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Barrow embarks on nationwide tour ahead of parliamentary polls

Barrow embarks on nationwide tour ahead of parliamentary polls

Gambian President Adama Barrow on Friday began an 11-day nationwide tour to assess the country’s “political situation” ahead of April 6 parliamentary elections.

Barrow, whose election in December was followed by a political impasse during which former president Yahya Jammeh refused to cede power, is scheduled to hold 36 general meetings in Gambia’s seven regions, starting with the North Bank region.

The president is expected to use the tour to mobilise voters to cast their ballot for a coalition of political parties that brought him to power.

Justice Minister Abubacarr Tambadou announced the small West African nation was setting up a truth and reconciliation commission to ensure justice and reparations to victims of Jammeh’s regime.

Jammeh, who ruled the Islamic Republic for 22 years with an iron fist and now lives in exile in Equatorial Guinea, is widely accused of human rights abuses, including killings, torture and arbitrary arrests.

The minister also announced an investigation into the financial mismanagement of Jammeh’s regime.

At the same time, government employees will be audited across the nation, to identify “ghost workers” in the civil and security services, non-existent workers, whose names are included in the payroll, a government spokesman said.

The audit, scheduled to begin on March 27, will verify identification documents as well as their contracts.

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