The Gambia’s government has denied reports that it will be closing air traffic next week amid a deepening political standoff after reports emerged that President Yahya Jammeh had given directive for the country’s only airport to be closed.
The news had raised an alarm within the airline industry prompting inquiries and the government’s reaction.
“The Government of the Gambia clarifies that this information is a complete fabrication and that the government has not issued any such directive,” a statement read.
Travelers intending to use Banjul International Airport are being reassured that the airport will remain open for business.
President Yahya Jammeh lost elections last month but refusing to step down. He has until January 18 to exit peacefully or face an Ecowas military force that is seeking to restore constitutional rule and prevent conflict.
Jammeh’s administration says the country remains peaceful describing the news of the airport closure as “fake” and “part of a campaign of misinformation and disinformation being orchestrated by enemies of the Gambian state in their unholy objective of fomenting confusion and civil strife among the peace-loving and Allah-fearing Gambian populace.”
Most arrivals in The Gambia are European tourists. Hoteliers and realtors reported that Mr. Jammeh’s refusal to step down is causing a decline in their business as fears increase over a possible armed conflict.