Diplomatic sources have intimated to this newspaper that the Gambian Embassy in Moscow opened with much fanfare in the last year of President Jammeh’s rule has been closed and that the Ambassador, former minister Momodou Aki Bayo and his staff have been recalled and are already in Banjul.
According to the sources, the decision to close the Embassy was given by former President Jammeh in the last quarter of 2016 allegedly citing the Kremlin’s overt support to then US Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump whom he [Jammeh] regarded as a racist and a bigot and anti-African.
In a separate development, this paper has been informed that a handful of Gambian ambassadors, reportedly those based in Dakar, Ankara, Brussels, Bissau, Addis Ababa and Beijing among others have been or will be recalled. So too the head of the consulate in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
However, when contacted for confirmation or otherwise of the reports, the communications officer at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Saikou Ceesay, refused to be committal. He stated: “We cannot confirm because everything is in a state of flux. Nonetheless, it is part of the normal diplomatic process to review diplomatic postings and operations.”
Asked what is the meaning of such scripted protocolese, Mr Ceesay, a former newspaper editor, replied tersely: “That is all I can say on this matter for now”.