European Union officials have been astonished by the expulsion of their Charge d’Affaires in The Gambia, with the bloc’s spokesman saying “the announcement came with no explanation.”
EU officials on Saturday summoned Gambian Ambassador to seek an explanation of the expulsion, the bloc’s Foreign Policy Spokesman told AFP. The EU has “full confidence” in Guillaud’s work. The French has been the EU’s Interim d’Affaires in The Gambia since 2011.
The Jammeh government Friday night announced the expulsion of Miss Agnes Guillaud from the country. Guillaud was ordered to leave Gambian territory within 72 hours. The news, relayed on national television, ordered Miss Guillaud to leave the country latest Sunday.
The leader of the country’s biggest opposition party lampooned the Jammeh government, describing the expulsion as “one of the most ill-considered decisions by the government of the Gambia.”
“I would have thought that whatever problem that might have existed between the Gambia government and Madam Guillaud personally, it should have been handled in a more respectable way rather than expelling her,” Lawyer Ousainou Darboe told AFP.
The EU has been one of the biggest donors to The Gambia, providing $72 million dollars in subsidies from 2008 to 2013. As one of the foremost development partners, Mr. Darboe said The Gambia should not do anything to jeopardise relations with the EU. He said this would be costly for the West African nation.
Guillaud had earlier hinted an end to her Banjul mission at a reception she hosted.
Her expulsion came after President Jammeh launched barrage of attacks on the European Union, accusing the block of failing to rescue thousands of migrants from perishing in the Mediterrean Sea. Jammeh had earlier blamed “greedy and ungodly Gambian parents for allowing their sons to die in sea, in search of greener pastures abroad.”