US blacklists Gambia's ex-President Yahya Jammeh - Adeola Fayehun

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Thursday, December 21, 2017

US blacklists Gambia's ex-President Yahya Jammeh


The United States on Thursday imposed sanctions on 13 "serious human rights abusers and corrupt actors" including former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, accused of human rights abuses and corruption, and Israeli billionaire Dan Gertler, accused of using his friendship with Democratic Republic of Congo President Joseph Kabila to secure sweetheart mining deals.

The U.S. government, applying penalties for the first time under a law passed last year, also targeted 38 other individuals and entities with sanctions that block their assets under U.S. jurisdiction, bar most Americans from dealing with them and largely cut them off from the global financial system.

The list include Myanmar general Maung Maung Soe, who oversaw this year's brutal crackdown against the Rohingya Muslim minority.

A US Treasury statement said that during Jammeh's 22 years in power he had a “history of engaging in serious human rights abuses and corruption”.

"Jammeh created a terror and assassination squad called the Junglers that answered directly to him. Jammeh used the Junglers to threaten, terrorise, interrogate, and kill individuals whom Jammeh assessed to be threats. During his tenure, Jammeh used a number of corrupt schemes to plunder The Gambia’s state coffers or otherwise siphon off state funds for his personal gain. Ongoing investigations continue to reveal Jammeh’s large-scale theft from state coffers prior to his departure.”

Below is the full statement on Jammeh:

"Yahya Jammeh (Jammeh), the former President of The Gambia who came to power in 1994 and stepped down in 2017, has a long history of engaging in serious human rights abuses and corruption.  Jammeh created a terror and assassination squad called the Junglers that answered directly to him.  Jammeh used the Junglers to threaten, terrorize, interrogate, and kill individuals whom Jammeh assessed to be threats.  During Jammeh’s tenure, he ordered the Junglers to kill a local religious leader, journalists, members of the political opposition, and former members of the government, among others.  Jammeh used the Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA) as a repressive tool of the regime – torturing political opponents and journalists. Throughout his presidency, Jammeh routinely ordered the abuse and murder of those he suspected of undermining his authority.

"During his tenure, Jammeh used a number of corrupt schemes to plunder The Gambia’s state coffers or otherwise siphon off state funds for his personal gain.  Ongoing investigations continue to reveal Jammeh’s large-scale theft from state coffers prior to his departure.  According to The Gambia’s Justice Ministry, Jammeh personally, or through others acting under his instructions, directed the unlawful withdrawal of at least $50 million of state funds.  The Gambian Government has since taken action to freeze Jammeh’s assets within The Gambia.


"In a related action, OFAC designated Africada Airways, Kanilai Group International, Kanilai Worni Family Farms Ltd, Royal Africa Capital Holding Ltd, Africada Financial Service & Bureau de Change Ltd, Africada Micro-Finance Ltd, Africada Insurance Company, Kora Media Corporation Ltd, Atlantic Pelican Company Ltd, Palm Grove Africa Dev’t Corp. Ltd, Patriot Insurance Brokers Co. Ltd, and Royal Africa Securities Brokerage Co Ltd."

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