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Gambia, The


Introduction: The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965. Geographically surrounded by Senegal, it formed a short-lived federation of Senegambia between 1982 and 1989. In 1991 the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation treaty, but tensions have flared up intermittently since then. Yahya JAMMEH led a military coup in 1994 that overthrew the president and banned political activity. A new constitution and presidential elections in 1996, followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997, completed a nominal return to civilian rule. JAMMEH has been elected president in all subsequent elections including most recently in late...

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Government: The 1970 constitution, which divided the government into independent executive, legislative, and judicial branches, was suspended after the 1994 military coup. As part of the transition process, the AFPRC established the Constitution Review Commission (CRC) through decree in March 1995. In accordance with the timetable for the transition to a democratically elected government, the commission ...

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International Relations: The Gambia maintains generally good relations with other African countries. In June 2006 the Gambia successfully hosted the summit of the African Union. Jammeh has mediated (sic) both in the peace process in Guinea-Bissau between 1998 and 2000 and in the peace process in the Casamance region of Senegal (see Senegal Country profile). However relations with Senegal in recent years have been difficult effecting trade and transport issues. Relations further worsened when Jammeh accused Senegal of harbouring those behind the coup attempt of March 2006. But Senegambia relations have improved of late with two visits to Banjul in 2010 by President ...

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