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GAMBIA: DEPUTY AMBASSADOR JERREH JAMMEH REFUSES TO VACATE HIS POST AT THE GAMBIAN MISSION IN MAURITANIA

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The Gambia’s diplomatic posts abroad have been the subject of criticism in recent months.

The most recent incident involved accusations of financial malfeasance and a physical conflict between Ambassador Sheikh Tijan Hydara and his Deputy Head of Mission Vincent Mendy at the Gambia’s Diplomatic Mission in Cuba.
Local media stated on February 27, 2024, that a high-level investigating team headed by Salimatou Touray, Secretary-General of the Office of the President, had travelled to Cuba to look into these claims.

The Republic of The Gambia’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation, and Gambians Abroad announced on February 29, 2024, that Ambassador Shiekh Tijan Hydara and Mr. Vincent Mendy, the Deputy Head of Mission, would be leaving their positions at the Gambian Embassy in Havana, Cuba.

Later, on April 21, 2024, Kerr Fatou received information from an insider at the Gambian Embassy in Mauritania regarding a plot by Hon. Saikouba Jarjou, a former member of the National Assembly for the Busumbala Constituency, and Ambassador Sheikh Omar Faye, a former Minister of Defence, to remove Jerreh Jammeh, the Deputy Ambassador of the Embassy, from office.
On August 22, 2022, His Excellency Adama Barrow named Hon. Saikouba Jarjou as the First Secretary in the Gambian Embassy in Mauritania following his loss in the 2022 Parliamentary Elections.

In Mauritania, on September 20, 2022, Hon. Jarjou took office.

The insider further revealed that since Deputy Ambassador Jerreh Jammeh’s arrival at the Gambian Embassy in Mauritania, Hon. Saikouba Jarjou has been undermining Jammeh’s efforts.

“The insider disclosed that Saikouba and associates caused the disintegration of the Foreign Ministry by accusing the then Permanent Secretary Saffie Sankareh and Co. of undermining the President’s directive, resulting in their transfer to other departments.”
According to the source, President Barrow visited with the Gambian community in Mauritania on January 10, 2024, and offered to donate $5,000 towards their wellbeing.

According to the same source, a management meeting was arranged at the Ambassador’s Office on January 22, 2024, to discuss the distribution of the cash and make arrangements for their distribution to local leaders.

The informant revealed that Consular Saikouba Jarju, Deputy Ambassador Jerreh Jammeh, Ambassador Sheikh Omar Faye, and Finance Officer Aminata Saidy were present during the meeting.

“During that discussion, the Deputy Ambassador told them he had used the money for essential family concerns, and they all agreed that he would repay them as soon as he returned from the Gambia. Permission to attend the inaugural NPP Diaspora Gala Dinner in the Gambia on January 26, 2024, has been given to the Deputy Ambassador and consulate, Insider disclosed.

An insider claims that Hon. Jarjou notified the State House that Deputy Ambassador Jerreh Jammeh had spent the money that had been assigned to them. According to the source, Hon. Jarjou disclosed the use of the cash to the State House because he wants the Deputy Ambassador removed so that he can be appointed.
On Sunday, February 18, 2024, following the ambassador’s return from the Gambia, a meeting was convened at his home with the community leaders to discuss transferring the $5,000 to the community. Everyone gave speeches expressing gratitude and appreciation to the President for his kindness. Saikouba showed us the $5000 that was greatly discussed,” the insider disclosed.

A person with knowledge of the situation said that money was distributed among Gambian residents of Mauritania. According to the source, a well-known member of the community expressed shock at charges made against Deputy Ambassador Jerreh Jammeh for
The insider also revealed that no one in the Gambian Embassy spoke up, even in the face of considerable alarm. Hon. Saikouba Jarjou, however, broke the ice by saying they were unable to remark on the situation.

Furthermore, the informant claimed that Hon. Saikouba Jarjou visited the Foreign Ministry and State House frequently in an attempt to obtain the position of Deputy Ambassador Jerreh Jammeh.

“This man’s (Jerreh Jammeh) reputation is being tarnished by him (Hon. Saikouba Jarjou), who went so far as to write a damaging report that falsely claimed Deputy Ambassador Jammeh is uncooperative and incompetent—a claim he is well aware is untrue,” the insider said to Kerr Fatou.

The informant further told Kerr Fatou that Hon. Saikouba Jarjou travelled to Banjul without the deputy ambassador’s consent on April 12, 2024, the day following Eid prayers. The source disclosed that Hon. Jarjou was seen in the Foreign Ministry and State House passageways.

On Sunday, April 15, 2024, he (Hon. Saikouba Jarjou) returned, and on Monday, April 16, 2024, he reported to the office. Ambassador Sheikh Omar Faye called a conspiracy meeting at the ambassador’s office, where Saikouba Jarju, Jerreh Jammeh, Lamin Secka (the new consular), and Foday Drammeh (the new finance officer) were present.
At that meeting, Ambassador Faye read a fictitious letter purporting to be written by Ansumana Badjie and purportedly from the Foreign Ministry, telling Deputy Ambassador Jerreh Jammeh to relinquish his post to Saikouba Jarju, who would take over as the new Deputy Ambassador. Deputy Ambassador Jammeh asked for a copy of the letter and an explanation as to why Saikouba received it rather than him personally. His request for a copy was flatly denied by the ambassador, an informant informed Kerr Fatou.

The insider went on to say that Deputy Ambassador Jammeh received verbal orders from Ambassador Faye to expedite the handover procedure by April 22, 2024, at the latest. According to the insider, Ambassador Faye also gave the personnel of the Embassy instructions to confer with Hon. Saikouba Jarjou on any office-related matter pertaining to the Deputy Ambassador.

It’s noteworthy to note that Jerreh Jammeh, the obstinate deputy ambassador, claims he needs to wait for an official statement from the foreign ministry before he will give anything to Saikouba. As of right now, Insider informed Kerr Fatou, “Every local employee is extremely concerned about Saikouba’s rise to the position because he accused many of them of being UDP supporters, and they feared he could be capitalising on that claim to justify their dismissals.”

Hon. Saikouba Jarjou informed Kerr Fatou that all of the allegations were untrue in response to the allegations.

“Every accusation is untrue. Three months ago, the individual in question, Jerreh Jammeh, was called back. Recall indicates that you must leave your position and cease working. He was recalled three months ago, but no one seems to be discussing it. Mismanagement was the reason for his recall, as stated in the letter. It is not how institutions operate to claim, “I went to the Gambia to receive a letter on his behalf.” That should be clear to all of us. Hon. Jarjou informed Kerr Fatou, “Those are just fabrications and they just want to play with the intelligence of the masses.”

While Hon. Jarjou acknowledged visiting the Gambia for Eid, he denied having a meeting with President Barrow or any other government representative.

Hon. Jarjou claimed he had no opportunity to speak with anyone outside of his family. The claim that he was observed talking to the President in the State House was, in his words, “a blue lie.”
The recall letter was addressed to the ambassador’s official Embassy email address. To let you know that a recall letter had been received, each of us received a call. They announced Lamin Secka’s appointment as the First Secretary in a follow-up email. Saikouba Jarjou was transferred to the position of Deputy Head of Mission and Head Chancery, according to a new letter that was received. That is what we were told.

“I was told about it at the same time and place as him (Jerreh Jammeh).” After I thanked Allah, I asked him if he had anything to say. He answered that he had nothing to say and that no one had made him. Thus, it is our current situation. He is my employer, thus all the accusations are false, and I don’t have a problem with him. Even though I was working pleasantly with him, he occasionally attempted to block me administratively. Hon. Jarjou said, “Kerr Fatou, this is not the time to come and disclose all the maltreatment he has been doing to me.”

During his tenure in Mauritania, Hon. Jarjou reaffirmed his dedication to advancing the interests of the Gambian people and acknowledged that all of his accomplishments were due to Allah’s blessing. Hon. Jarjou stated that Deputy Ambassador Jerreh Jammeh used the $5,000 that President Adama Barrow had donated to the Embassy without first informing the Embassy. Hon. Jarjou further denied suggestions that he was involved in information regarding the money being leaked to the public, stating that those claims were untrue.

“First, the ambassador received the money, which he then delivered to me, and I gave it to him. The money was used by him (Jerreh Jammeh) without our knowledge. He gave us such a rude and unfavourable response when we questioned him about the money. He was instructing us not to approach him for the money because he needed it for personal expenses.

We thus gave him time to get to the Gambia. After returning from the Gambia, he remained reticent. When we contacted Jerreh Jammeh once more, he claimed not to have the money. The Ambassador paid the money in order to defuse the situation. Because the funds were intended for the community, the people were also at ease. The Ambassador paid for the amount. Hon. Jarjou disclosed, “He brought some money, the Ambassador had to cover him (Jerreh Jammeh) up.”
In further detail, Honourable Jarjou told Kerr Fatou that he had pleaded with the Ambassador to step in and resolve the money issue involving Deputy Ambassador Jerreh Jammeh. Jarjou informed the Ambassador that while Jerreh Jammeh had spent the money, people were contacting the Embassy instead of Jerreh Jammeh directly. At this point, the Ambassador used his own money to personally reimburse the amount.

Later on, his pay was taken away. Finance accepted his payment on his behalf in order to reimburse the Ambassador. But that’s not what your source will tell you. According to Jerreh, he was called by the President and informed that he had spent the money. Since I don’t communicate with the President, I’m not sure how the President is aware of it. He was recalled for a very long time, but nobody is discussing it. The shocking thing is that I will be taking his place.

“This man (Jerreh Jammeh) and his informant were shocked by the reason I travelled to Mauritania.” The case proceeded as follows. The Ambassador paid the money in order to protect both his and the Embassy’s name. However, I have never discussed it with anyone, not even our employees. No one is aware of our source of funding. In order to recoup the Ambassador’s funds, his salary for the month was taken, Hon. Jarjou informed Kerr Fatou.

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