The United States Ambassador to The Gambia, Sharon L. Cromer, has stated that US citizens are with the victims of the brutal 22-year rule of Yahya Jammeh.
Ambassador Cromer made this statement on the occasion marking the celebration of the 247th Independence Anniversary of the United States of America.
Speaking on thursday at the Coco Ocean Hotel, Ambassador Cromer said the US government was helping the Ministry of Justice to stand up the Special Prosecutor's Office and the hybrid ECOWAS court that would investigate and, where appropriate, try human rights violators of the Jammeh regime.
"We are training judges, judicial staff to hear cases, and civil society and media to serve as monitors," she said. "We are putting a computer-assisted case tracking system in the courts to efficiently administer justice. We are pursuing criminal charges against a Jammeh accomplice and human rights violator who is located in the US. We have sold Jammeh's property in Maryland and will forfeit and send the funds back to The Gambia. We are certain the Government of The Gambia will do the right thing with these funds."
To rural Gambians, Ambassador Cromer stated that the U.S. Government would provide technical assistance that would help farmers use best practices to produce higher yields and move products from the farm to the markets.
She added that the US government had been with Gambians who battle malaria, a devastating disease that debilitates workers and kills vulnerable pregnant women and young children.
"On World Malaria Day, President Biden announced that the US will join the Government of The Gambia, civil society, health and community workers, and other donors to eliminate malaria in The Gambia. To the children of The Gambia, we are here for you," she said. "The US government will work with the Ministry of Basic and Secondary Education and donor partners to provide a school feeding program that improves the nutritional intake of more than 50,000 school children and trains teachers and engages parents."
These children are the leaders of tomorrow, she says, adding that the US government will work to give them the foundational skills needed to live their dreams.
To the youth of The Gambia, she explained that last December, President Biden announced that The Gambia was eligible for a Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) Compact, saying the compact design is underway.
She continued that the Gambian government and the MCC had identified two areas that had the potential to spur economic growth - river transport and skills training for youth.
"By improving river transport, the US will stimulate private sector investment that will create commercial and tourism jobs, and by training women and men with the skills needed to fill those jobs, we will create economic opportunities for Gambian youth," she said, adding: "Gambian females constitute more than 50% of the population, yet, in many respects, girls and women are the most marginalized segments of the population."