The long narrow Gambia, which projects like a
wedge in the middle of Senegal, is a distinct colonial
creation. The British took control of the Gambia River
and the surrounding land as early as the 17th century
during the race with the French on the then lucrative
slave trade. Today, tourism on Gambia's Atlantic beaches
and peanut exports are the main sources of income. Since
Yahya Jammeh, who has ruled the country with a hard hand
since 1994, lost the 2016 election and was forced to
leave power, the hope of a more democratic development
in the country was raised.
Brief profiles of Gambia, including geography, history, politics, economics as well as common acronyms about this country.
Geography and climate
The Gambia is located in West Africa and is
the smallest state on the continent, on the surface as
large as Skåne. The country consists of a narrow strip
of land along the lower course of the Gambia River. In
addition to a short Atlantic coast, Gambia is completely
enclosed by Senegal.
To the west, the strip is just under five miles wide.
Upstream, it narrows to half that width. In total, the
Gambia extends over 30 km into Senegal. The capital
Banjul is located on the island of Saint Mary's at the
mouth of the Gambia River. Along the coast there are
elongated sandy beaches.
At the riverside, mangrove swamps and marshlands
dominate. In addition, the country is mostly covered by
flat tree and shrub saplings. A large part of the Gambia
is lower than the sea surface, and at most it is just
over 50 meters above sea level.
Gambia's tropical climate is drier and hotter inland
than on the coast. The country has a relatively long dry
period and an intense rainy season, which lasts from
June to October.
During the rainy season it is hotter than during the
drier winter season. Most precipitation falls on the
coast. In the interior of the country, during the dry
season, the desert wind blows the Harmattan in with fine
sand dust from the Sahara in the northeast.
FACTS - GEOGRAPHY AND CLIMATE
11 295 km2 (2018)
Swedish - 1 hour
Adjacent country (s)
Capital with number of residents
Banana Christmas 437,000 (including suburbs, estimate
Other major cities
Serrekunda, Brikama, Bakau, Farafenni
500 mm (Aug), 1 mm (March-April)
19 °C (Jan), 28 °C (June)
The EU appeals: respect for human rights
The EU appeals to the Jammeh regime to respect human rights. President Jammeh
is accusing the EU of trying to undermine Gambia's stability.
Human rights activists are arrested
Human rights activists Amie Bensouda and Imam Baba Leigh are arrested for
unclear reasons. Bensouda is released after two days, while Imam Baba Leigh
remains in custody until May 2013.
Opposition group forms exile government
A new opposition group, the Gambia's National Transitional Council
(The Gambia, CNTG), announces that it is forming an exile
government in Senegal to fight the Jammeh regime.
Former Minister of Information is pardoned
Former Minister of Information Janneh is pardoned by the President. In
January 2012, Janneh was sentenced to life imprisonment for planning a coup.
Scheduled executions are stopped
President Jammeh announces that the planned executions will be stopped, but
adds that they can be implemented if crime in the country increases. The stop
comes after fierce criticism from the outside world.
Senegal protests against executions
Senegal's Prime Minister Abdoul Mbaye calls on Gambia's ambassador to protest
the killing of two Senegalese in the neighboring country. Mbaye appeals to the
Gambia for a third death sentence Senegalese to have his sentence converted to
At least nine people are executed
President Jammeh announces that all 47 sentenced prisoners in the country
will be executed in August and September. Many of Gambia's death row are
military and civil servants who have been convicted of high treason since
Jammeh's takeover of power in 1994. Shortly after the announcement, six
civilians and three soldiers are executed by arch-busting. These are the first
executions that have been carried out since 1985. The decision to start
executing prisoners is criticized by the EU, the African Union (AU) and a number
of human rights groups , among others. UDP leader Ousainou Darboe urges the
outside world to impose sanctions on the Gambia.
Fatou Bensouda new chief judge at ICC
A former Gambian Minister of Justice, Fatou Bensouda, will take up the role
of Chief Prosecutor at the International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague.
APRC wins parliamentary elections boycotted by opposition
Elections to the National Assembly are carried out, but six of seven
opposition parties choose to boycott the election. Some independent candidates
stand, as do members of the NRP. However, in 25 of the 48 constituencies, APRC
lacks challenges. The ruling party receives 52 percent of the vote, giving 43 of
the 48 electable seats. Independent candidates receive 39 percent of the vote (4
seats), while NRP gets 9 percent (1 seat). The turnout is set at 50 percent.
Jammeh: The Gambia will become an economic superpower
President Jammeh formally takes up his fourth term in office. In his
installation figure, he raises appearances when he threatens to "wipe out the
almost 82 percent" of the country's employees who he believes are not right for
the job. He promises to turn Gambia into an economic superpower within five
Former Minister of Information is sentenced to life for dome plans
Former Minister of Information Janneh is sentenced to life imprisonment for
treason in connection with his planned coup against President Jammeh (see
June – July 2011). Three other people are sentenced to criminal