Gambia’s President Adama Barrow is willing to engage Equatorial Guinea’s President Teodoro Obiang to have former President Yahya Jammeh returned to face justice, pledging Mr. Jammeh “will face the full force of the law.”
President Barrow has set up a Commission of Inquiry to investigate allegations of human rights abuses in Jammeh’s regime but may not officially make a request until the Commission request Jammeh stands trial.
“We are more than willing to engage Equatorial Guinea in bringing Jammeh to justice. We are even engaging them at the bilateral level and at the level of the African Union,” Barrow said.
Barrow said he stands for justice for all crimes committed against the population, preaching that Jammeh is not above the law. Barrow came to power last year and vowed to enforce the rule of law and stamp out corruption and human rights abuses, which were rife under Jammeh’s administration.
Barrow’s government is already investigating Jammeh’s financial dealings. A Commission is already working to determine the ex-leaders wealth and building up a case against the former self-serving ruler.
“For certain, there will be justice. That is why we are having all these commissions of inquiry into the financial activities of Jammeh and his rights abuses. Before one takes any legal action, you must establish the truth first, and that is what we are doing.”
After the 2016 election, Jammeh initially congratulated Barrow on his win, calling it a “clear victory”, but then rejected the result. After a month-long standoff, Jammeh finally agreed to leave, emptying the state coffers and taking his fleet of luxury cars with him to Equatorial Guinea.
Jammeh, 52, was sanctioned last month by the U.S for alleged human rights abuses and corruption during his reign. The Gambia doesn’t have an extradition treaty with Equatorial Guinea.
(Reporting and Writing by Sam Phatey; Additional Writing by Mustapha Darboe and Sanna Camara; Additional Reporting from Anadolu Agency and Bloomberg; Editing by Assan Sallah)