EU Cuts Gambia Funding Over Human Rights Abuses

Written by Makula Dunbar

Written by Misha Hussain | From Reuters

The European Union has withdrawn millions of euros of funding for Gambia due to its poor human rights record, leaving the mainly Muslim West African nation to rely increasingly on donors from the Middle East for development projects.

The shift in soft power is of concern to Western governments in a region where Islamist militancy in northern Nigeria and northern Mali is fuelling instability, diplomatic sources said.

“West Africa has a large, impressionable youth population that have no access to jobs. Their loyalty might be bought through aid, sometimes by those sympathetic to the Islamification of the region,” said one diplomat.

Gambia was criticized by the United Nations Human Rights Council in October for restricting freedom of expression and numerous other rights violations.

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