The Gambia History

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History[edit | edit source]

The Gambia, officially the Republic of the Gambia, is a country in West Africa that is almost entirely surrounded by Senegal with the exception of its western coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. It is the smallest country within mainland Africa.

The Gambia shares historical roots with many other West African nations in the slave trade, which was the key factor in the placing and keeping of a colony on the Gambia River, first by the Portuguese, during which era it was known as A Gâmbia. On 25 May 1765, The Gambia was made a part of the British Empire when the government formally assumed control, establishing the Province of Senegambia. In 1965, the Gambia gained independence under the leadership of Dawda Jawara, who ruled until Yahya Jammeh seized power in a bloodless 1994 coup. Adama Barrow became the Gambia's third president in January 2017, after defeating Jammeh in December 2016 elections.

Jammeh initially accepted the results, then refused to accept them, which triggered a constitutional crisis and military intervention by the Economic Community of West African States, resulting in his exile.

Timeline[edit | edit source]

1783 - 1856 The first Treaty of Versailles gave Great Britain possession of the Gambia River, but the French retained a tiny enclave at Albreda on the river's north bank. This was finally ceded to the United Kingdom
1888 - The Gambia became a separate colony
1889 - An agreement with the French Republic established the present boundaries. The Gambia became a British Crown colony called British Gambia, divided for administrative purposes into the colony and the protectorate
1965 - The Gambia achieved independence, as a constitutional monarchy within the Commonwealth, with Elizabeth II as Queen of the Gambia, represented by the Governor-General
1970 - The Gambia became a republic within the Commonwealth, following a second referendum
1982 - 1989 Senegal and the Gambia signed a treaty of confederation. The Senegambia Confederation aimed to combine the armed forces of the two states and to unify their economies and currencies. After just seven years, the Gambia permanently withdrew from the confederation
2013 -The Gambian interior minister announced that the Gambia would leave the Commonwealth immediately, ending 48 years of membership of the organisation
2017 -The Gambia began the process of returning to its membership of the Commonwealth
2018 - Gambia officially rejoined the Commonwealth

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