- The US State Department has banned former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh and his immediate family from entering the US
- He is banned from entry under a category which applies to foreign government officials believed to have committed significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights
- Jammeh has been accused of stealing at least $50m from Gambia, while in office
Former president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, and members of his immediate family have been barred from entering into the United States by the US State Department.
The development comes almost two years after Jammeh was forced into exile in Equatorial Guinea after he refused to concede defeat in a presidential election and the decision was announced on Monday, December 10, Al Jazeera reports.
Legit.ng notes that the former president lost a democratic election to Adama Barrow in December 2016, after ruling Gambia for two decades.
However, he refused to step down, prompting threats of military action by the African Union (AU) and ECOWAS. He eventually fled to Equatorial Guinea in January 2017.
According to the US State Department, Jammeh is banned from entry under a category which applies to government officials of foreign countries who are believed to have committed "significant corruption or a gross violation of human rights."
Jammeh, his wife Zineb, their daughter Mariam and son Muhammed are all barred from entering the US.
After he exited the presidency, the successive Barrow administration announced that Jammeh, while in office, stole at least $50m from the country.
According to public records, in 2010, the Jammeh family trust was sold an estate previously owned by Calbert Cheaney, a former American basketball player, for the sum of $3.5m.
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Meanwhile, Legit.ng previously reported that Human Rights Watch and TRIAL International announced that a paramilitary unit controlled by ex-Gambian president Yahya Jammeh summarily executed more than 50 Ghanaian, Nigerian, and other West African migrants in July 2005.
According to Human Rights Watch, interviews with 30 former Gambian officials, including 11 officers directly involved in the incident, revealed that the migrants who were bound for Europe but were suspected of being mercenaries intent on overthrowing Jammeh were murdered after having been detained by Jammeh’s closest deputies in the Army, Navy, and police forces.
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