Equatorial Guinea’s Information Minister Eugenio Nse Obiang confirmed the country hosting former Gambian ruler Yahya Jammeh after opposition groups decried his stay in the Central African nation.
Jammeh, 51, ruled the Gambia for 22 years. He fled the small country after regional forces entered the West African nation to depose him. Jammeh lost elections and refused to cede power.
Jammeh plunged Gambia into turmoil in December when he refused to accept losing to Adama Barrow, demanding fresh elections be held.
Jammeh fled to Equatorial Guinea with at least 50 other people. He airlifted luxury goods and vehicles.
The Gambia’s new government said the former ruler made away with at least US$12 million and left the state coffers empty.
Gambians are calling for Jammeh’s prosecution for crimes against the state and human rights abuses. His former Interior Minister Ousman Sonko is being detained by Swiss authorities.
Gambia’s parliament revoked a state of emergency that Jammeh had imposed before he fled, as the tiny West African country slowly recovered from its political crisis.
“The National Assembly hereby resolved … to approve the revocation of the declaration of the state of public emergency,” said majority leader Fabakary Tombong Jatta of the unanimous vote.
Barrow has returned to the Gambia after a nearly month-long stay in neighboring Senegal over safety concerns.
The Gambia’s military chief and the commander of the West African troops in the country said the presidential palace is safe although President Barrow is staying in his private residence and running the country from a hotel outside the capital.