(JollofNews) – Leaders of the West African regional bloc Ecowas, the African Union and the United Nation are accused of failing to stick to the terms of an agreement they signed to facilitate former Gambian ruler, Yahya Jammeh’s peaceful exit from power.
Mr Jammeh, 52, who governed the Gambia for 22 years, was booted out of power in January 2017 after a shock defeat in the presidential election by opposition candidate Adama Barrow.
As part of the deal and ‘in order to assist a peaceful and orderly transition and transfer of power and the establishment of a new government,’ Mr Jammeh agreed to temporarily leave the Gambia on 21 January 2017 for Equatorial Guinea with his wife and family ‘without any prejudice to his rights as a citizen, a former president and a political party leader.’
In return for his peaceful exit, regional leaders, the AU and the UN gave assurance to Mr Jammeh while he is in exile, they will work to ensure that host countries that offer “African hospitality” to him and his family do not become undue targets of harassment, intimidation and all other pressures and sanctions.
They also gave him assurance that they will work with the Government of the Gambia to prevent the seizure of assets and properties lawfully belonging to him or his family and those of his cabinet members, government officials and party supporters, as guaranteed under the Constitution and other laws of the Gambia.
Ecowas, the AU and the UN also assured Mr Jammeh they will work with the Government of the Gambia to ‘ensure that he is at liberty to return to the Gambia at any time of his choosing in accordance with international human rights law and his rights as a citizen of the Gambia and a former head of state.’
They also gave their commitment to work with the Government of the Gambia to ensure that it fully guarantees, assures and ensures the dignity, security, safety and rights of Mr Jammeh’s immediate family, cabinet members, government officials, security officials and party supporters and loyalists.
Further assurance was given to Mr Jammeh by the organisations that they will work with the Government of the Gambia to ensure that no legislative measures are taken by it that would prevent the seizure of his legally acquired assets and his return to the Gambia.
Despite the assurances, the Gambian regime Monday obtained a court order to temporary freeze all properties belonging to Mr Jammeh.
The order will affect Mr Jammeh’s companies or organisations directly associated with him and is meant to prevent him from liquidating or dissipating his assets so as not to cause prejudice to the state should there be adverse findings made against him by a court which may require the recovery of assets and money from him.
But according to an influential heavyweight in Mr Jammeh’s APRC party who contacted JollofNews, regional leaders including (AU) and the UN have not done anything to stop the persecution of Mr Jammeh’s family members in the Gambia and senior security officials in his regime.
“HE [Yahya Jammeh] has done everything they asked of him as part of the deal but ECOWAS, the AU and the UN are not fulfilling their side of the deal,” the official who preferred anonymity said.
“This is really disappointing. HE had the best interest of Gambians when he agreed to step down from power. He could have stayed put and fight to the last drop of his blood, which would have caused untold sufferings, death and destruction to our country.
“ECOWAS, the AU and the UN should start putting pressure on Adama Barrow and his government to stop the persecution and harassment of HE, his family and security officers in the best interest of the Gambia.”