Security in Gambia precarious as president refuses to step down

19 Jan 17

GAMBIA

IMPACT – HIGH

Security in Gambia remained precarious Thursday, as long-time President Yahya Jammeh refused to leave power. The BBC and other media outlets reported that Senegalese troops had entered the country to seek his ouster. The country’s newly elected president, Adama Barrow, was sworn into office Thursday at the Gambian embassy in Senegal. The instability left tourists scrambling to leave.

Key Points:

  • Companies should account for all employees in Gambia and develop plans for them to leave the country if necessary.
  • Foreign nationals who choose to remain in Gambia are urged to monitor the security situation closely. The U.S. State Department suggested on Jan. 7 that U.S. citizens have “evacuation plans that do not rely on U.S. government assistance” and that they “ensure that travel documents (passports and visas) are valid and up-to-date.”

Background: Jammeh was defeated in a Dec. 1 election, but has refused to give up power. Wednesday was supposed to be his final day in office, but the parliament granted his request Wednesday to declare a state of emergency and extend his term by 90 days. Tourists were advised to leave the country as the situation grew more precarious. West African countries demanded that Jammeh step down and threatened to remove him by force if necessary. Media reports said that Senegalese troops had entered the country. The BBC reported that the “West African regional bloc Ecowas has now given Yahya Jammeh until noon on Friday to leave office.”

BAL Analysis: The situation in Gambia remained extremely serious Thursday. Companies should account for all employees in the country. Government services, including consular services, are likely to be limited if available at all.

This alert has been provided by the BAL Global Practice group. For additional information, please contact BerryApplemanLeiden@balglobal.com.

Copyright © 2016 Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. All rights reserved. Reprinting or digital redistribution to the public is permitted only with the express written permission of Berry Appleman & Leiden LLP. For inquiries please contact copyright@balglobal.com.