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Supporters of exiled Gambian President Jammeh to rally in support of his return


Supporters of exiled Gambian President Jammeh to rally in support of his return

yahya jammeh supporters
Photo: AFP

Supporters of Yahya Jammeh, the exiled former president of Gambia, will gather in the country’s capital today to demand he be allowed to return to the west African country.

Having lost an election but refusing to stand aside, Jammeh fled in January 2017 when he was forced out by protests and pressure from neighbouring states.

Over his two-decade-rule, Jammeh purged those who opposed him—journalists, political opponents and members of the LGBT community all suffered under his rein. The former leader is also purported to have stolen some $1 billion while in power.

If Jammeh does return, it is unclear what will happen. On one hand, President Adama Barrow—who replaced Jammeh in 2017—could force the him to stand trial for crimes and human rights violations during his rule.

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On the other hand, Barrow has failed to raise living standards and has himself circumnavigated the law after failing to uphold his promise of stepping down after the constitutionally mandated three-year rule. Dissatisfaction among Jammeh supporters and those disenchanted with the current administration’s rule could boil over in coming months and result in sizeable support for Jammeh’s return.

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