Crimes under Jammeh in the Gambia: Victims urge government to act

Crimes under Jammeh in the Gambia: Victims urge government to act

The Gambia’s victims’ associations and human rights defenders urged the government on Wednesday to fulfill its promise to bring former dictator Yahya Jammeh to trial and to seek support from neighboring West Africa to secure his extradition from Equatorial Guinea.

The Gambian government said it was ready on May 25 to try former dictator Yahya Jammeh and dozens of people accused of numerous crimes during more than twenty years at the helm of this small country. .

The former autocratic ruler lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea and there is no extradition agreement between the two capitals.

In a statement read out to reporters in Banjul, Jammeh 2 Justice, a coalition of victims’ organizations and human rights defenders, said it was “concerned” days after the government pledged to prosecute Mr Jammeh, current President Adama Barrow “paid the mandate for a visit to Equatorial Guinea and did not even raise the issue of extradition Mosque “.

President Barrow participated in the African Union Summit held in Equatorial Guinea from 25-28 May. Government spokesman Prima Sankareh told AFP that he had subsequently extended his stay for a two-day state visit.

Mr. Sankara noted that Mr. Jammeh’s issue was mentioned little during talks with his counterpart Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo, but the two countries agreed to establish diplomatic relations and cooperation in various fields, including justice.

Jammeh2Justice reports on earlier promises by the president of Equatorial Guinea to protect the former Gambian despot. But they said that his country had ratified the United Nations Convention against Torture and that it was obligated as such to extradite or prosecute Mr. Jameh.

“The Gambian government could make it very difficult for Equatorial Guinea to resist Jammeh’s extradition request by winning the support of the Economic Community of West African States and the whole region,” particularly from countries whose citizens were allegedly murdered on Jammeh’s orders, as Ghana said.

She said Equatorial Guinea could firmly reject an application from an ECOWAS-backed court, but it was up to the Gambian government to give “momentum” to the creation of such a court.

A commission that investigated crimes committed under Jammeh for two years and submitted its report to the government counted between 240 and 250 deaths at the hands of the state and its agents. They include AFP correspondent and prominent figure in the national press, Dida Haidara, who was assassinated on December 16, 2004.

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