Gambia’s coalition leaders said Wednesday they are taking no chances on the life and safety of the president-elect, Adama Barrow, abandoning a planned meeting with President Yahya Jammeh.
“He wants to meet Barrow. He has asked him to meet at his convenience, but we have decided not to meet him because we don’t trust him,” said Fatoumata Tambajang, head of the unity group.
President Yahya Jammeh last week offered to meet Barrow to mark the beginning of the transition. They were expected to meet this week to discuss issues of national interest. But Jammeh has for long persecuted and maimed the country’s opposition and brutally crackdown on them during his 22-year rule of the small tourist enclave.
“You can never take chances with Yahya Jammeh,” said Tambajang. “That’s the level of distrust we have, that the population has. Our priority is the security of Barrow.”
President Yahya Jammeh lost in the country’s December 1 presidential polls to Barrow, who was backed by a group of seven opposition groups and an independent candidate. He has since conceded defeat and said he will hand over power to the new government in January.