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Former First Lady Zineb and ex-President Jammeh retained on new UK, US sanction lists

The United Kingdom renewed its list of sanctioned individuals on Monday, including The Gambia’s former president Yahya Jammeh, his wife Zineb Jammeh, and former National Intelligence Agency chief Yankuba Badjie. The United Kingdom has maintained broadened travel bans and economic sanctions against the three for human rights violations.

Jammeh, whose election defeat to Adama Barrow in December 2016 forced him to flee, was one of three West Africans named on a revised list of those targeted around the world. The former Gambian leader is number 57 on the list, following former NIA director Yankuba Badjie and his wife, Zineb Jammeh.

According to the British government, Abdul Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh Yahya, the former president of The Gambia, who was born in Kanilai and is currently residing in Equatorial Guinea, was subject to sanctions that included an asset freeze and a travel ban following his loss of power in December 2016

According to the United Kingdom’s government, the former “President of The Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, was responsible for inciting, promoting, ordering, and being directly involved in extrajudicial killings, enforced disappearances, kidnappings, torture, rape, and wider human rights violations during his tenure as President between 1994 and 2016.”

Jammeh’s wife, former First Lady Zineb Suma Jammeh, who was born in Rabat, Morocco, has been sanctioned with an asset freeze and a travel ban. The former “First Lady” of The Gambia is married to Yahya Jammeh, according to the UK Statement of Reasons. “She is associated with Yahya Jammeh and his regime, and she used a charitable foundation and charities as cover for the illicit transfer of funds between herself and the former president.”

Currently jailed Yankuba Badjie, a former NIA director, is ranked 56 on the list. Yankuba Badjie, the former Director General of the Gambian National Intelligence Agency (NIA), was born in New Jeshwang, Kanifing Municipality. According to the UK government, he has been sanctioned with an asset freeze and a travel restriction.

According to the UK Statement of Reasons, “Yankuba Badjie was the Deputy Director General and then the Director General of the NIA from 2013 to early 2017.” In this capacity, he was responsible for and had direct oversight of NIA operations in The Gambia. The NIA was responsible for extrajudicial killings, torture, and other harsh, inhuman, and humiliating treatment throughout Badjie’s tenure.”

The UK established its own sanctions regime following its exit from the European Union, designating 49 “notorious” people and organizations that were allegedly involved in violations of human rights. HM Treasury’s Office for Financial Sanctions Implementation provides a consolidated list of persons and organizations under financial sanctions, including those under the Sanctions Act and other UK legislation.

The US has already imposed comparable sanctions on the trio. Similarly, the US government updated its list of persons and businesses sanctioned by the Treasury Department for their involvement in financing terrorism and committing crimes around the world. Mohamed Bazzi, a business associate of Yahya Jammeh, is also included on the newly updated US list.

Additional names on The UK list includes Alexander Lukashenko the president of Belarus, members of the Venezuelan armed forces, the speaker of the Chechen parliament, the Terek special Rapid Response Unit of the region, and Answer Ahmed Khan, a Pakistani who was formerly a Karachi police “encounter specialist” and is suspected of being behind over 190 “hits” that resulted in over 400 deaths. He also faces restrictions. There are also twenty Saudis and twenty Russians suspected if being involved in the murder of journalist Jamal Khashoggi.

Source: Culled from The Gambia journal

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