APRC Dismisses Rape Allegations Against Jammeh as Smear Campaign
The party of former president Yahya Jammeh has described rape allegations against him as lies and smear campaigns.
Last week, Fatou ‘Toufah’ Jallow, a former Gambian beauty queen granted exclusive interviews to prominent Western media outlets including the New York Times, and The Chronicle and gave graphic picture of how the ex-president allegedly assaulted and raped her in 2015.
Human Rights Watch and Transparency International which conducted an investigation into Jammeh’s alleged sexual assault cases, quoted two other unidentified women who accused the ex-president of rape and sexual assault while he was in office.
But in a statement, his APRC party described as utter disappointment that has been confronted with “malicious allegations” against its leader.
“We are not surprised that the allegations are emanating from Western corporations that have been and will continue to lead smear campaigns aimed at tarnishing the good reputation of Gambia’s legendary and visionary leader,” it said.
“APRC, as a party, and the Gambian people are tired of the steady stream of unfounded allegations that have been reported against our ex-President. The recent story of rape has no iota of truth, and claims of this nature are often orchestrated by one or more of the following: Sensational journalism, attempts to gain unfair political capital, unfair attempt to benefit from the financial/material gain that goes with negative publicity, a vengeful interest group who would stop at nothing to see Jammeh ridiculed and brought before law courts over unfounded allegations.”
The party argued that the ex-President “has no time to personally react to lies and smear campaigns.”
“He was accused of far graver crimes than rape and most of the accusations have now been proven to be false.”
“Toufah was reported missing by her mother at a time when phone records, during the ‘missing persons’ investigations into her case, conducted by The Gambia Government, showed that she was in constant contact with the same mother who reported her missing, feared kidnapped.”
APRC said “all these incidents raise doubts as to the character of Ms Jallow and we wonder what her motivations are.”
“We cannot understand why a man of high-standing like Jammeh, would rape an 18 year old he was helping develop academically and professionally. Absurd! The pageants travelled in and out of the Presidential Palaces (State House and Kanilai) together, in the presence of other people, and they never went as individuals, according to their driver and other beauty pageants.”
The party described Jammeh as a very respectable, God-fearing and a pious leader, who has nothing but respect for Gambian women and women around the world. ‘
“That was evident throughout his reign with countless legislations he passed to protect previously abused Gambian women and children. One of such laws enacted under him was the abolition of Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).”
Jammeh who is in exile in Equatorial Guinea, has far not personally responded to the rape allegations against him.