President Adama Barrow has recalled some Ambassadors and Foreign Service personnel, who were said to have been hired with the help of his sacked Vice President Ousainou Darboe. Darboe is the leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP). UDP forms the majority in Barrow’s led Coalition government. The party has over 31 MPS in parliament; and controls the Mayoral offices in Banjul and the Kanifing Municipality. The UDP also controls seven out of the eight administrative municipalities in The Gambia.
Both Darboe and Barrow used to be in the same political party, but there has been a political fallout between the duo.
Now Barrow has resorted to an in-house cleansing within Gambia’s Foreign Service.
Barrow has repeatedly said in recent public rallies that government workers and cabinet members, who do not share his government’s agenda, particularly the National Development Plan (NDP), would be dropped off from what he called “my bus.”
The majority of the Gambian Foreign Diplomats, who have been removed were on contract with the government. Among those informed that their contract with The Gambia government had expired or was to expire include—Gambia’s Ambassador to Russia, Jainaba Bah, Dr. Momodou Lamin Sedat Jobe, Gambia’s Ambassador to France, Amadou Taal, Gambia’s Ambassador to Nigeria, and Francis Blain, Gambia’s Ambassador to the United Kingdom.
It has also been gathered that Faye Ceesay, The Gambian Ambassador to China, was among the diplomats informed that his contract had expired. Ambassador Ramzia Diab, who was earlier informed that her contract had also expired. She is Gambia’s Ambassador to Malaysia. She had her contract extended. This followed, Diab’s request for an extension. Diab campaigned for the newly appointed Vice President Isatou Touray during Gambia’s 2016 elections.
The Ambassadors were hired on a two-year contract. The government refuses to renew their contracts.
Ebou Manneh, Gambia’s Ambassador to Sierra Leone, was also informed that his contract was about to expire. Manneh was hired in July of 2018. He has written to the government to inform them that his contract wouldn’t expire until July of 2020.
The latest purge followed President Barrow’s efforts to consolidate himself in power. Barrow has opened what observers called political bureaus in major towns across the country. Barrow is yet to form his own political party.
He had resigned from the United Democratic Party, which propelled him into the Presidency to lead a group of opposition parties to challenge Jammeh in the 2016 elections.
Gambia’s Foreign Ministry hasn’t publicly commented on the matter yet.
Written By Pa Nderry M’Bai
Email: [email protected]
Editors note: This news article first appeared on our sister website–Freedom Radio Gambia. It is apart of our coverage of the ongoing purging of Gambia’s Foreign Service by President Adama Barrow’s government. Thanks for your attention.