(JollofNews) – President Yahya Jammeh of the Gambia Saturday night accused the United States of harbouring bad intentions against his regime following its removal from the list of sub-Saharan African countries eligible for the Africa Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA).
The Gambia’s 11-year AGOA eligibility was terminated last Tuesday by President Barack Hussein Obama due to its ‘lack of progress with respect to human rights, rule of law, political pluralism and the right to due process.’
But in a statement read on state television, Mr Jammeh congratulated Washington for revoking his country’s eligibility. He said the decision exposed Washington’s bad intentions towards his people and government.
‘’In the light of statements made by the United States charge d’ affaires in Banjul to the local media, it has become equivocally clear that the United States Government has no goodwill intentions for the government and people of the Gambia,’’ Mr Jammeh said.
The Gambia is the United States 186th largest goods trading partner. Last year, the United States exported US$35 million goods including meat, vehicles and cereal to the Gambia while US$2 million goods including textile were exported to the United States from the Gambia.
The Gambia had previously lobbied to be admitted into the AGOA scheme by passing anti-terror legislation, arresting terror suspects and handing them over to the CIA for interrogations, banning anti-US protests in Banjul and secretly signing a deal not to surrender US nationals wanted for war crimes to the International Criminal Court in The Hague.
Despite the economic benefits of AGOA, President Yahya Jammeh said the Gambia has never benefited from it.
While commending the United States for chucking the Gambia from AGOA, Mr Jammeh said his dignified people have an unshakable faith in god and will not succumb to outside interference for their wellbeing.