Gambia’s new president fires strongman security minister

Gambia’s new president fires strongman security minister

Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow has fired politician and senior coalition member Mai Ahmad Fatty from his cabinet, the first since coming to power in January.

Fatty served as Barrow’s Minister of Interior and the presidency said the man that has been described as the action man of the new administration has been redeployed to Foreign Service.

“Mai Ahmad Fatty has been relieved of his appointment as Minister of Interior… and redeployed to diplomatic service. The Attorney General and Minister of Justice will oversee the Ministry of Interior until further notice,” Barrow’s spokesperson, Amie Bojang Sissoho said.

Fatty is the leader of the Gambia Moral Congress, one of the seven parties that backed President Barrow in last year’s elections against the former autocratic ruler, Yahya Jammeh.

He left the country in 2011 after being threatened following the presidential election but returned in November 2016 joining the opposition coalition.

He was Mr. Barrow’s senior advisor during the political logjam. No reasons were given for his sacking. The government has not disclosed to what foreign mission Fatty will be deployed to.

Fatty has earned himself a reputation as a no-nonsense security minister but his attempt to stand out backfired and got critics lashing at his style of leadership.

According to the Gambia Bar Association, Fatty is one of the new senior government officials replicating the dictatorial behaviors of the Jammeh regime.

The opposition has praised him for having an open door policy in resolving some political squabbles after warning that those that seek to jeopardize the country’s fragile peace will be consumed by the law.

Fatty faced many security challenges to maintain order in the country following Jammeh’s ouster. There were at least seven protests, two of which turned violent leaving several people injured and at least one person dead.

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