Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has allowed the United Nations to investigate the cases of two journalists, the disappearance of Chief Ebrima Manneh and the death of Deyda Hydara , a media dispatch issued by the US embassy said Tuesday.
Hydara, editor of the daily The Point Newspaper and correspondent for Agence France-Presse, was killed by unknown gunmen on the night of December 16, 2004 on his way home from work.
Manneh disappeared on July 7, 2006 after he was reportedly picked up from his office by men in plain clothes believed to be state security agents.
The announcement comes a day after the Gambian President held talks with US civil rights campaigner and politician, the Reverend Jesse Jackson on advancing human rights in the west African country.
"During the meeting, the President reaffirmed his commitment to the moratorium (on executions) and to allowing the United Nations to investigate the disappearance of Chief Ebrima Manneh and the death of Deyda Hydara, two prominent Gambian journalists," the embassy said.
In May, Gambia's police chief Yankuba Sonko had said Manneh was in the United States.
"As far as we are concerned, the latest information we received from Interpol is that he was seen in America, and that is it," Sonko had said.
Manneh's disappearance prompted stiff rebukes against a government regularly criticised by rights groups for cracking down on the media, and strong suspicion of the authorities' involvement.
Jackson arrived in Banjul on Sunday to call for a halt to the execution of dozens of death row prisoners, according to Gambian press reports.