Thursday, August 7, 2014
Jammeh still in the Washington DC area - Updated version
As far as we can verify, Jammeh is either still cooped up at the Hay Adams Hotel or has managed to escape to his $3.5 million mansion in Potomac, Maryland.
Attempts by Jammeh to play hide-and-seek with Gambian protesters who are armed with only their voices is further indication that his regime has failed to live up to expectations.
The protesters that forced him to stay in his hotel room for the second time in less than a year, though larger in numbers, are ordinary Gambians demanding accountability, transparency and probity.
In addition to the solid sources we have, another telltale sign that Jammeh is still in town is that GRTS staff, specifically Kebba Dibba and State House photographer Ebou Njie Tarru, have been spotted in town late afternoon looking for something to eat.
Obviously, they have been abandoned (or probably forgotten) by Jammeh as a result of the protests that denied him the photo op moments at meetings that would have served as perfect backdrop for photos and a couple of propaganda clips and interviewed by Kebba Dibba for GRTS. These poor folks may have been on stand-by since Tuesday, and in Jammeh's Gambia once on stand-by, you are not expected to move even if it means for a whole day without food.
Regarding the case of Pierre Minteh, we stand by our stories and sources, especially as police investigations are still in full throttle. To be declared a persona non grata doesn't necessarily mean he has to leave in 24, 48, or 72 hours. He could be around for a while long before he departs US shores.
We will continue, meanwhile, to monitor the situation. "One thing is certain" a diplomat of a foreign country told me over the phone, "this man will never return to the United States if he has any shame." There are many diplomats in this town who hold similar views.
Note: The last we checked at 8:00 PM Eastern Standard Time on Thursday 7th, Jammeh's flight is still slotted to take off from Andrews Air Force Base on Saturday at 9:30 PM.