Gambian President Adama Barrow reshuffled his government on Friday, moving the leader of his ruling party from the foreign ministry to the position of Vice President, according to a statement.
Gambia has seen a spate of protests in recent days as the country struggles to reduce debt and drive out corruption since Barrow defeated long-term incumbent Yahya Jammeh in a presidential election in December 2016.
New vice president Ousainu Darboe, leader of the United Democratic Party, swapped jobs with Fatoumata Jallow Tambajang, who was appointed foreign minister.
A spokeswoman for the president said Barrow did not give reasons for the reshuffle which saw about a dozen ministers change jobs and a couple dismissed.
Effective today, 29 June 2018, the Cabinet of the of Republic has been reshuffled as follows:— State House of The Gambia (@Presidency_GMB) June 29, 2018
Vice President of the Republic – Hon. Ousainou Darboe
Min. of Information and Communication Infrastructure – Ebrima Sillah
Meanwhile Hon. Fatoumata Tambajang has been redeployed to the Foreign Service, while Hon. Henry Gomez is now Special Youth Adviser to the President of the Republic. Omar Jallow has been relived.— State House of The Gambia (@Presidency_GMB) June 29, 2018
Since taking office over a year ago, Barrow’s government has faced headwinds after inheriting a country with empty coffers and heavy debts. The debt stock of the tiny west African nation was at around 130 percent of gross domestic product at the end of last year.
The reshuffle comes a few days after Gambia’s head of police resigned following the death of three protesters during clashes with the police on June 18.
Separately, human rights activists and artists took to the streets on June 24 under an umbrella organisation called “Enough is Enough” to protest what they said was a culture of increasing corruption and impunity in the country.