Four ministers leave as crisis deepens
The political crisis in Gambia continues this week as current President Yahya Jammeh refuses to stand down after he was defeated in a presidential election last month. The new President, Adama Barrow, is due to be inaugurated this Thursday 19th January. Meanwhile four more ministers have resigned from Jammeh’s government; they are the finance, foreign affairs, trade and the environment ministers.
The British Foreign and Commonwealth Office have issued the following warning:
“The Foreign and Commonwealth Office advise against all but essential travel to The Gambia due to ongoing political uncertainty and potential military intervention following the Presidential elections on 1 December 2016. If you’re currently in The Gambia you should leave by commercial means if you have no essential need to remain.
The incumbent President, Yahya Jammeh, continues to contest the election results at the Supreme Court, while the President elect, Mr. Adama Barrow, has left the country. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has stated it may intervene, including possible military action, if President Jammeh doesn’t step down on the scheduled handover date of 18/19 January 2017.
This has led to intransigence on the part of the sitting government, resulting in reports that it has started to take restrictive measures, including shutting down opposition radio stations and making politically motivated arrests. The potential for military intervention and civil disturbance is high and could result in Banjul International Airport being closed at short notice.
You should follow events closely, take extra care, keep in regular contact with your tour operator and airline and continue to monitor travel advice and social media updates in case tensions rise as the current political deadlock continues. Avoid large crowds and avoid discussing politically sensitive topics in public.”