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Latest update : 2017-03-16

‘I am not an accidental president’: Barrow vows change in Gambia

On his first trip outside Africa, new Gambian President Adama Barrow said he was confident France and the EU would boost financial support to his country after 22 years of dictatorship. Barrow estimated that his predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, had embezzled the equivalent of 85 million euros domestically, with inquiries open into his activities abroad. Justice, Barrow insisted, would be served.

Barely two months after he was sworn into office at a ceremony in neighbouring Senegal following a post-electoral crisis in his country, Barrow said he was determined to put Gambia on the road to recovery.

Speaking to FRANCE 24’s Marc Perelman, Barrow stressed that inquiries into the extent of Jammeh’s embezzlement were still underway, but he estimated that so far, experts had determined that the former dictator had looted 4 billion dalasi (approximately 85 million euros) domestically. An inquiry commission was still looking into other areas and the assets Jammeh had transferred abroad.

“The Gambia was looted. The Gambia was robbed by the [former] president. If you rob the Gambia, obviously we would want to recover, if there are any assets we feel we want to recover, why not?” said Barrow.

When asked about his unusual ascent to power following the contested 2016 presidential election, Barrow insisted he was not “an accidental president” and that he had secured his party’s nomination as well as his electoral victory through the democratic process.

 

By Marc PERELMAN

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