The United States has finally come through and heeded to activists calls to impose sanctions and freeze Gambia’s former Dictator’s assets within US Jurisdiction. The sanctions came one year after the brutal dictator was ousted from power through elections. He now lives in exile in another African dictator’s country – Equatorial Guinea. The US sweeping actions were announced in a press release from the US Treasury Department. Jammeh is known to known a multimillion dollar mansion in Potomac the State of the district of Columbia – Maryland area. It is estimated to be worth more than $5 million dollars. Below are the relevant sections from the Press Release:
New Executive Order Implements Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act, Provides for Treasury Sanctions Against Malign Actors Worldwide:
Washington – Today, the Trump Administration launched a new sanctions regime targeting human rights abusers and corrupt actors around the world. Building on the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act passed by Congress last year, President Donald J. Trump signed an Executive Order (Order) today declaring a national emergency with respect to serious human rights abuse and corruption around the world and providing for the imposition of sanctions on actors engaged in these malign activities. In an Annex to the Order, the President imposed sanctions on 13 serious human rights abusers and corrupt actors. In addition, the Treasury Department’s Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), acting on behalf of the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Secretary of State and the Attorney General, imposed sanctions on an additional 39 affiliated individuals and entities under the newly-issued Order.
“Today, the United States is taking a strong stand against human rights abuse and corruption globally by shutting these bad actors out of the U.S. financial system. Treasury is freezing their assets and publicly denouncing the egregious acts they’ve committed, sending a message that there is a steep price to pay for their misdeeds,” said Secretary of the Treasury Steven T. Mnuchin. “At the direction of President Trump, Treasury and our interagency partners will continue to take decisive and impactful actions to hold accountable those who abuse human rights, perpetrate corruption, and undermine American ideals.”
As a result of today’s actions, all of the assets within U.S. jurisdiction of the individuals and entities included in the Annex to the Order or designated by OFAC are blocked, and U.S. persons are generally prohibited from engaging in transactions with them. Further details on these designations are included below.
Yahya Jammeh (Jammeh), the former President of The Gambia who came to power in 1994 and stepped down in 2017, has a long history of engaging in serious human rights abuses and corruption. Jammeh created a terror and assassination squad called the Junglers that answered directly to him. Jammeh used the Junglers to threaten, terrorize, interrogate, and kill individuals whom Jammeh assessed to be threats. During Jammeh’s tenure, he ordered the Junglers to kill a local religious leader, journalists, members of the political opposition, and former members of the government, among others. Jammeh used the Gambia’s National Intelligence Agency (NIA) as a repressive tool of the regime – torturing political opponents and journalists. Throughout his presidency, Jammeh routinely ordered the abuse and murder of those he suspected of undermining his authority.
During his tenure, Jammeh used a number of corrupt schemes to plunder The Gambia’s state coffers or otherwise siphon off state funds for his personal gain. Ongoing investigations continue to reveal Jammeh’s large-scale theft from state coffers prior to his departure. According to The Gambia’s Justice Ministry, Jammeh personally, or through others acting under his instructions, directed the unlawful withdrawal of at least $50 million of state funds. The Gambian Government has since taken action to freeze Jammeh’s assets within The Gambia.
In a related action, OFAC designated Africada Airways, Kanilai Group International, Kanilai Worni Family Farms Ltd, Royal Africa Capital Holding Ltd, Africada Financial Service & Bureau de Change Ltd, Africada Micro-Finance Ltd, Africada Insurance Company, Kora Media Corporation Ltd, Atlantic Pelican Company Ltd, Palm Grove Africa Dev’t Corp. Ltd, Patriot Insurance Brokers Co. Ltd, and Royal Africa Securities Brokerage Co Ltd.
Yankuba Badjie (Badjie) was appointed as the Director General of The Gambia’s NIA in December 2013 and is alleged to have presided over abuses throughout his tenure. During Badjie’s tenure as Director General, abuses were prevalent and routine within the NIA, consisting of physical trauma and other mistreatment. In April 2016, Badjie oversaw the detention and murder of Solo Sandeng, a member of the political opposition. In February 2017, Badjie was charged along with eight subordinates with Sandeng’s murder. Prior to becoming Director General, Badjie served as the NIA Deputy Director General for Operations. Prior to becoming a member of the NIA’s senior leadership, Badjie led a paramilitary group known as the Junglers to the NIA’s headquarters to beat a prisoner for approximately three hours, leaving the prisoner unconscious and with broken hands. The following day, Badjie and the Junglers returned to beat the prisoner again, leaving him on the verge of death.
Below is the link to the FULL PRESS RELEASE