The former Gambian Ambassador to Russia Jainaba Bah has accused The Gambian government of woefully failing to investigate a death threat that she suffered while serving as an Ambassador in the Russian Federation. Mrs. Bah was threatened by one “Sulayman Jattta”, who had vowed to kill her if The Gambian government didn’t remove her from The Gambian Embassy in Russia.
The threat was contained in an email that one “Sulayman Jattta” sent to Gambia’s Foreign Minister Momodou Tangara. The person who issued the death threat against the former Gambian diplomat was reported to have used a pseudonym name.
The letter reads below:
– Forwarded Message —–
From: “sulayman jatta” <[email protected]>
Sent: Tue, May 14, 2019 at 22:50
Dear Hon Minister Tangara,
This letter of mine may be disturbing you but am sorry about that what i wanted to say is that your ambassador at Russia Jainaba Bah, should be removed immediately her contract is ended if not one day you will come to Moscow to fetch dead bodies and may God forbid because this is quarreling with all her staff she is up to no good in that office.
Every day she is politicking for UDP.
According to the former Gambian diplomat, it was Foreign Minister Momodou Tangara, who informed her about the death threat. Tangara forwarded the email that he (Tangara) purportedly received from “Sulayman Jattta” the person behind the death threat.
Worried for her life, Mrs. Bah said, she then asked The Gambian government to help protect her and her family. She was worried that someone was determined to kill her.
She has even reported the matter to the Russian government. She was assured by a Russian intel official that would be fine as long as she was within their jurisdiction.
To her chagrin, The Gambian government never came to her aid. She said Foreign Minister Tangara has ignored her past emails and text messages. She added that she received more than one threat while serving as an Ambassador.
“Pa, Tangara showed me at least three to four emails with the death threats. One of them was even read out loud in Tangara’s Office by former Ambassador Jah to Malaysia. Tangara did not forward the most heinous ones to me. He shared only one, the lesser of the other evil intentions,” she told me.
According to Mrs. Bah, prior to her receiving the death threat, she had problems with her Deputy Ex-Army General Lamin Satu Bojang. She has accused Bojang of insubordination, verbally threatening her, and walking into her office without knocking the door.
Mrs. Bah also recalled when General Bojang allegedly conspired with Kebba Famara Singhateh, a Diplomat at The Gambian Embassy in Russia to falsely accuse her of promoting the agenda of the opposition United Democratic Party (UDP). This led to her removal from the Embassy. The government had refused to renew her employment contract.
While she was preparing to make her handing over, Mrs. Bah, said General Bojang wouldn’t allow her to do so. Bojang wouldn’t give her peace in the office, he allegedly told her that she should pack and leave.
Bojang, she went on, then hurriedly prepared a “note verbal” by informing the Russian government, banks, and other agencies in Russia that Mrs. Bah’s term with the Embassy had ended.
Mrs Bah said her only crime was trying to help one Fatou Camara, a torture victim of Jammeh’s government to get medical treatment in Russia. She said she had earlier discussed the issue with the President Adama Barrow, who supported the initiative.
Down the line, she said, she had issues with President Barrow because Barrow was trying to lure her into abandoning Barrow’s onetime political Godfather Ousainou Darboe, now political nemesis.
“During a meeting with President Barrow, he told me, that he was the one, who handpicked me, recommended me to be hired Ambassador. He also told me that he was aware that there were adversaries in his government, who were working towards his failure, but he who God blessed, no one can curse. I then told him that it was Ousainou Darboe who recommended me to be hired, not him, he wasn’t happy with my statement,” she said.
Mrs. Bah also said that the President had also complained to his Higher Education Minister Badara Joof of she not giving him a hug. “ In one of the meetings I had with him (President Barrow), he wasn’t happy that I didn’t give him a hug. He had to complain to his Education Minister Badara Joof. This was brought to my attention by Mr. Joof. I never knew that failing to give him a hug would be a problem. He felt being disrespected,” she added.
Mrs. Bah was subsequently removed from her Diplomatic Post. She was also forced to leave her official residence. She ended up renting a hotel. At the time she had her kids with her.
Mrs. Bah said she had to spent over D300,000 thousand dalasis to transport her family back to The Gambia. She was never refunded her travel expenses. The government still owes her money.
Dr. Tangara’s Spokesperson Saikou Ceesay was contacted for comment, but he said he was not in the position to comment on the matter, as his portfolio has changed at the Foreign Ministry.
“I am no more the Spokesperson for the Ministry. The Ministry now has an Information Officer in the person of Ms. Ya Awa Touray responsible for media and related queries. Please refer your media queries to her,” Mr. Ceesay said.
According to Ceesay, he is now redeployed to the Foreign Service Cadre of the Ministry after having served as Spokesperson for 7 years. He now works at the Asian Affairs Division considering his training in diplomacy and Japanese background.
Spokeswoman Ya Awa Touray was contacted for comment via her WhatsApp number but she wasn’t available for comment