The Gambia has removed the picture of its former President, Yahya Jammeh, from its currency three years after the leader lost the country’s intense General Elections to Adama Barrow.
Jammeh’s face was vivid on all The Gambia’s currencies, but according to report, the country’s Central Bank in Banjul has reprinted new notes without putting his image. The notes include D5, D10, D20, D50, D100, and D200 bills in the local dalasi currency, while the D25 bill has been scrapped.
The former President ruled the country from 1994 to 2016. He lost to Adama Barrow in 2016 after a bloodless coup. His previous wins were also heavily contested and criticised.
Jammeh also refused to step down after losing the 2016 General Elections until a military intervention by other West African states forced him out. In order to escape prosecution, Jammeh sought refuge in Equatorial Guinea.
Why his picture was removed: According to one of The Gambian’s rights activists, Madi Jobarteh, Jammeh didn’t have any right to inscribe his image on the country’s currency in the first place as the bank notes are not personal property.
“A national currency is not a personal property and the head of a sitting president should not be on that note. There are many Gambians who deserve to be on these notes because of their roles and contributions in the struggle for independence and development of this country since independence.”
Another citizen of the country, who spoke to AFP said the bank was “right in removing the image of the former president” stating that, “He is responsible for the killing of a lot of people in this country.”
#Gambia: Central Bank removes ex-President Yahya Jammeh’s portrait on the currency. "The new dalasi bills are expected to be in circulation in 3 months’ time. They include D5, D10, D20, D50, D100, and D200 bills. The D25 bill has been scrapped" bank's Governor Bakary Jammeh said pic.twitter.com/HLXHgFCH2Q
— Alhagie Jobe (@freejobe39) May 30, 2019
What replaced Jammeh? It was reported that the Central Bank of The Gambia replaced the picture of Jammeh with pictures of birds on one side and a variety of local scenes on the other – from a farmer in a rice paddy to a fisherman in a boat at sea.
Jammeh under investigation: Before and after his exit from the country’s presidency, Jammeh had been accused of various crimes including the torturing of opponents, executions without trial, forced disappearances and rape.
To investigate these accusations by Human Right Activists against Jammeh, the country set up Truth Commission in January to listen to testimonies from his hitmen who were responsible for the killing of many citizens during his rule.
The Governor of the Central Bank, Bakary Jammeh, foresaw the end of the currencies bearing Jammeh’s face with the new banknotes taking over.