Political prisoners among 10 ministers sworn-in by Gambia’s president

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Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has sworn-in 10 cabinet ministers in the capital Banjul on Wednesday.

Among them are political prisoners during exiled former President Yahya Jammeh’s regime including leader of the main opposition United Democratic Party (UDP) Ousainou Darboe, Omar Jallow, women’s right activist Dr Isatou Touray and National Treasurer of UDP Amadou Sanneh who was released from prison on Monday.

Darboe, who is now the Foreign Affairs Minister was arrested in April 2016 for protesting against the death of a detained party member and was released together with 18 other opposition members immediately after the election of Adama Barrow.

“Gambians have been liberated from the tyranny of Yahya Jammeh and we are ready to serve the country efficiently without bias nor nepotism,” Darboe told the media after the swearing-in.

The Finance and Economic Minister Amadou Sanneh had been serving a five-year jail term in the past three years for a sedition conviction until Monday when he was pardoned.

Leader of the opposition People’s Progressive Party (PPP) and now Agriculture Minister Omar Jallow has also been arrested several times by Jammeh’s security forces while the first female presidential candidate and now Trade Minister Dr Isatou Touray spent some time in prison in 2010.

The other appointed ministers have been equally critical of Yahya Jammeh’s government.

The spokesperson of the coalition government, Halifa Sallah said at a press conference on Tuesday that ministers with dual citizenship will not be appointed as well as those released from prison without pardon.

He mentioned that there will be eleven out of eighteen appointments on Monday but only ten cabinet ministers were sworn-in.

The eleventh appointment is the Justice Minister and Attorney General position reported to be filled by human rights lawyer Ba Tambedou who is currently out of the country.

Below are the ten sworn-in cabinet minister of The Gambia.

  • Ousainou Darboe – Foreign Affairs Minister
  • Hamat Bah – Tourism and Culture Minister
  • Omar Jallow – Agriculture Minister
  • Mai Ahmad Fatty – Interior Minister
  • Henry Gomez – Youth and Sports Minister
  • Lamin M. Dibba – Forestry and Climate Change Minister
  • Dr Isatou Touray – Trade Minister
  • Amadou Sanneh – Finance and Economic Affairs Minister
  • James Gomez – Fisheries, Water Resources and National Assembly Matters Minister
  • Lamin N. Dibba – Lands and Regional Government Minister
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