Gambia urges U.S. include Zeineb Jammeh in sanctions

Wednesday, December 27, 2017

The minister of Justice has called on the United States Treasury to include wife of former Gambian dictator and other family members in the latest assets freeze and sanctions on dictator Jammeh.

The United States through the Treasury Department last week included former President Jammeh and Yankuba Badjie and companies associated with them on the list of sanctions under the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act passed by their Congress last year.

The reasons given by the U.S. government for this latest action includes: “taking a strong stand against human rights abuse and corruption…[by] freezing their assets and publicly denouncing the egregious acts they’ve committed, sending a message that there is a steep price to pay for their misdeeds”.

“While we commend the U.S. government for this laudable act, we would like to encourage them to do more and therefore call on the United States to include on this list some family members of former President Jammeh especially his wife Mrs Zeineb Souma Jammeh,” Justice minister said to journalists at a press conference on Friday.

“We have information, and I think the Commission of Inquiry that is going on at the moment has also revealed actions connecting the former president’s wife to the unauthorized withdrawal of huge sums of money from state coffers,” said Minister Tambadou, in response to a question from reporters as to what it was necessary to include the ex –first lady in the freeze and sanctions list.

He further argued that such were enough reasons to include Zeineb Suma-Jammeh on this list as well.

Aboubacarr Tambadou said Gambia recognises the fact that this action comes less than a year after Jammeh left power and therefore demonstrates the commitment of the U.S. government to support the people of The Gambia in their quest for justice.

“This latest action by the Treasury Department underscores the importance of adhering to the rule of law in our actions. It is a tangible demonstration that when we do things in accordance with the law, when we follow due process, we will earn the respect and cooperation of others around the world,” Tambadou said.

“We will continue to work closely with authorities in the U.S. and other countries and organisations around the world to help us trace and recover assets of former President Jammeh, his family members and close associates wherever those assets may be found. In this regard, we wish to thank all those who came forward with information and assisted us in this very complex process, and hereby reiterate our call for more information from the public,” he added.

“In the same vein, we call upon the international community and all friends of The Gambia including the European Union to also adopt similar measures against former President Jammeh, his family members and close associates and companies associated with them,” Tambadou stated.

Author: Sanna Camara