The president of the Gambia, Yahya Jammeh is upset. In fact very upset with his counterpart in Iran and has said his country, The Gambia, is cutting all ties with Iran and has ordered all Iranian government representatives to leave within 48 hours. The interesting thing is, Jammeh has given no reason for this sudden decisive action. Apparently, just last month Nigeria has said it had intercepted an illegal arms shipment in Lagos from Iran, which according to reports was destined for The Gambia. Tehran has slammed the move and a senior Iranian official Alaeddin Borujerdi, is quoted as saying that the decision was taken because of pressure from the United States of America.
Authorities in Nigeria had earlier said they had discovered the weapons, which included rocket launchers and grenades, in containers labelled as building materials. CMA CGM a France-based shipping company which was said to have transported the shipment in a statement said attempts were made to send it to The Gambia before the Nigerian police seized it. The chairman of the National Security and Foreign Policy Committee of Iran’s parliament, Mr Borujerdi, has confirmed that a private Iranian company did send arms to The Gambia but said this was “in line with international laws.” In a diplomatic move, Nigeria has reported the seizure to the UN Security Council and has aksed for an investigation
The Gambian authorities have been swift in taking action. The country’s Foreign Ministry in a statement said “All government of The Gambia projects and programmes, which were [being] implemented in co-operation with the government of the Islamic Republic of Iran, have been cancelled.” Jammeh had in the past forged closer ties with the Iranian authorities. This would come as a shock to Iran who seem to be losing the African support it had counted on in the past when votes are taken at the UN. BY distancing itself from Iran, Gambia may have done itself a huge favour in the eyes of the international community as Yahya Jammeh’s human Rights record have recently come under severe scrutiny after accusations that he is stifling democracy in the small West Africa State.
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