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Supporters of exiled Gambian president hope for his return


Three years after his ouster from power, supporters of Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh still hold him in high esteem and continue to dream of his eventual return.

Jammeh left the country in January 2017 accepting an offer to live in Equatorial Guinea after losing the 2016 elections. He conceded defeat in the December 2016 polls before attempting to overturn the results citing irregularities.

Talk of his return has routinely popped up in the West African country where he is wanted to respond to accusations of corruption and human rights abuses.

The party he led to govern for over two decades, APRC, has routinely accused the government of president Admama Barrow of unjustly demonizing Jammeh despite his absence.

One of his supporters said: “He is the only president who can develop the country, he is the only president whom you know that, when we speak with him he will know what we are talking about, he will understand what we are talking about.”

Fabakary Tombong Jatta, APRC party head stressed Jammeh’s right to return but does not give specifics: “He has the right to come back and he will come back inshallah, he will soon come back, it’s just a matter of time. But he is almost on the way coming.”

Gambia has set up a truth, reconciliation and reparations commission to investigate crimes committed under the Jammeh regime.

It has heard shocking testimonies, including from hit-men who say they carried out dozens of murders for the regime. But Jammeh’s supporters reject these accusations.

With evidence against his regime continuing to stack up, if Jammeh ever does decide to return to Gambia, he would almost certainly be risking prosecution.

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