With only nine months after accepting to leave power, an international campaign has been launched seeking to bring ex-Gambian leader, Yahya Jammeh, to face justice for alleged crimes during his over two decades reign as president.
Victims of Jammeh’s regime joined by local and international Non Governmental Organizations (NGOs) announced the campaign in the Gambian capital, Banjul, over the weekend.
“We will do whatever it takes to get justice, no matter how long it takes,” said Fatoumatta Sandeng, campaign spokesperson and daughter of Solo Sandeng, a Jammeh opponent who died in April 2016 – whiles in the custody of the now defunct National Intelligence Agency (NIA).
This campaign sends a strong message: no African dictator, no leader suspected of crimes against humanity, must believe himself above the law or safe from justice.
— Alhagie Jobe (@freejobe39) October 21, 2017
Jammeh is accused severally of ordering the killing and disappearance of political opponents during his 22 years in power. A government committee is currently looking into his financial deals which are said to have cost the country millions of dollars.
According to international rights group, Human Rights Watch (HRW), the campaign will demand the extradition of Jammeh to face trial back home. They, however, admit that the process could take years before it materializes.
“This campaign sends a strong message: no African dictator, no leader suspected of crimes against humanity, must believe himself above the law or safe from justice,” another official from the campaign, Mohamed Bouamatou, a Mauritanian businessman said.
Jammeh is currently exiled in Equatorial Guinea after accepting a mediation by Guinea and Mauritanian presidents. He had previously refused to accept outcome of a December 1 election in which he lost to opposition coalition candidate, Adama Barrow.