Dozens of people abandoned by President Yahya Jammeh in Guinea’s capital, Conakry during his brief stop there are trying to find their way into The Gambia.
Jammeh left to exile with at least 50 people but only arrived in Equatorial Guinea with only his immediate family and four of his close military generals.
Presidential photographer Ebou Tarrou Njie, who fled with Jammeh is among the people trying to return home. He has been arrested by Senegalese authorities while trying to return to Gambia.
Njie, a photojournalist worked for The Point Newspaper before proprietor Deyda Hydara’s death and later moved to the pro-government Daily Observer before being brought to The State House by Jammeh.
Jammeh has a mansion and some few businesses in Guinea. Those he fled with and their families have been lodged in a hotel, according to family sources.
“They are already realizing that living in Guinea would be difficult and a near impossibility. Jammeh cannot provide for all of them there and after all, he does not trust them with his money or businesses,” a family member still in The Gambia said.
Jammeh lost Gambia’s December elections and had since been abandoned by most of his trust associates, friends, military brass and political allies. During the turmoil, he often isolated himself.
At least four presidential guard soldiers who fled with Jammeh were arrested by Ecomig forces while they were attempting to re-enter The Gambia.
At least 4,000 regional troops are stationed in The Gambia to restore normalcy in the country and ensure the safety of the new president, Adama Barrow, state institutions and senior government officials.
(Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Editing by Sainey MK Marenah; Photo by Muhammed M Mbowe – BNL)