Gambia foreign, finance, trade ministers resign, flees the country

Gambia foreign, finance, trade ministers resign, flees the country

Gambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister Neneh MacDouall Gaye, Finance Minister Abdou Kolley and Trade Minister Abdou Jobe has resigned, in a move that is not so shocking to many observers.

The ministers resigned just days before their boss, President Yahya Jammeh’s mandate expires but refusing to cede power.

Jammeh had been in power for 22 years and was defeated last month by opposition candidate Adama Barrow.

Neneh MacDouall Gaye was Jammeh’s information minister before being assigned to serve as chief envoy in Washington. She returned to Gambia in December 2014 and took a job as foreign minister following a botched coup attempt by Gambian dissidents.

Finance Minister Kolley has held several roles in the Cabinet of the Gambia, having previously served as Minister of Trade, Industry, Regional Integration and Employment several times, as well as Minister of Fisheries and Water Resources.

MacDouall Gaye and Mr. Jobe have fled the country, sources said, joining former ministers of presidential affairs, information, and youths in neighboring Senegal.

Mr. Jobe served as director of the West African nation’s utility regulatory agency and its power and water company before joining the cabinet.

The resignation of Kolley and Jobe could not be independently verified.

Their resignation does not defy political gravity at a time that President Yahya Jammeh has lost power and his refusal to hand over executive power have put the Gambia in a deep political crisis likely to spark a deadly conflict.

Gambians delivered a delivered a rebuke to Jammeh’s dictatorship and the risk of political instability triggered a market reaction, with business profits sinking and debts rising.

But some analysts predicted the political crisis sparked by Jammeh’s refusal to exit would be short-lived, as the incoming Barrow administration focuses on lining up international support to boost trade and create jobs.

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