1588 The British started
trading with the Gambians.
1651 Oct 26, Courlander Gambia
was established as a Latvian colony.
1661 Mar 19, English occupied
St. Andrew Island and other Courlander possessions in Gambia. They
renamed the island James Island with administration by the Royal
Adventurers in Africa Company.
1765 May 25, The Gambia was
made a part of the British colony of SeneGambia with its
headquarters at St. Louis.
1807 Slave trading was
abolished and James Island was used to check and stop the illicit
traffic in slaves.
1816 Captain Alexander Grant
obtained the sandy bank of Banjul Island by a treaty from the Chief
of Kombo and built the planned city of Bathurst, now renamed Banjul.
1818 Bathurst already had a
civilian population of 700 by 1818, the year that civil government
1821 Oct 17, The Gambia became
administered as a crown colony from Sierra Leone. Since then Banjul
(Bathurst) has been its capital.
1965 Feb 18, Gambia gained
independence from Britain.
(SFC, 7/1/97, p.A9)(www.vdiest.nl/gambia.htm)
1970 Apr, The country became a
republic and a constitution was enacted.
(SFC, 8/10/96, p.A9)
1975 May 25, ECOWAS Treaty1 was
signed. The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) was
formed in Nigeria with 15 members that included: Benin, Burkina
Faso, Cape Verde, Côte d'Ivoire, Gambia, Ghana, Guinea,
Guinea-Bissau, Liberia, Mali, Niger, Nigeria, Senegal, Sierra Leone,
1977 Apr 16, Alex Haley
(1921-1992) arrived in Juffure, Gambia. He authored “Roots" in 1976.
1981 Jul 30, Senegalese troops
aborted an attempt to overthrow the government of Gambia by a
paramilitary field force. Pres. Jawara was restored to power.
1994 Jul 23, Gambian soldiers
proclaimed a military government in Dakar, Senegal.
1994 Jul, Yahya Jammeh seized
power in Gambia and suspended the 1970 constitution.
(SFC, 8/10/96, p.A9)
1995 Gambia’s president,
Captain Yahya Jammeh, defended the Nigerian government in the
hanging of Ken Saro-Wiwa.
(WSJ, 12/15/95, p.A-16)
1996 Aug 9, Gambia voters
approved a new constitution that gave army ruler Yahya Jammeh the
mandate to hold elections.
(SFC, 8/10/96, p.A9)
1996 Sep 27, In Gambia Yahya
Jammeh defeated 3 civilian rivals in national elections. Observers
said that the elections were severely flawed. Jammeh’s government
had outlawed opposition parties, muzzled the press, forbade meetings
between rival candidates and foreign diplomats, and used soldiers to
attack opposition rallies.
(SFC, 9/28/96, p.A11)
1999 Jan 4, In Sierra Leone
Nigerian troops repelled a rebel attack on Freetown's airport.
Gambia and Mali agreed to send troops to join the Nigerian forces.
(WSJ, 1/5/99, p.A1)
2000 Apr 10, In Gambia police
fired on a student demonstration in Banjul and at least 9 people
were killed. The Gambia Students Union was denied a permit to march
against the recent death of a high school student allegedly tortured
by security members, and the reported rape of a 13-year-old girl by
a police officer.
(SFC, 4/11/00, p.D4)
2000 Apr 11, In Gambia students
set fire to government buildings across the country to protest the
killing of 12 people at a demonstration.
(SFC, 4/12/00, p.A17)
2001 Apr 26, It was reported
that a new malaria vaccine, developed by GlaxoSmithKline, would be
given to children in Gambia in clinical trials funded by a charity
associated with Bill Gates.
(WSJ, 4/25/01, p.B4)
2002 Sep 26, Over 760
passengers and crew were believed to have perished when the crowded
MS Joola, a state-run Senegalese ferry, heaved to its side shortly
before midnight in a fierce storm off the coast of Gambia. There
were only 62 known survivors. The toll was later raised to nearly
(AP, 9/28/02)(SFC, 9/28/02, p.A1)(SSFC, 9/29/02,
p.A18)(WSJ, 9/30/02, p.A1)
2003 Sep, Pres. Jammeh Yahya
named Maimuma Taal-Ndure (34) as director general of Gambia’s Civil
Aviation Authority (CAA).
(WSJ, 12/24/07, p.A8)
2004 Feb 17, The Gambian
president announced the discovery of "large quantities" of oil in
his tiny West African nation, saying the offshore find would
eliminate poverty and hunger.
2004 Aug, Following efforts by
Maimuma Taal-Ndure, Gambia’s director of aviation, Britain removed
Gambia from a blacklist allowing Gambian planes to again land in the
(WSJ, 12/24/07, p.A8)
2004 Dec, Deyda Hydara, a
reporter for Gambian daily The Point, was shot and killed by
unidentified gunmen. The slaying has never been solved.
2005 Sep 21, Pilots of a
chartered jet carrying 289 Gambian soccer fans faked the need for an
emergency landing in Peru so passengers could watch their nation's
team play a key match.
2006 Jan 13, Maimuma
Taal-Ndure, Gambia’s director of aviation, was arraigned on charges
of economic crime, mostly related to the improvement of Banjul
Airport. Taal-Ndure had resisted efforts transfer aviation agency
funds to another government agency. Her case was dismissed following
a trial that stretched over 18 months.
(WSJ, 12/24/07, p.A8)
2006 Mar, Gambia police closed
the leading opposition paper, The Independent, after it published an
article that incorrectly named a former interior minister among 23
people arrested for plotting a coup attempt. The paper printed a
front-page retraction the next day, but the story ran up against a
harsh new law that mandates prison sentences of at least six months
for printing falsehoods. Daba Marena, director general of Gambia’s
National Intelligence Agency, was arrested for allegedly taking part
in a coup attempt. Amnesty Int’l. later said he may have been
“extra-judicially executed." In 2010 US-exiled Musa Saidykhan,
former editor of The Independent, asked a regional court to order
his government to pay him two million dollars in damages for alleged
torture over the botched coup story.
(AP, 7/31/06)(WSJ, 12/24/07, p.A8)(AFP, 6/3/10)
2006 Jul 1, In Gambia a summit
of more than 50 African leaders opened with the aim of pursuing
regional integration, but conflicts in Darfur and Somalia are
inevitably topping the agenda. Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez
called on Africa to forge closer ties with Latin America to combat
what he called a threat of U.S. hegemony.
(AFP, 7/1/06)(Reuters, 7/1/06)
2006 Jul 2, Africa's leaders
meeting in Gambia agreed to send troops to Somalia to support
regional efforts at calming the chaotic east African state.
2006 Sep 22, Voters in Gambia
went to the polls in a presidential election widely expected to hand
incumbent strongman Yahya Jammeh a third elected term.
2006 Sep 23, Gambian President
Yahya Jammeh easily won a third term and called for a concerted
effort to develop the country socially and economically.
2006 Dec 13, The parliament of
Gambia, one of the world's poorest countries, passed a law to give
former presidents free foreign holidays, cars and personal staff for
life after they leave office. 60% of Gambia’s people live on less
than $1 (50 pence) a day.
2007 Feb 22, Gambia expelled
Fadzai Gwaradzimba, the UN chief representative in the country,
after she expressed doubts over President Yahya Jammeh's claims to
cure AIDS. Jammeh had claimed to have mystical powers and herbs to
treat HIV/AIDS and asthma within three days.
2007 Oct 6, Gambia arrested 2
senior Amnesty International officials on suspicion of spying. Tania
Bernath, Amnesty International's deputy director for Africa and an
advocacy officer Ameen Ayobele, were arrested in the eastern town of
Basse after they visited an opposition politician who has been held
in detention for more than a year. Yaya Dath, a journalist with the
country's privately-owned daily Foroyaa, who was traveling with the
London-based Bernath, a British-American national and Ayobele, a
Nigerian, was also arrested. All 3 were released on bail on Oct 8.
(AFP, 10/8/07)(AFP, 10/8/07)
2008 May 15, Gambia’s Pres.
Yahya Jammeh ordered homosexuals to leave the country and in a
televised speech threatened to cut off the head of anyone discovered
to be gay.
(SFC, 6/3/08, p.A3)
2008 Jun 1, In Liberia at least
eight people suffocated at an overcrowded stadium during a soccer
match between Liberia and Gambia.
2008 Aug 12, Security forces in
Gambia arrested Rear Adm. Bubo Na Tchuto, the suspected leader of an
alleged plot to topple the government in nearby Guinea-Bissau.
2008 Nov 29, In Gambia British
missionary David Fulton (60) and his wife (46) were arrested for
alleged sedition. Fiona Fulton was released in December, 2009. David
Fulton was freed in 2010 after serving nearly two years for
2009 Mar 18, Amnesty
international said authorities in Gambia have rounded up about 1,000
people and forced them to drink hallucinogens in a witch-hunting
campaign. Authorities began inviting "witch doctors," who combat
witches, to come from nearby Guinea soon after the death earlier
this year of President Yahya Jammeh’s aunt. The concoctions left six
(AP, 3/18/09)(AFP, 7/18/11)
2009 Jun 15, In Gambia seven
journalists were detained after criticizing the nation's president,
who has ruled the tiny country since a 1994 coup.
2009 Sep 21, Gambian President
Yahya Jammeh warned that anyone who sought to destabilize the tiny
west African nation would be killed.
2009 Nov 22, Iranian Pres.
Ahmadinejad arrived in Gambia for a 24-hour working visit aimed at
fostering relations between the Islamic republic and the West
2010 Jan 7, Kenya deported
Sheik Abdullah el-Faisal, a Jamaican-born radical Muslim cleric, to
Gambia after several countries, including the United States, denied
him a transit visa. Kenya's immigration minister said Gambian
authorities have agreed to help el-Faisal find his way home to
2010 Feb 26, Sierra Leone and
five other west African countries (Mauritania, Senegal,
Guinea-Bissau, Gambia and Guinea) signed onto an action plan in
Freetown for sustainable mangrove management.
2010 Oct 19, The UN said that
377 people had died in flooding in central and west Africa, with
nearly 1.5 million people affected since the start of the rainy
season in June. The highest toll was in Nigeria with 118, followed
by Ghana (52), Sudan (50), Benin (43), Chad (24), Mauritania (21),
Burkina Faso (16), Cameroon (13), Gambia (12), with other countries
reporting less than 10 dead.
2010 Oct 28, Israeli officials
said that the military-grade armaments seized at a shipping terminal
in Nigeria came from Iran and were bound for the Hamas-controlled
Gaza Strip. On Oct 30 an international shipping company said the
weapons cache originally came from Iran. Last week, the Iranian
shipper filed a request for the containers to be picked up again and
this time shipped to the West African nation of Gambia. On Feb 1,
2011, Azim Aghajani of Iran and his alleged accomplice, Nigerian
national Usman Abbas Jega, both maintained their innocence against
three charges over the shipment.
(AP, 10/28/10)(AP, 10/30/10)(AP, 2/1/11)
2010 Nov 22, A Gambian Foreign
Ministry statement was issued giving Iranian government officials 48
hours to leave the country. The next day a senior Gambian security
official said the move was linked to Nigeria's recent seizure of
arms sent from Iran which were allegedly destined for Gambia.
2011 Feb 8, Hussein Abdullahi,
Iran's ambassador to Nigeria, said that he had spoken to senior
officials of the Nigerian government as soon as an arms shipment was
seized last Oct 26 and told them that the intercepted cargo was the
third of four Gambia-bound shipments originating from Iran.
2011 Feb 9, Hussein Abdullahi,
Iran's ambassador to Nigeria, said that a Gambia-bound arms shipment
seized at Nigeria's busiest port three months ago did not breach
sanctions imposed by the UN, because Iran and Gambia had signed a
secret agreement two years before the UN's 2010 ban on Iranian arms
2011 Apr 22, Gambia said it
wants the Libyan ambassador loyal to Moammar Gadhafi to leave and
declared its support for the Benghazi-based rebel council.
2011 May 9, The Gambian high
court granted an application allowing the government to seize
millions of dollars worth of Libyan assets "until a government
recognized by the United Nations is in place in Libya."
2011 Jun 7, In Gambia former
communications minister Amadou Janneh, a US national, was arrested
along with others for "conspiring among themselves to carry out an
enterprise with force with the intent to usurp the executive powers
of the state."
2011 Jul 18, Gambian Pres.
Yahya Jammeh (46) said that neither the upcoming November
presidential election nor a military coup, but only God, could
unseat him from power.
2011 Jul 19, Gambian
prosecutors charged Ndey Tapha Sosseh, the former president of the
Gambia Press Union, with treason for attempting to overthrow the
government of President Yahya Jammeh. She was currently living in
exile in Mali.
2011 Oct 12, A Gambian court
sentenced eight foreigners to 50 years in prison for trafficking
cocaine worth a billion dollars. They included 4 Venezuelans, 2
Dutchmen, a Mexican and a Nigerian. Another accused Venezuelan died
before the judgment.
2011 Nov 24, Gambia,
continental Africa's smallest country, held elections. Voters popped
a glass marble into a colored drum representing their candidate.
President Yahya Jammeh (46) was widely expected to win a fourth term
in office. The 15-nation Economic Community of West African States
(ECOWAS) withdrew from observing the poll after a fact-finding
mission. Jammeh won with 72% of the vote.
(AFP, 11/24/11)(SFC, 11/26/11, p.A2)
2011 Dec 12, International
Criminal Court (ICC) member states, meeting at The Hague,
unanimously elected Fatou Bensouda of Gambia as the new chief
prosecutor for the main genocide and war crimes tribunal.
2012 Jan 7, In Gambia Mamadou
Jallow, a reporter with the privately owned The Daily News, was
arrested. 3 days later he was charged with defaming a local chief in
the Central River Region. Jallow had interviewed local farmers who
accused chief Mamadou Lamin Baldeh of mismanaging public assets.
2012 Jan 17, Gambia's High
Court sentenced Amadou Janneh, the former information minister, to
life imprisonment for conspiring to overthrow the ruler of 17 years
with T-shirts demanding an end to dictatorship. 3 others were
sentenced to three years' imprisonment.
2012 Feb 2, Gambian President
Yahya Jammeh dissolved his cabinet, two months after he was
reelected to a fourth term as the head of Africa mainland's smallest
2012 Mar 5, Gambia's Supreme
Court upheld a request by the government to lift economic sanctions
imposed on Libyan assets during the toppled regime of Moamer
Kadhafi. The move restores tens of millions of dollars (euros) in
property invested by the Libyan Arab African Investment Company
(LAAICO) in Gambia to the ruling National Transitional Council in
2012 Mar 29, Gambians began
voting in parliamentary elections boycotted by the opposition which
has accused the ruling party of abusing the system to tip the poll
in its favor. The election only took place in 23 of the 48
constituencies as the remaining 25 parliamentary seats held by the
ruling Alliance for Patriotic Reorientation and Construction (APRC)
went unopposed due to the boycott.
2012 Apr 21, Gambia's President
Yahya Jammeh warned foreign diplomats his country would not be
"bribed" with aid to accept homosexuality.
2012 May 22, Gambian President
Yahya Jammeh issued a harsh warning to criminals in the tiny African
nation, telling security chiefs to "shoot first and ask questions
2012 Jun 15, Gambia's Fatou
Bensouda (51) was sworn as the International Criminal Court's new
chief prosecutor, saying she was ready to lead the fight against the
world's worst war criminals.
2012 Aug 19, Gambian President
Yahya Jammeh told his people that by the middle of September all
those already sentenced to death for crimes will be executed.
2012 Aug 24, Gambia executed
nine convicted criminals. Amnesty International warned that dozens
more on death-row were under imminent threat as the West African
nation carries out its first death sentences in 27 years.
2012 Sep 15, Gambian President
Yahya Jammeh issued a statement saying that has he suspended the
imminent executions of 37 inmates sentenced to death, as long as
violent crime does not rise in Gambia.
2012 Dec 3, Gambia detained
Imam Baba Leigh. Media reports linked his arrest with comments he
made in August 2012 in which he described the executions of nine
people carried out by the government as "un-Islamic." Leigh was
released on May 10, 2013.
2013 Sep 27, Gambia's Pres.
Yahya Jammeh warned the UN General Assembly that gays were a threat
to human existence, along with excessive greed and obsession with
world domination, and criticized other countries for regarding
homosexuality as a human right.
2013 Oct 2, The Gambian
government announced that the former British colony is pulling out
of the Commonwealth with immediate effect, saying it would "never be
a member of any neo-colonial institution."
2013 Nov 14, Gambia’s Pres.
Yahya Jammeh announced a break off of diplomatic relations with
Taiwan after 18 years. The move was greeted with "shock and regret"
by Taipei, which is now recognised by just 22 nations.
2013 Dec 18, Gambia jailed
United Democratic Party treasurer Amadou Sanneh, a leading
opposition politician, for sedition after he helped two supporters
planning to flee to Finland.
2013 Gambia’s population was
about 1.8 million.
(Econ, 8/24/13, p.65)
2014 Feb 18, Gambia's President
Yahya Jammeh called homosexuals "vermin."