World Gambia’s Yahya Jammeh, a dictator and ‘proud’ of it

22:52  11 january  2017
22:52  11 january  2017 Source:   france24.com

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© AFP | Longtime Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh smiles as he concedes defeat in the country' s presidential election on December 2, 2016. “The Gambian people have spoken, and I have no reason to contest the will of the almighty Allah,” said Jammeh , a self-avowed “ proud ” dictator .

Exiled Gambian ruler Yahya Jammeh stole millions of dollars in his final weeks in power, plundering the state coffers and shipping out luxury vehicles by cargo plane, a special adviser for the new >> Read more on FRANCE24.com: " Gambia ’ s Yahya Jammeh , a dictator and ‘ proud ’ of it ".

AFP | Longtime Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh smiles as he concedes defeat in the country's presidential election on December 2, 2016 © Provided by France 24 EN AFP | Longtime Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh smiles as he concedes defeat in the country's presidential election on December 2, 2016 Gambian President Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled with an iron first for the past 22 years, has tried to remain in power by contesting the results of the nation’s presidential poll before the Supreme Court, after initially conceding defeat in December.

For many in Gambia, the moment when President Yahya Jammeh called opposition candidate Adama Barrow on December 2 to concede defeat in the country’s presidential election was a historic one.

“The Gambian people have spoken, and I have no reason to contest the will of the almighty Allah,” said Jammeh, a self-avowed “proud” dictator. “The country will be in your hands in January [2017] and you are assured of my guidance on your transition and in selecting your new government.”

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Refugees have been streaming back into Gambia since the departure on Saturday of strongman Yahya Jammeh , who finally bowed to international pressure to accept his election defeat. Gambia ’ s Yahya Jammeh , a dictator and ‘ proud ’ of it .

Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh said Saturday he would step down to keep peace in his country after 22 years in power, following last-chance talks with west African leaders before a military intervention. Gambia ’ s Yahya Jammeh , a dictator and ‘ proud ’ of it .

Yet less than a week later, the outgoing president did an about-face. Jammeh appeared on national television to reject the election, which he described as plagued by “serious and unacceptable abnormalities”.

He also condemned the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), prompting the body’s president to flee to neighbouring Senegal out of fear for his safety. Jammeh later formally challenged the outcome before the country’s Supreme Court, which is due to hold a hearing on the motion on January 16.

‘Ban Ki-moon and Amnesty can go to h-ll’

Jammeh, 51, is notorious for his bizarre and, at times, belligerent behaviour. In May 2016, he told French magazine 'Jeune Afrique' that then UN Secretary General “Ban Ki-moon and [the human rights group] Amnesty can go to h-ll” after they called for an investigation into the death of Gambian opposition leader Solo Sadeng while in prison. “Who are they to ask that?” he demanded.

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What to Know About the Gambian Dictator Refusing to Hand Over Power. Incumbent Gambian President Yahya Jammeh looks on in Banjul on November 29, 2016, during the closing rally of the electoral campaign of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC).

Through ECOWAS intervention, the real winner of the Gambian elections has been installed despite resistance by the dictator Yahya Jammeh , who We are really proud of the firm stance taken by ECOWAS for demonstrating that the treaties, agreements, and protocols being signed are not merely

The Gambian president is also believed to have deployed countless members of the National Intelligence Agency to spy on, and if necessary, arrest his political opponents. The country’s capital Banjul is thought to be one of the most closely watched in Africa.

Disappearances, unlawful imprisonment, mysterious deaths… Jammeh has been accused of using any and all means at his disposal to repress political dissent in Gambia. His ruthless tactics have earned him a reputation as a dictator – a reputation he has embraced. “I’m proud of it,” he told the magazine Jeune Afrique in May.

Jammeh also claims to have miraculous healing powers. In 2007, he boasted to having cured HIV/AIDS using medicinal herbs and magical incantations. He has also alleged to have successfully treated asthma, epilepsy and infertility, often demonstrating his special abilities – which he says he inherited from his father – on television.

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Gambia ’ s Yahya Jammeh favored elaborate headgear in the early days of his presidency. “I will remember him as a tyrant and a selfish dishonest dictator , says Cherno Omar Barry, a former permanent secretary in the country’s education ministry.

Yahya Jammeh has had a 'colourful' married life. As the cliché (and perhaps sexist saying) goes, ‘behind every ‘successful’ man is a woman’, this is perhaps the best time to have a look at the women in Yahya Jammeh ’ s life.

Politically isolated

Jammeh was born on May 25, 1965 in Kanilai, a small, touristy village in western Gambia. He is a member of the Jola ethnic group, which is found in Gambia, Senegal and Guinea-Bissau.

His professional career began at the young age of 19, when he joined the military police. Ten years later, Jammeh – a mere army lieutenant – led a mutiny that ended in the downfall of the country’s then president, Daouda Diawara. Although several soldiers tried to challenge Jammeh’s claim to power, the 29-year-old responded with brutal force. Overall, approximately 40 people were killed in the violence.

After seizing power in 1994, Jammeh was elected president in 1996, before being re-elected in 2001, 2006 and again in 2011. A devout Muslim, he replaced Gambia’s official language English with Arabic in 2014.The next year, he proclaimed Gambia an “Islamic Republic”.

While a number of countries worldwide have taken steps in recent years to scrap anti-LGBT legislation, Jammeh has taken the opposite tack, signing a law in 2014 making some “homosexual acts” punishable by life imprisonment. “Homosexuality is not human,” he said at the time.

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Gambia : Campaign to bring former president Yahya Jammeh to Justice. Gambia +220 791 0848. “Victims bring a Dictator to Justice“ – updated and revised paper on the prosecution of Hissène Habré.

Sonala Olumhense. Finally, last weekend, Africa was saved another political and humanitarian mess when President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia agreed to He will be cursed daily by Gambians , and equally hounded by Equatorial Guineans who have enough resentment for two dictators .

Yet Jammeh’s increasingly conservative policies have isolated him on the international stage. To make matters worse, he decided in October 2016 to withdraw Gambia for the International Criminal Court (ICC), where his former advisor Fatou Bensouda works as a prosecutor.

“Gambia is at maximum isolation. Some dictators force themselves to play the game on the international level. Not him,” Mehdi Ba, Jeune Afrique’s correspondent in Senegal, told FRANCE 24.

With less than two weeks before Jammeh’s mandate ends on January 19, he has shown no signs of relinquishing power. On January 1, intelligence agents stormed private radio stations Teranga FM, Hilltop Radio and Afri Radio, forcing them to shut down. There have also been numerous arrests, including six opposition sympathisers who were detained for wearing or selling T-shirts with the logo #Gambiahasdecided, according to Human Rights Watch.

“The risk of the repression of all independent and dissident voices will certainly grow as calls for Jammeh to leave power intensify ahead of the end of his mandate on January 19,” Sabrina Mahtani, an Amnesty International researcher who specialises on West Africa, told FRANCE 24.

In the meantime, the Economic Community of West Africa (ECOWAS) is working to find a solution in order to ensure a peaceful transition of power. The regional bloc’s president, Liberian leader Ellen Johnson Sirleaf ruled out on Saturday the possibility of deploying soldiers to Gambia, after initially raising the possibility back in December.

"We are committed to a peaceful mediation and a peaceful transfer of power in The Gambia. We will continue to pursue that for now," she said.

Anxious Gambians await former president's departure .
After initially refusing to accept election defeat, Yahya Jammeh has pledged to make way for Adama Barrow and leave countrIn a midnight broadcast on state television after weeks of negotiation, Jammeh pledged to make way for Adama Barrow, the former estate agent who beat him in last month’s elections.

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