The Gambia’s Political Crisis - What You Need to Know

The Situation

On December 1st of last year, the Gambian people went to the polls and voted for a new president, Adama Barrow., unseating their leader of the past 22 years, Yahya Jammeh.  However, Mr. Jammeh has refused to concede power and to accept the 2016 election results one week after he originally agreed to concede power.  Jammeh even challenged the election results with the Gambian Supreme Court, citing that there was an, “unprecedented and extraordinary amount of foreign interference” with the elections, according to CNN.  The Court now, will not hear the case until May.  

Tuesday, January 17th: In continued efforts to retain power, on Tuesday, January 17th, two days before his deadline to cede power, Incumbent President Jameh declared a “state of emergency”.

Wednesday, January 18th: On Wednesday, January 18th, a delegation of West African leaders such as, Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and former Ghanaian President John Dramani Mahama, arrived in the country’s capital, Banjul, to discuss with Mr. Jammeh the importance of respecting the Gambian constitution.  Unfortunately, the delegation talks failed as of last evening.  

Thursday, January 19th: On today, January 19th, President-elect Adama Barrow is scheduled to be inaugurated at 4:00pm local time at The Gambian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal, where he has been waiting for safety reasons, until his inauguration.

What’s Next?

If Jammeh refuses to step down by midnight, the Economic Community of West African States troops will enter The Gambia to remove him by force.  A move that will  send the smallest country on the continent, into further political instability and violence.  

Want to learn more about and keep on top of this developing political situation in The Gambia, read these latest news articles:   CNN article or ITV article.


By: Abby Cordaro & Chanell Hasty