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4 Aug 2017

More Troubles for Yahya Jammeh as Gambia Revokes His Diplomatic Passport

The embattled ex leader of the West African nation of Gambia, has had his woes compounded as his diplomatic passport is revoked.
Yahya Jammeh
The Associated Press has revealed that the Gambian government has revoked former president Yahya Jammeh’s diplomatic passport and those of his family.

According to Associated Press, the revoked diplomatic passports include that of 207 Gambians who have had their privileges cancelled with immediate effect.

Other names on the list of people who have had their diplomatic passports removed include Jammeh’s ex-bodyguard Alhagi Martin, and former ministers Fatou Mass Jobe-Njie and Fatou Lamin Faye, AP added. Jammeh went into exile in Equatorial Guinea earlier this year, having lost an election to Adama Barrow in December 2016 after 22 years in power.

Meanwhile, former interior minister Ousman Sonko is to be held in a Swiss jail for a further three months after Switzerland’s top prosecutor expanded an investigation into whether he committed crimes against humanity, Reuters news agency reported.

Mr Sonko has been in custody awaiting trial since January, after the Geneva-based legal group Trial International “filed a criminal complaint accusing him of having personally taken part in torture”, the news agency adds.

Reuters quoted the Swiss attorney general’s office as saying it has broadened the investigation into Sonko’s alleged activities after hearing testimony from witnesses and once additional complaints were lodged against him.

Sonko was the Gambia’s interior minister from 2006 to 2016 serving under authoritarian leader Yahya Jammeh, later fleeing to Sweden and settling in Switzerland where he applied for asylum in November 2016.

Jammeh himself fled into exile after losing an election to Adama Barrow in December and has denied allegations he tortured and killed political opponents during his two decades in power.  Sonko has not commented on the case, Reuters adds.

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