The former leader of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh has been barred from entering the United States. This media note was released yesterday via the US State Department. Mr. Jammeh was placed in a category of foreign government officials that have been involved in significant corruption or gross violation of human rights.
This comes after Justice Minister of The Gambia, Abubacarr Tambadou accused the former president of ‘stealing’ at least $50 million from the state in 2017.
Due to the category in which Mr. Jammeh was placed which calls for barring the immediate family of the affected person, his immediate family was also barred from entering the US. They include his wife, Zineb Yahya Jammeh, his daughter, Mariam Jammeh, and his son, Muhammad Yahya Jammeh.
Mr. Jammeh seized power in a bloodless coup in 1994 before becoming the legitimate president through a general election in 1996. The Gambia’s ex-leader flew out of the country he ruled for 22 years and into exile, bringing an end to a protracted political crisis following presidential elections in December 2016.
The longtime ruler refused to step down after a December 1 vote in which opposition leader Adama Barrow was declared the winner, triggering weeks of tension as West African leaders threatened to use military force to oust him if he failed to step down.
Jammeh boarded a small, unmarked plane at an airport in the capital, Banjul, on 21st January 2017, alongside Guinea’s President Alpha Conde after two days of negotiations over a departure deal.
He landed in Conakry, Guinea’s capital, but set off again for Equatorial Guinea, where he has remained in exile.