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5 Things You Need To Know About Gambia’s Current Political Crisis!!

Where Is Gambia Located?

The Gambia is a West African country surrounded by Senegal on three sides and the Atlantic Ocean along its west coast. At less than 31 miles long and 4,361 square miles, The Gambia is a small and narrow country slightly smaller than the Caribbean island of Jamaica.

British’s map of Gambia (The British Empire)
Gambia’s History Is Littered with Colonial Rule

The Songhai and Mali empires ruled the area of present-day Gambia for 600 years beginning in 1000 A.D., according to Local Histories. The trans-Saharan trade routes were later established and the illegal sale of enslaved Africans, gold and ivory, and manufactured goods began.

In the mid-15th century, the Portuguese arrived and controlled foreign trade. The English, Dutch and French colonized West Africa two centuries later, with the Dutch being kicked out by the 1650s. Gambia became a British colony in 1886, surrounded by French-controlled Senegal.

The country gained independence in 1965 and has had two rulers since then. David Jawara was prime minister until he was ousted in 1994 amid economic decline. Yahya Jammeh assumed the role until 2016.

Yahya Jammeh (Gainako)
Yahya Jammeh’s Military Ties

Before entering politics, Jammeh was a military officer. As a lieutenant, he and the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council launched a coup against Jawara in 1994. Two years later, Jammeh emerged victorious in a presidential election before winning another in 2001. He also avoided a coup against him in 2006, when one allegedly was prevented.


Under his rule, Gambia exited the British Commonwealth in 2013 after Jammeh deemed it a “neo-colonial institution,” according to The Telegraph. The country left the International Criminal Court in 2016, which Jammeh described as the “International Caucasian Court.”

During the 2016 presidential election, the former lieutenant blamed his loss to Adama Barrow on voter fraud, leading to a political crisis that lasted for weeks. After a military intervention was threatened if Jammeh didn’t step down, he went into exile in Equatorial Guinea.

Gambia President Adama Barrow (@adama_barrow Twitter)
Security Career Aided Adama Barrow’s Stunning Victory

Adama Barrow surprised many when he won the election over Jammeh in December. In the midst of his campaign, Barrow credited his secruity positions in London for aiding his career in politics, according to The Telegraph. The 51-year-old previously held several guard positions after his property management studies from 1998 to 2002.

As prime minister, Barrow pledged to overturn the controversial actions Jammeh, who was moving Gambia away from a pro-Western path, instituted. But his team wouldn’t confirm the specifics to AFP of what Barrow will do to get back on that track. One of his aides accused Jammeh of stealing $11 million from Gambia’s safe in his last days as leader.

Yaya Jammeh as ECOWAS military intervention occurs in Gambia (Ganiko)
ECOWAS Involvement and Who Is Invading Gambia

The Economic Community of West African States is an economic alliance made up of 15 member countries, including Liberia, Cape Verde, Gambia, Nigeria, Senegal and Sierra Leone. The Telegraph reported Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf heads ECOWAS and has been in negotiations with Jammeh. ECOWAS threatened to use the military to force Jammeh out of his former seat. Soldiers from Senegal and Nigeria were the majority of the military forces entering Gambia and may remain to keep order.

Barrow hopes to return to the presidential palace swiftly, AFP reported, although Gambia Moral Congress member Mai Fatty said “the state of security in The Gambia is still fragile.”


Written by How Africa

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  1. Looks like Yahya Jammeh is just following the examples set by
    – Jose Eduardo dos Santos of Angola – Net Worth: $20 Billion
    – Mohammed VI of Morocco – Net Worth: $2.5 Billion
    – Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo of Equatorial Guinea – Net Worth: $600 Million
    – Uhuru Kenyatta of Kenya – Net Worth: $500 Million
    – Paul Biya of Cameroon – Net Worth: $200 Million
    – Goodluck Jonathan of Nigeria – Net Worth: $100 Million
    – King Mswati III of Swaziland – Net Worth: $100 Million
    – Idriss Deby of Chad – Net Worth: $50 Million
    – Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe – Net Worth: $10 Million
    – Jacob Zuma (South Africa) UNKNOWN AMOUNTS??????
    And so many others!!!!!

    Looks like Yahya Jammeh is just following the ‘fine’ examples set by
    – Jose Eduardo dos Santos (Angola)
    – Mohammed VI (Morocco)
    – Teodoro Obiang Nguema Mbasogo
    (Equatorial Guinea)
    – Uhuru Kenyatta (Kenya)
    – Paul Biya (Cameroon)
    – Goodluck Jonathan (Nigeria)
    – King Mswati III (Swaziland)
    – Idriss Deby (Chad)
    – Robert Mugabe (Zimbabwe)
    – Jacob Zuma (South Africa)
    And so many others!!!!!

    On the other side, it could be that the new leaders are propagandizing the stolen monies because they are already depositing the funds into THEIR Offshore Accounts and using the name of Jammeh as a scapegoat.

    This is Africa and everything is possible?????

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