On Dec.2, a day after Gambia achieved its first democratic transition of power since it gained independence in 1965, China’s President Xi Jinping (習近平) sent his congratulations. Noting the peaceful nature of the proceedings, Xi pledged to maintain strong bilateral ties with the incoming administration of President-elect Adama Barrow.
It has now been a couple of weeks since those historic polls took place, and the praise for the smooth handover is now appearing a little premature. Observers were amazed that the country’s autocratic leader Yahya Jammeh was bowing out with not so much as a whimper. Many Gambians were deeply suspicious. Jammeh said he just wanted to retire to his farm and enjoy a quiet life. But how could this whimsical man who had ruled his 1.8 million subjects with cruelty and caprice for 22 years be trusted to keep his word?
[Read the full article at The News Lens, here.]