(JollofNews) – Dr. Amadou Scattred Janneh of Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations (GCVHRV) welcomes the decision by President Donald J.Trump to impose restrictions on former longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh and the country’s ex-spy chief Yankuba Badjie.
Campaigner Welcomes US Sanctions Against Ex-Gambian Dictator
“It is a good move, a step in the right direction,” Dr.Janneh told The JollofNews in an exclusive interview.
A news release issued Thursday by US Treasury Department announced that the Trump Administration has launched “new sanctions regime targeting human rights abusers and corrupt actors around the world,” using the used the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act endorsed in 2016 by former President Obama to freeze the assets of Gambia’s ex-dictator and a dozen other “serious human rights abusers and corrupt actors.”
US gov’t move comes on the heels of startling revelations made by key witnesses before the Commission of Inquiry into the assets and financial transactions of former President Jammeh and his close associates, which commenced hearing on Aug.10. Yahya Jammeh reportedly looted public funds, giving directives to senior public and military officers to make withdrawals from the country’s central bank and other financial institutions.
Janneh said they have been calling on US, and European countries to take a strong stance against Jammeh, who lost power to Barrow in December 2016 Presidential elections. He then described the move taken
by US authorities as ‘encouraging.’
The victims’ centre is spearheading a global campaign geared towards bringing Gambia’s ex-dictator and accomplices to justice.
Launched on Oct. 21st, the campaign is also endorsed by the Institute for Human Rights and Development in Africa, Article 19 West Africa, Coalition for Change, The Gambia (CCG), TANGO, EG (Equatorial Guinea) Justice, Trial International (Switzerland), Human Rights Watch, Guernica 37 International Justice Chambers, Aid-Free World and La Fondation pour l’Egalite des Chances en Afrique.
Dr. Janneh urged European governments to follow suit in scaling up the pressure on Yahya Jammeh and his close associates, saying they will ultimately have to face justice.
He expressed hope that Moroco and other African countries will not miss an opportunity to fight impunity in denying former Gambian leader any possibility of using their territory as safe haven.
Yahya Jammeh lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea since he was voted out by Gambians, fed up with his 22-year rule punctuated by arbitrary arrests, enforced disappearances and extra-judicial killings.
The new government has vowed to respond to rising demand for justice in announcing the establishment of a truth, reconciliation and reparation commission as well as the much awaited national human rights commission.