When he was just 29 years old, former president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, led a bloodless revolution on this day in 1994.
The coup ousted President Dawda Jawara who had been ruling since 1970. Jawara was installed as Prime Minister in 1960, and was instrumental in leading Gambia’s quest for independence from the United Kingdom in 1965.
His rule was peppered with corruption and although he announced in 1991 that he would not be seeking a re-election, he was forced to run again as the stability of the country was under threat.
It was his subsequent re-election that forced then Lieutenant Jammeh to stage a coup and storm the capital with other soldiers. Jawara escaped unhurt and stayed in exile until 2002.
Jammeh was then installed the president and went on to rule for 23 years. Since then, July 22 has been celebrated as Revolution Day in the Gambia until 2017 when the government stated that it will not celebrate or glorify the day that brought unspoken brutality to its people.
Here’s is Jammeh’s speech, accusing the former government of corruption, looting and undemocratic tendencies- the same things he would be accused of in later years.