A sad orchestra is playing out in The Gambia. The latest news is that President Yahaya Jammeh has rejected the election results that saw his defeat in the recent presidential election, one week after he called his opponent to concede and congratulate him on his victory.
What has changed? Well, typical of the black man’s love of power, the man has changed his mind. He now claims the election was marred by irregularities and therefore wants a fresh vote.
Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh (born 25 May 1965) is the outgoing President of the Gambia. As a young army officer, he took power in a 1994 military coup.
He was elected as President in 1996; he was re-elected in 2001, 2006, and 2011. He was defeated by Adama Barrow in the 2016 election. Although he initially conceded defeat, on 9 December 2016, he rejected the result citing “unacceptable abnormalities”. He subsequently announced he had annulled the result, pending a new vote. He then filed a petition with the Supreme Court of the Gambia to contest the result.
In April 2004 he called on journalists to obey his government “or go to hell”. In June 2005 he stated on radio and television that he has allowed “too much expression” in the country.
In July 2006, journalist Ebrima Manneh of The Daily Observer was reportedly arrested by state security after attempting to republish a BBC report criticizing Jammeh shortly before an African Union meeting in Banjul; his arrest was witnessed by coworkers. Though ordered to release Manneh by an Economic Community of West African States court, the Gambian government denied that Manneh was imprisoned.
According to AFP, an unnamed police source confirmed Manneh’s arrest in April 2009, but added he believed Manneh “is no longer alive”. Amnesty International named Manneh a prisoner of conscience and a 2011 “priority case”. The Committee to Protect Journalists has also called for his release.
The Gambia is a small West African country, bounded by Senegal, with a narrow Atlantic coastline. It’s known for its diverse ecosystems around the central Gambia River. Abundant wildlife in its Kiang West National Park and Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve includes monkeys, leopards, hippos, hyenas and rare birds. The capital, Banjul, and nearby Serrekunda offer access to beaches. As of 1 January 2016, the population of Gambia was estimated to be 2,022,955 people. This is an increase of 3.24 % (63 392 people) compared to population of 1,959,563 the year before.