Gambia Government and Politics

Two members of the Armed Forces Provisional Council were arrested in January 1995 and charged with trying to restore power to civilians. In March, Jammeh also arrested the former Attorney General and State Attorney for promoting a return to civilian rule. In November, the military junta expanded the powers of the security forces. Also see AbbreviationFinder for abbreviation of GA and its meanings of Gambia.

The military government declared it would hold parliamentary and presidential elections in June 1996. Still, the discharge was abandoned. Following a referendum in August, a new constitution was adopted. Jammeh characterized this step as the first step on the road to the re-establishment of civil political life. Until then, he had been chief of the Armed Forces Military Government, and in September he was elected as the country’s 2nd elected president.

In August 1997, the government lifted the last restrictions on political life that had been in effect since the military coup in 1994. In March 1998, Jammeh reduced the number of members in its cabinet. At the same time, the country was elected as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council.

According to, the detention of Muslim leaders became more frequent throughout 1998. In August, Jammeh traveled to Mauritania for a meeting with President Moaouia Ould Sidi Mohammed Taya, to “find a solution to the conflict that had ravaged Guinea-Bissau for two months.”

In May 1999, opposition politician Ousainou accused Darboe of the UDP, the government of arresting party members and of maintaining a “false” democracy. On June 9, Jammeh accused Western donor countries of condoning their assistance in respecting human rights and democracy. A few days later, leaders from Casamance, Senegal in Gambia met to work out a joint strategy for Senegal peace talks.

On September 25, at the UN General Assembly, Jammeh accused the World Organization of its “slowness and lack of accountability for the conflicts that ravaged Africa”. A month later, the Press Union criticized a new “government move to regulate freedom of the press”. The government wanted annual reviews on the editorial boards, and at the same time the Minister of Information threatened the press to withdraw its permits. In January 2000, security forces thwarted a “coup attempt” and detained two officers – the rebel’s alleged backmen.

Together with 44 other countries – predominantly African – the Gambia lost the right to vote in the UN General Assembly on February 2, 2000 – ‘ lack of payments to the World Organization ยป.

The Association of Sahel-Saharan States (Comessa) met in Chad on February 5, taking on Gambia, Senegal and Djibouti as new members of the organization. The 11 member states agreed “not to intervene in the internal affairs of other member states, not to make territory available to opponents of another member state, and not to support resistance forces in some of the other member states”.

On April 11, students and police clashed in the streets of Banjul, condemning the students “to face illegal detention.” Six people were killed during the clashes and the police were put on the highest alert. The International Red Cross condemned that one of their staff members had been shot despite being clearly identifiable.

Gambia Head of Government

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