Yahya Jammeh appointed diplomats are receiving their marching orders out of Gambian missions across the world starting with the Chief Protocol Officer at the country’s embassy in Washington, Pierre Minteh.
Minteh was a youth mobilizer for former President Jammeh’s APRC party before his deployment to Foreign Service by the longstanding autocratic ruler. He has campaigned against the influential diaspora community, whose influential members were the defacto opposition to Jammeh’s rule.
In a visit to the Gambia last year, he spent an hour on national television accusing Gambians abroad of attempting “to violently overthrow President Jammeh and destabilize the country.”
The former protocol officer has found himself facing off with diaspora activists, who were dissenting against Jammeh. He was accused of being complicit in the beating of activists, and broadcast journalist and former State House Press Secretary Fatu Camara in Washington.
Minteh’s firing was met with excitement by Gambians in the U.S. who say the APRC has used the country’s Washington mission as a political bureau.
He returned to Banjul to campaign for Jammeh and defended the former leader’s position not to rescind power.
At least 12 diplomats, including Ambassador to U.S. Sheikh Omar Faye, were recalled by Jammeh after they urged him to step down and hand over power peacefully to President Adama Barrow. Barrow reinstated them last week.
Dismissal of political appointees like Mr. Minteh and the country’s Deputy Ambassador to the UN Samsudeen Sarr, who stood by Jammeh during the political impasse came as no surprise after Barrow kept his promise not to retain any of Jammeh’s cabinet ministers.