Wednesday, May 27, 2009

The Gambia, Independence Era

The Gambia achieved Independenceon Feb. 1965 as a constitutional monarchy within the commonwealth.Govt. held a referendom to elect President as Head of State but it failed to secure 2/3 majority. but the honesty, civil rights and libertiesshowed by the people of Gambia was remarkable.Queen Elizabeth II remained as head of state till the next referendom held onApril, 1970, following Sir Dawda Kairaba Jawara, became the pResident as head of state.Until a military coup in July 1994 Jawara was re-elected five times as president.
During this time two events occured that enabled the tiny nation to survive an even prosper. for a decade after independence, the world price for groundnuts increased significantly,raising the country's gnp three times. The second event wasgambia became a tourist spot earning lots of foreign money. In the first coup of 1981 when Jawara was in london, took the help of the military of Senegal to suppress the coup. the two countries then made a treaty Senegalese troops for the protection of both but Gambia withdrew from the confederation in 1989. On a protest of low salaries the soldiers led by a young lieutenant, Yahya Jammeh, who in 1996 held an election and won for both in 2001 and 2006. The next election willbe in 2011.
Gambia accepted a non-permanent seat on the UN security council from 1998 to 1999.
Gambia National Assembly
Arch 22 monument, a memorial of the 1994 coup
mosque in the Gambia