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‘President must hire competent people to avoid future diplomatic scandals’

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By Alagie Manneh

A renowned disabled rights activist has said that it is the president’s hiring trajectory which should be blamed for the recent expulsion of four top Gambian diplomats at the Gambian embassy in Washington DC.

In a Standard exclusive, Mr Lamin Manneh also said the recycling of close friends and people loyal to the president across Gambia’s diplomatic missions does not bode well for the country’s international image.

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“Let Barrow stop appointing nonentities, people who don’t know diplomacy, don’t know anything in our diplomatic arena,” Manneh, who studied international relations and diplomacy, said. “You cannot compensate them simply because they are loyal to you by placing them in our diplomatic arena.  He has this knack of putting people who cannot deliver – the rank and file – in our diplomatic missions. As a result, it is eroding our credibility and giving a bad name to The Gambia because these people don’t know diplomacy, nor did they undergo any form of training, therefore, they have no qualification.”

Mr Manneh advised President Barrow to instead appoint people who have studied international relations and diplomacy. “I blame Barrow for creating a platform at our international missions for nonentities. It shouldn’t be a compensating platform. It’s supposed to be for educated people who understand diplomacy,” he stated.

He said the expelled envoys’ diplomatic status should have been revoked by the Gambia government whilst they were in the United States so that they could be arrested there and dealt with accordingly. “That is the law of international relations and diplomacy,” he said. 

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