Gambians welcomed the ascendancy of Fatou Bom Bensouda as the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court but urged her to speak out against what they said was the challenging human rights situation in her home country.
Ms Bensouda, a former justice minister in the tiny west African country, was Friday sworn in at The Hague and becomes the first African to hold the post. She succeeds Argentinian Luis Moreno-Ocampo, the court's first prosecutor, who has stepped down after the expiry of his nine year term.
Mr Musa Touray, a Gambian businessman told the Africa Review correspondent that he is surprised that Ms Bensouda has never criticised the Gambian government where "disappearances, killing, arbitrary arrests, torture and intimidation are the order of the day."
The Gambia presidency had issued a press release commending Ms Bensouda and asking Muslim and Christian religious leaders in the country to "offer prayers for this wonderful daughter of The Gambia and Africa".
According to the release, she is the first Gambian to hold such high office.
The country's media also weighed in.
“Our sister, Fatou Bom Bensouda, who takes over as chief prosecutor for the International Criminal Court, has put threatening war criminals and defiant states on notice," The Standard newspaper said in an editorial.
"In several recent public statements she addressed two of the court’s most significant challenges: the accusation that the court’s credibility suffers from a “pro-Western, anti-African” bias and the related issue of ensuring state cooperation and support, particularly in executing arrest warrants," it added.
The Daily News, in an editorial titled "Kudos Fatou Bensouda" said that her achievement was notable, other Gambians such as Hassan Jallow who is prosecutor of the International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda, should also be lauded.
Ms Bensouda also worked for the Rwanda Tribunal before her appointment as the ICC deputy chief prosecutor in 2004.
"In fact, according to a recent World Bank survey over 65, 000 Gambian experts are working outside The Gambia," the paper said, adding that this showed there were many qualified citizens who could challenge the status quo in the country.
Gambian strongman President Yahya Jammeh has been widely criticised mainly in the West over his human rights record.
At her swearing in Ms Bensouda vowed to continue to pursue those wanted for crimes of genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity.