Four Gambian Ministers resign and flee the country

Neneh Macdouall-Gaye

Four serving Ministers in the government of Yahya Jammeh have resigned from their positions and fled the country, two days to the inauguration of president-elect Adama Barrow on January 19, 2017.

They are Sheriff Bojang, Communications Minister, Foreign Minister,

Sheriff Bojang

Neneh Macdouall-Gaye, Abdou Kolley, Finance Minister and Abdou Jobe, Trade Minister.

Unconfirmed reports say, the Attorney General and Minister of Justice and Minister of the Environment have also fled.

There has been a stalemate in The Gambia after President Jammeh rejected December 1, 2016 election results days after he had accepted them and conceded defeat to opposition leader Barrow.

Abdou Kolley

Negotiations led by the regional bloc, the Economic Commission for West African States (ECOWAS) have failed as Jammeh continued to remain obdurate, refusing to step down and calling for fresh elections, despite being signatory to a number of ECOWAS treaties and conventions on democracy and good governance.

The African Union has issued notice that it would withdraw recognition of Jammeh after January 19, and the ECOWAS has hinted a possible military intervention to remove him from power and to install Barrow.

Jammeh has petitioned the Supreme Court of The Gambia over the election results, but the Court is unable to meet and hear the case until May – The Gambian Supreme Court is made up of mostly Nigerian and Sierra Leonean judges on secondment from their respective countries,

Abdou Jobe

because The Gambia has no senior judges. The judges are currently not in The Gambia.

His lawyer Edu Gomez filed for an injunction to stop the swearing-in ceremony due on Thursday, but the Chief Justice Emmanuel O. Fagbenle has responded saying he is unable to grant the injunction and has subsequently recused himself from any future hearing on the election and inauguration.

Meanwhile, Jammeh, who has been in power for 22 years and has won every election since 1996, except the December 1, 2016 one, has vowed to stay in office until the Supreme Court hears his petition.

Reports coming out of The Gambia say, some citizens fearing the outcome of a military intervention have started fleeing the country to neighbouring Senegal and foreign reporters, who have gone to Banjul to cover the inauguration, have reportedly been asked to leave the country.

By Emmanuel K. Dogbevi
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