Gambian President Adama Barrow on Thursday reshuffled his cabinet, appointing Sheikh Omar Faye as defense minister for the first time in 22 years.
In a statement, the presidency also said a former controversial police chief, Yankuba Sonko, will now lead the interior ministry.
A Gambian human rights activist, Madi Jobarteh, hailed the appointment of a defense minister, but said “Mr. Faye’s choice is an important step backwards” since he was a “ key support of the dictatorship in The Gambia”.
Faye served as head of communications under Yahya Jammeh in 2005 after he returned from the United States. He was also Youth and Sports minster, before being appointed as ambassador to Washington.
Sonko was the Inspector General of Police during the April 2016 crackdown on a rally calling for political reforms.