Political underlings of the Gambia’s party with the majority stake in the country’s unity government are filling up positions in key embassies of the small nation.
At least four key surrogates, who were fierce critics of the ex-ruling government and taking radical stands in support of the UDP party have been rewarded with jobs as Protocol Officers at Gambian missions.
A few UDP members have also been appointed as Ambassadors, including to the United States, where Diaspora activists and officials usually clash.
Under ex-President Yahya Jammeh, Gambian embassies have been described by opposition supporters as APRC bureaus for having positions filled by Jammeh’s supporters.
Foreign Affairs sources have confirmed that Bamba Mass, Ebrima Dibba, Suntou Touray and Alieu Manjang have been deployed to the UK, Saudi Arabia, U.S., and Qatar respectively.
Recently appointments also saw former presidential hopeful and now Minister of Trade, Dr. Isatou Touray influencing the appointment of Tuku Kaine Jallow as Protocol Officer at the Gambia’s Embassy in the United Arab Emirates.
Dr. Touray is, for the most part, aligned with the UDP, where it was rumored that she was favored by UDP leader and Foreign Affairs Minister Ousainou Darboe to become the party’s presidential nominee.
All those recently appointed visited the Gambia after Jammeh was ousted and met with officials, including the President Adama Barrow and the First Lady Fatoumatta Bah-Barrow.
Several more appointments are expected to be made in the coming weeks that may see an attempt to have the political appointments balanced with the selecting of career Foreign Service officials filling in jobs at the various missions.