Gambian diplomats in Russia’s capital, Moscow have returned to mainland Africa’s smallest nation after former President Yahya Jammeh had ordered for its closure before his election defeat last year.
Jammeh, 52, who fled to Equatorial Guinea after West African troops advanced on Gambia’s island capital, Banjul to depose him, severed ties with Moscow, citing the Kremlin’s support for U.S. President Donald Trump.
Jammeh, a brutal dictator accused of human rights abuses, corruption and crimes against the state “refuse to have relations with any government that supports a racist,” a former senior official of his administration said.
“Jammeh considered Donald Trump a racist, anti-Muslim and a bigot. So he recalled everyone at the Moscow mission to home service,” he said.
At least a dozen of Jammeh’s ambassadors, including Gambia’s Chief Envoy to Moscow, Momodou Aki Bayo urged him to step down and recognized the new president, Adama Barrow as Head of State when the ousted ruler refused to hand over power.
Relations between the Gambia and the U.S. during Obama’s presidency were not at its best. The Obama administration accused Jammeh of human rights violations and disqualified the nation from benefitting from the AGAO incentive.
With Trump’s dictator like tendency, no one could guess what U.S. – Gambia relations would be like. Trump won the U.S. presidential elections defeating Hillary Clinton. It was a surprise, but not as surprising as Jammeh’s defeat in the hands of real estate mogul, Adama Barrow.