Banjul Gambia Events

President Adama Barrow returned to Gambia on Tuesday after winning elections disputed by the country's longtime dictator, where hundreds of thousands blocked the streets for a welcome. Billboards in the Gambian capital declared the inauguration ceremony for the new leader on February 18 a "historic moment" and "the beginning of a new era" for the West African nation. Gambia has had a tense relationship with former President Yahya Jammeh and his regime since he vowed to form his own government and reverse many of Jammeh's actions, including the announcement that countries would withdraw from the International Criminal Court.

Politically, some observers wonder whether the climate of democracy and tolerance prevailing in Gambia will not be a victim of the failed coup. The impact of recent events could be a blow to the country, which is surrounded on three sides by Senegal, Guinea-Bissau and the Ivory Coast, and to the surrounding countries. If it is an expensive military undertaking, it could fan the flames of nationalism in the West African nation, and behave in ways that it can scarcely afford financially - under pressure.

The Gambia exports the most peanuts, while the country, the smallest on the African mainland, has also become a major destination for migrants making their way to Europe. The Gambia is the "great export" of peanuts, while the country is the second largest exporter of this commodity and an important source of income for its small population, which, according to the International Monetary Fund, is also becoming a major source of migrants coming to Europe.

The UNHCR is looking after 12,400 refugees in Gambia, including 1,675 Senegalese who have arrived during the recent upsurge in fighting. A diplomat based in Banjul said: "The Senegalese troops will be here for quite a while. About 2,500 ECOWAS soldiers are still in Gambia and Barrow was sworn in on Friday, with officials saying the ceremony will be "held across Gambia."

We recommend taking lots of small notes (D5 - D10) with you if you are ever invited, but rest assured that your musical memory will take your time in Gambia. A series of events will continue in Banjul and other parts of the country in the coming days and weeks.

Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, granted the country independence on 1 October 1788, with Prime Minister Jawara representing Gambia. African possessions, waived all claims to them and was given the right to act personally across the Gambian river. He was the first sitting US president to visit and trade personally with the President of the Republic of Ghana and the Chief of Administration of Senegal, as well as the Head of State of South Africa.

Jobson also went to Neriko and was later appointed President of the United States of America, the first of its kind. The Gambia's economy was heavily agricultural, with the majority of the population dependent on agriculture for their livelihoods.

The increasing importance of peanut cultivation in Senegal led to a new imperialism and the colony assumed importance for the French as a possible trade route. Gambia's transfer to France was proposed in the late 19th century, but met with considerable protest in both Gambia and England. British domination of the river basin seemed assured in 1857, but the idea of proposing a new colony on the west coast of Senegal and a separate colony in Guinea-Bissau was first voiced in 1861.

English interest in Gambia was revived in the late 19th century after it was reported that there were a large number of colonies in Senegal and Guinea-Bissau. In 1618 the English tried to explore the area, and other English adventurers later obtained letter patents that granted them the right to exclusive trade along the Gambie River, also in 1598, 16 in 1818 and 1632 from other English adventurers.

After the war, a Legislative and Executive Council was established, and the pace of reform picked up after a failed program called the Gambia Poultry Scheme. During World War II, The Gambia Company, with more than 1,000 employees, became the largest private company in the world, but it also formed an auxiliary police force, which helped to enforce power cuts in Bathurst, among other places.

It has been reported that the Forces Democratique de la Casamance (MFDC) movement wants the independence of southern Senegal. Villagers on the border have told UNHCR staff that MF DC fighters advised them to go to Gambia before Senegalese troops advance.

In 1667, the Royal Adventurers were sublet to a group of adventurers who became known as the Gambia Adventurers and later became the new Royal African Company. In the year 16 67 the rights of the "Royal Adventureters" in Gambie were transferred to "GambiaAdventurers" and later returned to them.

In 1888, Gambia was again separated from Sierra Leone and gained its independence from the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland after the Commonwealth of West Africa gained independence. Since independence, it has functioned as a separate colony and remained a constitutional monarchy as part of the Commonwealth. It regained its independence in 1961, became a presidential republic in 1970 and an independent country again in 1992.

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