UN pumps US$3M for peacebuilding in Gambia

UN pumps US$3M for peacebuilding in Gambia

The United Nations has given The Gambia US$3 million after a civil war was averted in the West African nation in January.

Gambia’s former President Yahya Jammeh was defeated in the elections by opposition candidate Adama Barrow, who was backed by eight parties in the polls.

Jammeh refused to cede power after initially accepting defeat and congratulating Mr. Barrow in a phone conversation that was aired on national television.

His refusal to allow a peaceful transfer of power sparked a standoff that ended in military intervention from regional forces from at least five nations in Western Africa, backed by the sub-regional ECOWAS bloc.

UN’s Assistant Secretary General for Peacebuilding, Oscar Fernandez Taranco and Peacebuilding Commissioner, Cho Tae Yul were in the Gambia’s capital, Banjul where they met with the Chief Justice and security chiefs to discuss on transitional peace in mainland Africa’s smallest nation.

The UN, which had supported the ECOWAS military mission in The Gambia says the political, security, development and human rights priorities in Gambia would continue to get attention from the international community.

Some 75,000 people fled the Gambia during the political impasse, sparking a refugee crisis along Senegal’s northern border. More than a 150,000 people were internally displaced. The UN Refugee Agency supplied some 40 tons of food during the period.

Gambia’s defeated regime has been notorious for human rights violations. Since it came to power in 1994, the government of Yahya Jammeh kidnapped, arbitrarily arrested and detained, tortured, maimed and killed political opponents, activists, and journalists.

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