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Daily Briefing: Gambia’s Ruling Party Signs Deal for Jammeh’s Return

The Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC) was founded by army officers who staged a coup in 1994, it was the dominant ruling party from 1996 until 2016 with president Yahya Jammeh. While the National Peoples’ Party (NPP) was founded in December 2019 by incumbent President of the Gambia, Adama Barrow.Recently, APRC has agreed to join the NPP led coalition ahead of presidential poll in December.

After months of negotiation, APRC and NPP signed an agreement to re-elect President Adama Barrow for a second term. Interim leader of APRC Fabakary Tombong Jatta at a presser on Saturday, announced that his party has reached an agreement to throw its support behind President Barrow’s bid for re-election on 4th December 2021 in Gambia.

APRC officials said, part of the MoU is to ensure that Yahya Jammeh, who is currently is in exile in Equatorial Guinea, returns to the country peacefully, with dignity according to News Agencies in the West African country. His reign was marred by reported human rights violations, including torture and extrajudicial killings.

Meanwhile, there are speculations whether the deal protects Jammeh from trial as there’s an effort presently sustained to bring him to justice on accusation of crimes against humanity.

Yahya Jammeh reportedly wants to Return to The Gambia

Activists ascertains this as a sell-out to the casualties of Yayah Jammeh’s over two decade’s in governance. On social media channels, citizens of the Gambia voiced disappointment as Adama Barrow, who on many occasions admitted former ruling APRC administration enormities, a president they voted for to bring about change, is the one biddings to bring back that same government to authority.

Jammeh, a former military head of state, first came to power in a bloodless coup in 1994. He went on to contest elections and won on four occasions.

After conceding defeat in the 2016 election, Jammeh backtracked, citing electoral irregularities. Weeks later, he was forced to board a plane as instructed by the regional grouping, ECOWAS, which had threatened military action.

The current government in the Ghambia established the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission (TRRC) to establish facts on human rights violations from July 1994 to January 2017, a commission that was seen as a beacon of hope for victims of the Jammeh’s government.

The panel is due to hand a report on its findings to President Barrow later this month. Analyst says TRRC has no jurisdiction to convict, its report is highly anticipated by rights groups to see whether it will recommend pursuing criminal charges against Jammeh.

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