Catch me if you can

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There seems to be a game of ‘catch me if you can’ going on in the Gambia between the Government on the one hand and former president Yahya Jammeh and his supporters on the other. Last week, thousands of supporters of the Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) thronged the streets to demand the return of their leader, Yahya Jammeh to the Gambia.

On the occasion of the opening of the 2020 legal year, the attorney general and minister of Justice Abubacarr Baa Tambadou made it categorically clear that barring any revelations to the contrary from the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC), if and when Yahya Jammeh returns to the country will face immediate arrest and prosecution.

The deputy spokesperson of the APRC Mr Dodou Jah has responded by saying that Mr Tambadou does not own the country. He said that as far as he knows, the Gambia has a constitution governing it and Tambadou is neither the owner nor the author of that constitution. He vowed that they will respond to Tambadou after they have had an executive meeting.

The Government seems to be under a lot of pressure as immediately after the APRC announced their intention of protesting, the Victims’ Centre issued a statement saying that any such protest will be a mockery of what they went through. Now, they have also vowed to protest and call for justice.

These protests and counter-protests for and against Jammeh’s return to the Gambia seem to have reawakened the call for his extradition to face justice and answer for the crimes he is alleged to have committed while in office. A group of civil society organizations plan to hold a massive protest on the 23rd of January to call for justice for the victims of the 22 year rule of Yahya Jammeh and the embezzlement of funds the Janneh Commision has accused him of.