Gambian ex-dictator's country palace burns in wildfire

accreditation
Yahya Jammeh (AFP)
Yahya Jammeh (AFP)

Gambian ex-autocrat Yahya Jammeh's palatial country residence, where he allegedly administered a self-invented Aids cure, has been partially "gutted by bushfire", the West African state's army said on Thursday.

Located in Jammeh's home village of Kanilai in western Gambia, his sprawling former private residence was engulfed by a wildfire on Wednesday, according to army spokesperson Lamin Sanyang.

Jammeh - whose regime has been accused of murder, torture and rape - fled The Gambia in January 2017 after losing a presidential election to relative newcomer Adama Barrow.

Some of the abuses are believed to have occurred in Kanilai.

Three men who disappeared after plotting a coup in 2014 were exhumed in the village in 2017, for example.

Aids patients have also alleged that Jammeh detained them in the compound in order to force them to undergo a herbal treatment of his own design.

Sanyang said the wildfire started on Tuesday in the neighbouring village of Alla Kunda, where villagers unsuccessfully tried to extinguish the blaze, before spreading to Kanilai the following day.

"The house where the former president used to conduct his treatment programme was gutted by bushfire," Sanyang said, referring to Jammeh's alleged Aids cure.

A "mini stadium" in the complex also burned down, he said, adding that no one was hurt in the incident.

We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For only R75 per month, you have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today.
Subscribe to News24
Lockdown For
DAYS
HRS
MINS
Voting Booth
Do you think South Africa needs tighter restrictions to combat the third wave?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
Results
Yes, the situation is grim and needs serious measures
27% - 1920 votes
No, we cannot afford more lockdowns
34% - 2379 votes
Yes, but only in provinces where it is out of control
39% - 2784 votes
Vote
Rand - Dollar
14.20
+0.5%
Rand - Pound
19.82
+0.4%
Rand - Euro
16.96
+0.4%
Rand - Aus dollar
10.77
+0.1%
Rand - Yen
0.13
+0.7%
Gold
1,788.41
+0.5%
Silver
26.15
+1.5%
Palladium
2,605.00
+1.8%
Platinum
1,093.50
+1.0%
Brent Crude
74.81
-0.1%
Top 40
59,764
+0.5%
All Share
65,820
+0.4%
Resource 10
63,003
+1.7%
Industrial 25
86,786
-0.5%
Financial 15
12,891
+0.4%
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo