The Gambia. A tense political situation prevailed
throughout the year, possibly an early start to the 2011
presidential campaign. In February, UN agency UNICEF
representative Min Whee-Kang was expelled, who, without
explanation, was given a day to leave the country. According
to COUNTRYAAH, the
decision was interpreted as a reaction to foreign criticism
of the human rights violations in The Gambia.
During February and March, a large number of high ranking
military, police, businessmen and a former minister were
arrested and charged with planning a coup. In June, charges
were also brought against former Marine Chief Sarjo Fofona
and former Army Chief Langtombong Tamba for participation in
a coup attempt in 2006. At the same time, General Tamba,
along with seven other former senior officers, were facing
trial for an alleged coup attempt in 2009. In July, they
were convicted until death.
President Yahya Jammeh, who himself took power in a coup
in 1994, accused the former colonial power of Britain of
locking money to the opposition ahead of the 2011
In October, Parliament passed a law establishing the
death penalty for possession of more than 250 grams of
heroin or cocaine. Holding 100 to 250 grams gives up to 75
years in prison. The Gambia is becoming a transit country
for drug deliveries to Europe. A lawsuit was held during the
year against the former national police chief and the former
head of the drug control authority for, among other things,
drug crimes and robberies.
President Jammeh married a second wife, a 21-year-old
diplomat daughter, during the year.