Gambia’s unstable post-electoral environment has put on hold the taking of any immediate steps to arrest and prosecute the country’s outgoing President Yahya Jammeh for rights violations and crimes against the state.
Leaders of a coalition that defeated Jammeh in the country’s December 1 presidential polls said their government will not rush to prosecute the longtime authoritarian ruler due to the country’s volatile situation, but Jammeh may be in the courts within three months to a year after relinquishing power.
“Even if it the constitution said that he was to be prosecuted immediately, our government will not do so because of the volatility of the environment,” said Fatoumata Tambajang.
Tambajang said the environment is complex and that there is no question of immunity for Jammeh.
“He will be prosecuted. I’m saying a year but it could be less than that,” she said. “This is my personal opinion – it might have taken three months because we really want to really work fast.”
Senegal has been put on alert to secure its borders, especially around Kanilai, Jammeh’s home village, where he said he will be retiring as a farmer.
Armed military officers instead of returning to the barracks are still patrolling the streets and mounting checkpoints in strategic locations in the Banjul metropolitan area.
Gambia’s military is said to be divided with Jammeh still having loyalists. The UN has warned that any coup attempt will be met with resistance by the international community.
President Yahya Jammeh who has ruled The Gambia with an iron-fist conceded defeat and said he will hand over power to the opposition in January when his term ends.