Yahya Jammeh runs away, allegedly, with a Rolls-Royce and $14m (Photos)
Mr Jammeh fled Gambia after a month-long stand-off with West Africa’s regional power bloc, the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).
It had threatened to send troops in after Mr Jammeh reneged on a pledge to hand over power to Adama Barrow, an opposition politician who won a presidential election in December.
The allegations about Mr Jammeh’s last-minute looting were made by an adviser to Mr Barrow, Mai Ahmad Fatty, who claimed that the state’s coffers had been all but emptied. And this is only one of the problems facing Mr Barrow. As Egypt and Libya recently learned, there is more to ending a dictatorship than getting rid of the despot.
Mr Barrow, who has never held office, inherits a country with little experience of democracy. He will govern via a shaky, seven-sided coalition whose only real common ground was an intense dislike of Mr Jammeh.
Most Gambians also concede that for all its faults, Mr Jammeh’s police state managed to keep civil war, Ebola and jihadist terrorism at bay.
Mr Jammeh is presently being hosted in the oil-rich Equatorial Guinea, by Teodoro Obiang, the dictator. Mr Jammeh and his new host are known to have been close before, but they may find many reasons to get along.
Both seized power in coups, and both have clung to it for decades: Mr Obiang, who has been in office for 37 years, is the world’s longest-serving political leader. Both also care little for human rights:
Mr Jammeh withdrew Gambia from the jurisdiction of the International Criminal Court last year; Mr Obiang never signed up in the first place. So Mr Jammeh may be free to enjoy his retirement without the threat of extradition and prosecution for all the dissidents who had plastic bags tied over their heads in his jails.
As part of his “luggage” from Gambia, Mr Jammeh is said to have shipped out two Rolls-Royces, a Bentley and $11m in cash, so he should be comfortable too.' culled from the Economist
Photos of Guineans taking pictures next to Mr Jammeh's Rolls-Royce