A rare picture of Presidents Jammeh and Obiang in Equatorial Guinea

(JollofNews) – President Adama Barrow of the Gambia has held a closed-door meeting in New York with President Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea, who is sheltering Gambia’s former long-term ruler, Yahya Jammeh.

Although the details of the meeting are yet to be made public, our sources said the two leaders discussed several issues including trade and the fate of Mr Jammeh.

Mr Jammeh, 52, who ruled the Gambia for 22 years, fled to Equatorial Guinea with his elderly mother, wife, and closed associates in January following his surprised defeat in last December’s elections.

He is alleged to have took over US$11 million from state coffers and a fleet of luxury cars as his parting shot.

During his tenure, his regime is accused of committing gross rights violations including rape, murder, torture and prolong detention of opponents and activists including journalists without trial.

An ongoing commission of inquiry has found serious mismanagement of public funds, abuse of office, and wilful violations of public funds by Mr Jammeh and his associates.

Mr Jammeh and Obiang are close friends dating back to many years, with Obiang making a state visit to Gambia in 2013. The two have also been neighbours before, owning adjacent mansions in the wealthy suburb of Potomac, Maryland, according to The Washington Post.

A recent article by Foreign Policy, suggests that Mr Jammeh is living in one of Mr Obiang’s presidential palaces in Mongomo.

A French publication Jeune Afrique quoted by Foreign Policy, reported in April that Mr Jammeh had requested land to farm in Equatorial Guinea, something he had planned to do in retirement in Gambia, where he owned a large farm in his hometown of Kanilai.

Sources said the land has been set aside for Mr Jammeh in the Moka Valley, a picturesque tract of mountains and waterfalls which, like Mongomo, is away from Equatorial Guinea’s oppressive coastal humidity.

Equatorial Guinea is not a signatory to the statutes of the International Criminal Court and Mr Jammeh was offered sanctuary in the oil-rich nation to shield him from any prosecution.