About the Author - Yahya Jammeh

Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh (born 25 May 1965) is a Gambian politician and former military officer, who served as President of the Gambia from 1996 to 2017, as well as Chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council from 1994 to 1996. Jammeh was born in Kanilai, in the Gambia, and is a Muslim of the Jola ethnic group. He attended Gambia High School in Banjul from 1978 to 1983 and served in the Gambian National Gendarmerie from 1984 to 1989. He was then commissioned as an office...

Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh (born 25 May 1965) is a Gambian politician and former military officer, who served as President of the Gambia from 1996 to 2017, as well as Chairman of the Armed Forces Provisional Ruling Council from 1994 to 1996. Jammeh was born in Kanilai, in the Gambia, and is a Muslim of the Jola ethnic group. He attended Gambia High School in Banjul from 1978 to 1983 and served in the Gambian National Gendarmerie from 1984 to 1989. He was then commissioned as an officer of the Gambian National Army, commanding the Military Police from 1992 to 1994. In July 1994, he came to power by leading a bloodless coup d'etat that overthrew the elected government of Sir Dawda Jawara. At first ruling by decree, he was elected president in the 1996 election. Jammeh was re-elected as president in 2001, 2006 and 2011, but lost to Adama Barrow in 2016. His presidency oversaw a shift towards authoritarianism, demonstrated in particular by his policies towards anti-government journalists, LGBT+ people and opposition parties. His foreign policy led to constant difficulties with the country's sole neighbour, Senegal. In 2013, Jammeh withdrew the Gambia from the Commonwealth of Nations and in 2016 he began the process of withdrawing the country from the International Criminal Court, one year after he declared the nation an Islamic republic. All three decisions were later rescinded by successor government, despite Jammeh's supporters arguing that his foreign policy encouraged self-sufficiency and anti-colonialism. Jammeh has been accused of serious human rights violations, such as murder, rape and torture, as highlighted in the final report of the Truth, Reconciliation and Reparations Commission, he is now living in exile in Equatorial Guinea. His assets around the world have been frozen by many countries amidst additional accusations of stealing millions of dollars from his country to fund a life of luxury. Jammeh has denied the allegations against him.

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