Gambian President Adama Barrow announced the suspension of the death penalty in the West African nation, on Sunday.
“I will use this opportunity to declare a moratorium on the use of the death penalty in Gambia, as a first step towards abolition,” Barrow said in a 53rd-anniversary speech.
According to Amnesty International, capital punishment is trending downwards across the continent, disclosing that there were 22 executions in 2016 compared to 43 the previous year.
Barrow is working assiduously to globally repair The Gambia’s reputation, which was plagued by human rights abuses and spats with foreign governments during Jammeh's rule.
In contrast to the former leader, Barrow signed a United Nations treaty to enact the abolition of capital punishment, last year. The Gambia recently rejoined the Commonwealth, from which Jammeh had withdrawn in 2013.
“We have won the war against dictatorship, which is the easy part. Maintaining the peace for our democracy to thrive will be our utmost challenge,” Barrow said. He added that “mistakes will be made, but we will correct them as we work towards perfecting the New Gambia.”
Jammeh, who ruled The Gambia for 22 years, ordered the execution of nine soldiers by firing squad in 2012. The ex-president had also threatened to make certain offenses punishable by execution to stem the country's escalating crime rate.
Jammeh fled the country one year ago, after losing his re-election bid.