Jammeh’s ex-speaker takes charge as Ambassador to South Africa

Former Speaker of the House Abdoulie Bojang has presented his letters of credence to South Africa’s embattled president, Jacob Zuma.

Bojang’s appointment sparked fury amongst many, including Barrow’s supporters, who are calling on the soft-spoken leader to rescind the decision.

Activists accused former Speaker Bojang of committing treason. While being the Speaker of the House, the Jammeh-backed parliament voted to extend the ousted leader’s mandate to aid him in holding on to power.

But the Foreign Secretary Ousainou Darboe has admitted to recommending the appointment of an ex-House Speaker to avoid the exclusion of tribesmen of the country’s former ruler.

According to Darboe, amongst those who are among the prominent Jolas in the country, Bojang is the only person with a clean record. The rest, he said, have committed human rights abuses, crimes against the state and rained havoc on the economy.

Political activists redlined Barrow’s appointment of Bojang as “hypocritical,” describing his government’s recall of some Jammeh appointed ambassadors, including Sheikh Omar Faye, the first diplomat to urge Jammeh to step aside as “unfair and politically motivated.”

Darboe says Bojang’s appointment was not inappropriate and to avoid the practice of the former regime, it was important to appoint anyone without regard for their political affiliations.

Jammeh had only given appointments to those supporting his party and accused of giving priority to his tribesmen. Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has vowed his government will different.

Jammeh was defeated in last year’s elections. Although he initially conceded defeat, he later rejected the results citing “unacceptable abnormalities.” West African troops forced him to flee to Equatorial Guinea.

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