Gambia is closing some of its embassies and relegating a handful to consulates, a senior foreign service official said.
The West African nation’s government is cutting its budget to save money and give the country’s economy a new kick at life.
Gambia is under pressure to cut expenses by its international lenders.
The closure of the embassies was also recommended by the World Bank and the IMF.
The closure or relegation of the embassies is not a deterioration of relations with any of the host countries where missions will be affected.
The country can’t afford the cost of maintaining some the missions and will continue diplomatic relations through embassies in the nearest country.
The finance and foreign ministries are consulting to determine which embassies to shut down or relegate amid budget cuts.
As far as the diplomats serving in the offices, the plan has many of them moving to other diplomatic missions that require more personnel and some returning to Banjul.
President Adama Barrow has replaced several ambassadors appointed by Jammeh with his loyalists but many are yet to report to their new postings.
Most of the Gambian embassies are housed in rented properties costing the state millions of dollars to maintain.
The reduction of the embassies is considered “definitely necessary” and additional savings could be achieved by downsizing the unnecessary and expensive fiscal footprint of many embassies and keep operating small offices to deal with the needs of Gambian citizens.