The United States has imposed economic sanctions on former First Lady of the The Gambia, Mrs Zineb Jammeh, for allegedly aiding her husband’s corruption.
U.S. Secretary of State, Mr Michael Pompeo, announced this in a statement on Tuesday.
Pompeo said Zineb was believed to control many of the overseas assets of her husband, Yahya Jammeh, who was ousted in 2017 after 22 years in power.
“Zineb Jammeh is designated for her role in materially assisting, sponsoring, or providing support to her husband.
“She utiliised a charitable foundation and charities as cover to facilitate the illicit transfer of funds to her husband,” the secretary of state said.
According to him, the notoriously corrupt former leader of The Gambia was sanctioned by the U.S. Department of the Treasury in 2017.
Pompeo said the Department of State designated Zineb in December, 2018 as an immediate family member of Jammeh, who was concurrently designated for his involvement in significant corruption.
He disclosed that their children had also been banned from entering the United States as a result of the 2018 designation.
“This action designates Zineb Jammeh pursuant to Executive Order 13818, which builds upon and implements the Global Magnitsky Human Rights Accountability Act.
“The United States uses economic sanctions to promote accountability for those who assist or facilitate the corruption carried out by those like Yahya Jammeh, who abuse their positions of power for their own personal gain,” Pompeo added.
Jammeh lost the December, 2016 election to his main challenger, Adama Barrow, but refused to step down and went on to challenge the results.
He, however, caved in to pressure from West African neighbours and went into exile in January, 2017.
The former leader was accused of stealing millions of dollars from the country’s coffers to fund a life of luxury.