Saturday, July 24, 2010

Gambia: Yahya A. J. J. Jammeh wages drug war

“There is no way that my government will tolerate drug and compromise on its trafficking in The Gambia,” the former military lieutenant said during the 16th anniversary celebration of the bloodless coup that brought him to power.
President Jammeh described as "unscrupulous elements” those who tried “to use this country as a base and transit point for the most dangerous trade, trafficking of illicit drugs." He said they were "true enemies of the state."

Jammeh’s 1994 coup brought to an end one of Africa’s longest serving governments under independent leader Sir Dawda Jawara.

Gambian courts are presently inundated with multitude of drug related cases involving mostly former close allies of President Jammeh himself. Some, like the former police chief, Ensa ‘Jesus’ Badjie, had been known to be involved in the trade of the illicit drugs and various other criminal activities well before he was appointed to head the country’s police.

President Jammeh is on record describing him as the best police chief he had ever appointed.

"In the recent past, the scale of drugs in particular has increased alarmingly as Gambians became flabbergasted by the discovery of huge quantities of hard drugs involving public officers, who betrayed public trust and confidence," Jammeh said in apparent reference to his former allies, who also included a former head of the anti-narcotics agency.

With Gambia seemingly competing with Guinea Bissau as a drug hub for Latin American cartels, President Jammeh promised to do everything possible to eradicate its proliferation in the country. He said the phenomenon poses a particular problem to the country’s stability and development.

“If we allow drug in this country, let us forget about our religion, because it will become so violent that nobody will be safe in a mosque or church,” he warned.

African Online News

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