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Gambia’s Opposition Leader Condemns Expulsion of UNICEF Envoy

  • Peter Clottey

The leader of Gambia’s main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) has condemned the Gambian government’s expulsion of UNICEF envoy Min-Whee Kang.

The leader of Gambia’s main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) has condemned the Gambian government’s expulsion of UNICEF envoy Min-Whee Kang.

Ousainou Darboe said the expulsion is yet another testament that President Yahya Jammeh’s government doesn’t respect diplomacy and international laws.

“Obviously it is an action that is condemnable and it is condemned by all opposition parties in the Gambia and indeed by any right thinking individual. President Jammeh believes that he can treat international civil servants as he pleases. That is unacceptable and it puts Gambia in bad light within a community of nations. It just shows again that this government does not have any regard for law…not only for domestic law but also for international law,” he said.

Gambia President Yahya Jammeh

Gambia President Yahya Jammeh

The Gambian government gave no reasons behind the expulsion.

Meanwhile, Gaelle Bausson an official at UNICEF’s West African regional office in Dakar said the UN body has sent a petition to president Jammeh’s government seeking an explanation for the envoy’s expulsion.

But opposition leader Darboe said it is unlikely the government will give any explanation, adding that the expulsion casts a dark shadow over Gambia’s independence anniversary celebration scheduled for Thursday.

Political analysts say the expulsion is the government’s way of intimidating any international organization since the administration has often come under criticism over its poor human rights record.

Darboe said President Jammeh doesn’t accept dissenting views.

“He has been very resentful (of) anything that touches on the government’s democratic credentials and his government’s observance of the rule of law…and he doesn’t take kindly to it. You may recall that the former UNDP coordinator in the Gambia was similarly expelled for apparently making statements that depicted the true situation in the country,” Darboe said.

Gambia media reports that the UNICEF envoy left to an unknown place after the government gave the official 24 hours to leave before Friday.

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