President Barrow Renames The Gambia, Says It’s A REPUBLIC, Not Islamic Republic

The Gambian President Adama Barrow said Saturday that every aspect of
his tiny west African state would need an overhaul after ex-leader Yahya
Jammeh’s 22-year rule, but that its dreaded secret police would remain.

Barrow
faces an uphill task after taking over from Jammeh, who left behind a
dysfunctional economy and allegedly emptied state coffers ahead of his
departure.

Rights group blame the notorious National Intelligence
Agency (NIA) under his longtime control for forced disappearances and
torture.

Barrow said the NIA was “an institution that has
to continue”, but that its name would be changed and training would be
given to its operatives.

“The rule of the law, that will be the order of the day,” he said.

Barrow also addressed one of Jammeh’s most controversial declarations, from 2015, that The Gambia was an “Islamic republic”.

Barrow,
in contrast, insisted the country — whose population is 90 percent
Muslim, with the rest Christian and animist — was a republic, “not the
Islamic republic”.

Civil servants would likely return to a
five-day work week, breaking with Jammeh’s rule that Friday was a day
off in line with his Islamic republic rules.

“My government is
going to look at every avenue and there will be a complete overhaul of
the system,” Barrow said, speaking at his first press conference since
arriving back from Senegal.

The president promised his cabinet
would be named early next week so that he could “get the ball rolling”,
adding he would receive the first comprehensive information about the
state of the nation’s finances also on Monday or Tuesday.