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Thousands of Gambians Protest for Former President Yahya Jammeh's Return from Exile

Supporters of the former statesman want the current Gambian government to guarantee his right to return from self-exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Yesterday, thousands of supporters of former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh took to the outskirts of the capital city Banjul. According to Aljazeera, they demanded that the current government under President Adama Barrow guarantee the former statesman's return from exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Jammeh ruled the West African country for over two decades and subsequently lost to Barrow in the national elections back in 2017.


In one of the several audio recordings released by the deputy spokesman for Jammeh's political party to the media, Jammeh said that, "I am coming back. They said they drove me out of the country. Apart from Allah, nobody can take me out of The Gambia."

Chairman of the Gambia Center for Victims of Human Rights Violations, Sheriff Kijera, responded to Jammeh's appeal to return to The Gambia saying:

"He is a citizen. He has every right to stay in his hometown and go and answer to the law. Former President Yahya Jammeh's rule in The Gambia was a tyrannical and brutal dictatorship. If former president Jammeh is authorized to return to The Gambia without being arrested, charged and prosecuted for his crimes or transferred to another state for him to face justice, it would be a big failure on the part of the government of The Gambia to uphold its duty to the people of Gambia, as well as its international obligation to provide an effective remedy to victims."

As of last year, The Gambia Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission was set up to hear testimony from victims and high-ranking government officials about the crimes allegedly committed by Jammeh during his 22-year rule. Human Rights Watch reports that Jammeh is said to have allegedly killed political opponents, approximately 56 West African migrants, carried out the arbitrary detaining of women in so-called "witch hunts" and the rape of several women including former beauty Gambian beauty queen, Fatou Jallow.

The now 23-year-old broke her silence in June of last year and publicly alleged that Jammeh had raped her while in office. Since then, women across the country have rallied around her under the banner of #IAmToufah.

Calls for Jammeh's return come at a time when Gambians are also pushing for the resignation of current President Barrow following his commitment to only serve as head of state for three years.

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Interview: Adekunle Gold Channels Refreshing Truths Into Afropop

Adekunle Gold achieves an artistic freedom that most mainstream artists don't have through a smooth balance of introspection and club bangers.

A few years ago, Adekunle Gold broke out into the scene with a refreshing way of carrying himself, presenting his art and speaking his truth with music. His debut single "Sade" started this journey of chart topping releases, sold out shows, and the constantly evolving sound that graces African airwaves. Gold's self assurance made him stand out from the very beginning, as his sound was delivered with intent, compassion, and stuffed with personal truths.

Not many artists are willing to try new things with their music, and in order to maintain mainstream success, some cling to one sound, one image and direction often crafted from fragments of their first hit. These artists get stuck trying to recreate a capsule in time, while true artists are open to the dynamic of change, and the necessity of renewal.

Adekunle Gold is one of a handful in his profession who draws on a spectrum of experiences to make honest music which is consistent with the self-revelations of a growing man. This has become his biggest strength, allowing him to craft contemplative songs like "Sade" and "Oreke" and still create afropop magic like "Something Different"

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