Former President Yahya Jammeh’s Chief of Staff, Momodou Sabally has publicly apologized for reading a controversial statement that has redirected attacks meant for the ex-leader towards him.
Sabally in an interview with the state television’s Abdoulie Sey revealed that the anti-Mandinka statement, which labeled the country’s largest tribe as enemies were handwritten by Mr. Jammeh, who insisted he [Sabally] was to read it.
“I do apologize to anyone who was offended but I do not take responsibility for that statement because it was not mine. Anyone who knows Momodou Sabally knows I will not insult other tribes talkless of my own tribe. I am a cultured human being from a cultured family and a cultured tribe,” he said.
“I do apologize to anybody who took offense to that statement whether you belong to that ethnic group or not, especially to people who know me and love me and were disturbed by the statement. I do apologize for any inconveniences caused.”
Sabally said he does not endorse Jammeh’s message attacking the Mandinkas. Jammeh lost most of his support ahead of the critical elections last year after threatening genocide against the Mandinkas and marginalizing the Christian population.
Jammeh named the country an Islamic republic and threatened to eliminate and kill the Mandinka people, whom he called foreigners, “like ants and no White person can do anything about it.”
The United Nations Special Adviser to the Secretary-General on the Prevention of Genocide condemned the inflammatory remarks by the then-president, describing it as irresponsible and extremely dangerous.
Jammeh may have been ousted but he has left the country divided, feeding suspicion that has recently incited violence against minority communities, who were seen as Jammeh’s backers.
Sabally, an economist by training was jailed by Jammeh repeatedly after serving as his most senior aide for barely a year. The new government of Adama Barrow dropped charges against him after they were deemed to be politically motivated.