President Yahya Jammeh is accusing the United States of helping create the country’s main opposition UDP party, days before he faces a coalition of opposition groups in his toughest presidential challenge yet.
“The U.S. helped them form the UDP in Atlanta during the Olympics there. They did this base on tribal lines and to violently end my government,” Jammeh said.
Jammeh has himself in recent months come under international condemnation for threatening genocide towards the Mandinka ethnic group, after threatening to “kill them like ants.”
Relations between Banjul and Washington has improved lately after exchanging emissaries. Neither Washington nor Banjul had an Ambassador in years until last year.
The U.S. has suspended The Gambia from the Millennium Challenge Fund and the preferential African Growth and Opportunity Act trade deal over the country’s deteriorating rights conditions.
Jammeh had last year accused the U.S. of funding a putsch hatched by U.S.-Gambian dissidents to overthrow his government.