Hackers target Gambia govt websites, ask Jammeh to quit

President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia
President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia

Forty-eight hours after it was attacked by unknown hackers, the official website of The Gambia’s Government House is still down.

The website was attacked on Saturday after Mr. Jammeh’s Friday night television broadcast rescinding his earlier acceptance of the December 1 presidential election result, which he lost to opposition leader and now President-elect, Adama Barrow.

“After a thorough investigation, I have decided to reject the outcome of the recent election. I lament serious and unacceptable abnormalities which have reportedly transpired during the electoral process,” Mr. Jammeh said.

“I recommend fresh and transparent elections which will be officiated by a god-fearing and independent electoral commission,” he said.

Local media reports said the hacker originally uploaded the picture of Mr. Barrow on the website with the message: “President-Elect Adama barrow, Republic of The Gambia – Office of the President –State House. Aluta continua, victoria a certa.”

A similar message was also posted on the website of the government-controlled Daily Observer newspaper.

However, while both websites are still inactive, the picture of Mr. Barrow is no longer on both websites.

The lone message on the State House website said it was under construction while that on the website of the Daily Observer read: “This website is currently undergoing updates and will return soon. Please check back later.”

The attack on the government’s website comes amid growing international pressure on Mr. Jammeh to respect the wishes of Gambian electorates and allow for smooth transition of power.

The African Union in a statement Saturday described Mr. Jammeh’s “cancellation” of the election as “null and void”.

Similarly, the United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, has expressed dissatisfaction over Mr. Jammeh’s to rescind his earlier acceptance of the result.

“The Secretary-General is dismayed by the December 9 statement by President Yahya Jammeh of The Gambia rejecting the outcome of the December 1 Presidential election,” the secretary-general’s office said in a statement.

“The Secretary-General calls on President Jammeh and all political actors and their supporters to fully respect the outcome of the election and to resolve all disputes that may arise from the electoral process through established legal procedures in an expeditious and transparent manner.”

Mr. Ki-moon’s condemnation of Mr Jammeh came after those of the United States, and right organisations such as Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch.


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