In a strongly worded letter to the High Representative of the European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, Federica Mogherini, members of the European Parliament from the five major political parties want the European Union to immediately implement severe sanctions on former Gambia President Yahya Jammeh.
The exiled former leader has been accused of stealing millions of Dollars in his final weeks in power and shipping luxury vehicles out of the country. He left Gambia late Saturday for Equatorial Guinea, following a deal brokered by the Presidents of Guinea Conakry and Mauritania, guaranteeing Mr. Jammeh safe passage in return for him to stepdown.
“We are writing to you in your capacity as the as the High Representative of European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy to convey our deep and serious concerns for the post-election situation in The Gambia. The EU must be prepared to implement severe individual sanctions targeted at Jammeh himself as soon as possible.”
The EU Parliamentarians also applaud the decision of many prominent institutions and individuals within Gambia for their condemnation of former president Jammeh’s action to thwart the democratic will of the Gambian people. It is a mark of how important Jammeh’s defeat was to the Gambian people that these organisations and individual citizens have stepped forward to oppose him.
“He has done this with the self serving aims of retaining power for himself and avoiding prosecution for the numerous and serious human rights abuses allegedly committed under his rule.”
Parliamentarians noted that former President Jammeh’s rule has been marked for its severe and brutal oppression of all opponents and dissenting voices, as outlined in the European Parliament resolution on Gambia.This has led to a toxic regime where freedom of speech has been fundamentally restricted.
“The European Parliament has actively been monitoring the situation In the months leading to the election with our May 12 resolution, registering the dire situation in The country. The parliament also send a delegation from the Human Rights Subcommittee to the Gambia in September to see the reality on the ground first hand,” he letter stated
Members of the European Parliament, also hailed the Gambia’s Presidential election as a beacon of hope not only for the Gambia but for Sub Saharan Africa, and applauded the Independent Electoral Commission for conducting a free, fair and transparent election.
“Former President Jammeh and all those alleged to have loot the state coffers, as well as committed human rights violations in The Gambia cannot hide from the long arm of international justice.We will intensify efforts at the European Union, UK Government, and United Nations to ensure their assets are frozen, and other targeted sanctions,” Alieu Badara Ceesay of the Campaign for Human Rights in The Gambia UK said.