

But his sympathizers and supporters of his party the APRC are unperturbed as they push for Jammeh’s return to the country.

Ousman Rambo Jatta, the Deputy leader of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction announced that Jammeh is coming home in accordance with the agreement with the government.

He said any properties that was seized from the former president by the Barrow government will be recovered.

“When  they came to power, they seized all our assets, these assets belong to the party APRC, they forcefully took Yaya Jammers’ asset but Jammed will be back soon and he will take all the properties they took from him,’’ Jatta said at a rally last year.

Mr Jatta has also spoken of Mr. Jammeh’s resolve to return to the Gambia anytime soon after a recording of his conversation with Mr Jammeh was leaked.

In that recording, Jammeh backed a planned demonstration by his supporters on 16 January.

“I don’t want any violence and I don’t want anybody to touch anything or to destroy anything,” Mr Jammeh said.

Warning to Jammeh

But the government has said that Mr Jammeh’s safety couldn’t be guaranteed if he did return without permission.

A government spokesman, Ebrima Sankareh told the BBC President Barrow never signed any agreement that requires Jammeh returning home from exile.

If he returns without permission, “the Gambian government cannot guarantee his safety and security”, Mr Sankareh told the BBC.

But Jatta said any attempt to arrest Mr Jammeh should be return to the country would lead to “bloodshed”.

“Nobody will dare to arrest him,” he said.

Many of Jammeh’s supporters are hoping he returns to contest the next presidential election.

Omar Colley an ardent supporter of Jammeh told Africa Feeds that the only one person can save Gambia from sinking and that is Jammeh.

“People forget so soon, a man has transformed the lives of many Gambians but now they turn their back against him.

Mariama Badjie a 28 year old told Africa Feeds that APRC will soon take the country again come 2021 they will sweep the polls.

The Barrow government has failed in totality and we will take over soon” she said.




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