Tibou Kamara, a former government minister from Guinea, and one of the first negotiators sent in to convince former Gambia president Yahya Jammeh to give up power has come out to say how the former dictator was convinced to leave Gambia for new President, Adama Barrow.
Kamara said in an interview said: “It was not easy, because against the determination of the international community, there was a fierce resolve to defend what he (Jammeh) saw as law, truth and justice, but especially the independence and sovereignty of his country.”
Kamara said he and other negotiators had to appeal to Jammeh’s faith. Jammeh is reportedly a devouted Muslim who took his religion serious.
Kamara said: “We appealed to his faith.”
He said the case was resolved because Jammeh believes, “everything that happens to a man is God’s will. This carried a lot of weight.”
According to The Punch, during a day of talks led by the Mauritanian and Guinean leaders — interrupted by a break for Friday prayers — negotiators also reminded Jammeh of his potential place in history.
Kamara said Jammeh who prides himself on gaining leadership of Gambia without spilling blood was advised by all negotiators that it was unnecessary to drag his country into war to avoid ruining his place in the history of The Gambia.
Kamara said negotiators urged Jammeh to“secure” this legacy by agreeing to “leave with dignity”.
When Jammeh eventually stepped down, he mentioned his faith as a devouted Muslim and love for Gambia as the two main reasons he decided to step down and leave Gambia.
Kamara however warned against “witch hunting” or unnecessary probing of Jammeh to avoid hate and future crisis from Jammeh and his supporters.
Diplomats have called on Barrow’s government to guarantee Jammeh’s civil rights, including his eventual return after leaving the country for Equatorial Guinea.
Meanwhile, after Jammeh stepped down, troops of the Economic Council of West African States (ECOWAS) in The Gambia have reported a large cache of sophisticated arms and ammunition missing from State House in Banjul, the capital.
According to a Gambian newspaper The Point, troops also found that all the air conditioners were loaded with a toxic chemical, which was meant to poison the occupants of any of the rooms.