Thirty years ago, a bright, relatively young man by the name of Yahya Jammeh ascended to the leadership of the nation of Gambia through a violent and bloody military coup. For three decades he ruled the nation with an iron fist; imprisoning anyone who disagreed with him, in some cases, making members of the dissident citizenry “disappear” permanently.
The people of Gambia are thankful that, as of this past Saturday, those days are over.
Today, Jammeh must be regretting his decision to allow free and fair democratic elections inside his country this past fall. He probably couldn’t have imagined that the people he’d ruled for all those years would vote handily and in overwhelming numbers for a relatively unknown property developer and political activist by the name of Adama Barrow. But vote for him they did and such a fashion that it delivered a crushing and would ultimately prove to be the final blow to dictator Jammeh’s decades long run as president of Gambia.
For a while, the post-election environment in Gambia was tense. After initially agreeing to abide by the results, Jammeh, in a sharp reversal, flat out rejected them and refused to leave the country. But according to CNN, “A large contingent of West African forces from the regional grouping Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS) are in Gambia to pave the way for the new government.” The effort to remove Jammeh was also backed by UN Security Council Forces.
According to CNN, Barrow was sworn in in Dakar, in neighboring Senegal, Thursday.
So even though a new era is dawning for the people of Gambia, there is much work to do and many questions that need to be answered. Chief among them is the country’s financial condition. There have been reports that outgoing president Jammeh looted the country’s coffers a report that incoming president Barrow stated to CNN, “This is the information I’m also getting, but we want to get to the bottom of it, we want to get the documents in my hand and we will elaborate on it, I have to be in contact with the Central Bank to confirm …”
Barrow started appointing his cabinet Monday, including his Vice President. We hope for the best for Mr. Barrow and the nation of Gambia!
Think Passionately. Disrupt Strategically.
-A. Lawrence Haskins
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