By Halimatou Ceesay
The Gambia government has welcomed the move by the United States Department of Treasury to sanction, freeze and ban former President Jammeh and former NIA Boss Yankuba Badjie from traveling to the U.S.
This was revealed on Friday, 22nd December, 2017 during a press briefing by Abubacarr Ba Tambadou, Attorney General and Minister of Justice, held at the ministry’s conference Hall in Banjul.
Ba Tambadou said: “the ministry of justice of the Gambia welcomes the decision by the United States, through the Treasury Department, to include former President Jammeh and Mr. Yankuba Badjie and companies associated with them on the recent list of sanctions. The reasons given by the US Government for this latest action are as follows and I quote “taking a stand against human rights abuse and corruption by freezing their assets and publicly denouncing the incredulous act they committed; sending a message that there is a stiff price to pay for their mischief.”
He added that this latest action by the US Government means that U.S citizens and companies are prohibited from engaging in transaction with former president Jammeh and Mr. Yankuba Badjie and companies associated with them. He said it also means that the asset of former president Jammeh and Mr. Yankuba Badjie within U.S jurisdiction are frozen, adding that they are also banned from travelling to the U.S.
“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 family members of former President, especially his wife, madam Zineb Suma Jammeh.
Mr. Tambedou observed that the fact that these actions were taken by the US government almost less than a year of Jammeh’s removal from power demonstrated US government’s commitment to support the people of The Gambia ‘in the quest for justice.’ This latest action by the treasury department is the result of close cooperation between the U.S authorities and the Government of the Gambia,” he said.
He further stated that it underscores the resolve and determination of the Gambia Government to recover every single butut that rightfully belongs to the people of the country and that they would not relent until they are satisfied with their efforts.
“It also 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 and I would take this opportunity to reiterate that we shall continue to take the time necessary to ensure that we get it right,” he remarked.
Tambedou went on to assure the public that the government of The Gambia would keep working collaboratively with authorities in other countries and organisations around the world to help “…trace and recover assets of former President Jammeh, his family members and close associates wherever those assets may be found.”
He therefore called 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.