Middle East funds Gambia as EU cuts aid over human rights concerns

The European Union has withdrawn millions of euros of funding for Gambia due to its poor human rights record, and after Jammeh signed into law an act that would imprison homosexuals for life. The Muslim West African nation will now 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. Read More