Americas

US bars entry of Gambia's ex-leader Jammeh

Former president blacklisted for significant corruption

10.12.2018
US bars entry of Gambia's ex-leader Jammeh

By Umar Farooq

WASHINGTON

The U.S. is barring entry of former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh for significant corruption, the State Department said Monday.

The agency issued a statement that said Jammeh, along with his wife, daughter and son, are being blacklisted under a law blocking foreign government officials that have been involved in significant corruption or human rights violations from entering the country.

Jammeh ruled the country for 22 years since leading a coup in 1994. He lost a democratic election to Adama Barrowin December 2016.

He refused to step down, however, which prompted a military threat by the African Union and the West African regional body ECOWAS. He fled to Equatorial Guinea in January 2017.

The Barrow government reported that Jammeh stole at least $50 million from the country while in office.

Jammeh, who attended a military training course in Alabama, owns real estate 15 miles from Washington D.C. in Potomac, Maryland.

An estate previously owned by Calbert Cheaney, a former American basketball player, was sold to the Jammeh family trust in 2010 for $3.5 million, according to public records.

"The United States stands with the government of The Gambia, its people, and civil society in support of The Gambia’s transition towards greater transparency, accountability, and democratic governance, for the benefit of all Gambians," the State Department said.

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