Ministers continue to abandon Gambia's Jammeh

As Gambian president tries to cling to power, more ministers resign, flee to Senegal

Ministers continue to abandon Gambia's Jammeh

World Bulletin / News Desk

As the political standoff in Gambia approaches the Jan. 19 dateline when President-elect Adama Barrow is scheduled to take the oath of office, Gambia’s strongman Yahya Jammeh, who is refusing to cede power, has been abandoned by his third minister in two weeks. 

Neneh MacDouall-Gaye, Jammeh’s foreign affairs minister, resigned on Monday and argued in her resignation letter that the current political climate in the country had made it untenable for her to effectively perform her functions. 

The Gambian leader had first appeared to accept results declaring his loss in last month's election, but a week later he proceeded to reject them claiming the process was tainted with “unacceptable irregularities”. 

MacDouall-Gaye's resignation followed those of Sports Minister Alieu Jammeh and Communications Minister Sheriff Bojang who have all fled to neighboring Senegal. 

Meanwhile, Abdou Kolley, the finance and economics minister, has also reportedly resigned.

Though the government has yet to issue a statement on the issue, it has also been reported Tuesday that Trade Minister Abdou Jobe and Environment Minister Pa Ousman Jarju, have also resigned. 

The Gambian president is facing sustained international pressure to cede power. The regional economic grouping, the Economic Community Of West African States (ECOWAS), has vowed to oust Jammeh with brute force if he makes real his threat to stay in power beyond Jan. 19. 

Both the African Union and UN support ECOWAS’s position and last Friday, the Peace and Security Council of the African Union threatened not to recognize Jammeh if he stays in power beyond his term. 

But the defiant Gambian leader said the “so-called Jan. 19” deadline was not carved in stone suggesting the inauguration could wait for the outcome of the petition he has filed seeking to annul the election results. 

Sidi Sanneh, a Gambian analyst and a blogger based in the U.S. who has a working experience with Jammeh, told Anadolu Agency: “Jammeh's cabinet [ministers] are abandoning him in droves, adding further pressure on the embattled leader to leave office peacefully.

"A dozen of his ambassadors around the world have also resigned en masse. It is only a matter of time before the entire government machinery collapses or ceases to function effectively,” he added.

Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Ocak 2017, 15:53