US sanctions wife of former Gambia leader Jammeh

The United States on Tuesday imposed economic sanctions on the wife of former Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh, who was accused of corruption during his 22-year rule and is the target of similar measures.

"Zineb Jammeh is believed to control many of the overseas assets of her husband," Secretary of State Mike Pompeo said in a statement.

He said the sanctions punish "her role in materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing support to her husband. She utilized a charitable foundation and charities as cover to facilitate the illicit transfer of funds to her husband."

The former Gambian first lady's US assets will be blocked, the Treasury said.

Jammeh ruled The Gambia with an iron fist but fled in January 2017 after losing a presidential election to relative unknown Adama Barrow, which he refused to acknowledge before being forced out of power by a popular uprising.

In 2018, Washington blocked Jammeh, his wife and their children from traveling to the United States.

All were placed on the blacklist for those suspected of large-scale corruption or major human rights abuses in The Gambia, a tiny West African country surrounded by Senegal.

Topics: Yahya Jammeh , United States , Zineb Jammeh , Mike Pompeo , Adama Barrow
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