In a heavily fortified presidential palace on an island in Mongoba, Equatorial Guinea, Gambia’s former autocratic ruler Yahya Jammeh is boxed in a well guarded high-fenced home, making access to him difficult.
A journalist from Equatorial Guinea, whose repeated request to interview Jammeh were rejected said the ousted military strongman “is deeply isolated and is restricted.”
“My sources within the Ministry of the Interior and National Security have confirmed to me that the former dictator is constantly monitored and is not even allowed to move out of his government allocated residence without prior notice,” the journalist told The Standard.
Jammeh is a farmer and before he made a political fumble that sent him to exile, he planned to retire on his farm, just a few miles from the Gambia’s southern border with Senegal.
He has been given a farm by the Equatorial Guinean leader, Theodore Obiang, whose son and vice president, Teddy Obiang was given a three year suspended sentence for corruption by a court in France.
“He is confined to either his house or the farm that the government allocated him where he is farming cacao, plantain, and other crops,” said the journalist.
Jammeh is living a quiet life in the Spanish speaking Central African nation. A picture of him and President Obiang on his new farm appeared on the internet, some showing the ex-leader clearing a bush.
Jammeh ruled The Gambia for 22-years and is accused of human rights violations and corruption. An international campaign has been launched to have him returned to The Gambia to face trial.
West African leader negotiated to have Jammeh hosted in a country where he can receive genuine African hospitality but Jammeh agreed to go to Equatorial Guinea, a nation of fewer than 1.5 million people with no extradition pact with The Gambia.
Obiang rules Equatorial Guinea with an iron-fist and is accused of corruption and human rights abuses. The small nation is one of the few countries that is not a member of the International Criminal Court.