Gambia to prosecute former President Yahya Jammeh for alleged crimes

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The Gambia plans to prosecute its former leader, Yahya Jammeh, over alleged crimes committed while he was in office as president. It follows recommendations by a commission tasked to investigate the former leader.

Former President, Yahya Jammeh is being accused of rape, murder and other crimes alleged to have been committed during his 20-year rule.

70 others including officials under Jammeh’s government have also been accused of various crimes sanctioned by him, according to the inquiry by the commission.

The commission says it heard distressing testimonies from over 300 victims and alleged perpetrators of crimes during Jammeh’s rule. It found out that up to 250 people died at the hands of the state and its agents under the former president.

The country’s Ministry of Justice says it has created a special prosecution office to establish a court to deal with the case against the former leader. But Yahya Jammeh is currently in exile in Equatorial Guinea. He fled the country in 2017 after losing the elections which brought Adama Barrow to power. It is unclear if he will return to the Gambia to challenge the alleged crimes in court. Equatorial Guinea has no extradition agreement with the Gambia.

Reporting by: Nabil Ahmed Rufai in Accra-Ghana