Barrow’s Alliance with Jammeh Deflates Gambians’ Hopes for Justice

Barrow’s Alliance with Jammeh Deflates Gambians’ Hopes for Justice
Gambian President Adama Barrow delivers an address at Chatham House in London, April 18, 2018 (photo courtesy of Chatham House).

BANJUL, Gambia—When Adama Barrow took office as president of Gambia in 2017, it inspired hope for justice in a country that had just suffered through 22 years of brutal and repressive rule under Yahya Jammeh. The dictator had tried to cling to power despite losing the 2016 election to Barrow, sparking a constitutional crisis that was only defused through a military intervention by the main regional bloc, the Economic Community of West African States.

But any hope of justice for the victims of Jammeh’s abuses has now largely collapsed. On Sept. 4, the interim leader of Jammeh’s APRC party, Fabakary Tombong Jatta, announced an electoral alliance with Barrow’s newly formed National People’s Party, or NPP

While neither side has disclosed the full contents of the pact, it apparently states that the APRC will back Barrow in the upcoming presidential election in December provided that the government guarantees Jammeh’s safe return from exile in Equatorial Guinea. There is further speculation that the former president would receive a blanket amnesty as part of the deal.

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