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What You Need To Know About Gambia's Dictator Yahya Jammeh In Less Than One Minute

The seven most vital things to know about the recent troubles in Gambia, and the man behind it all.

19/01/2017 18:23 SAST | Updated 19/01/2017 18:28 SAST
  1. The West African country of Gambia faces the prospect of military intervention from a group of regional countries after its President Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh (more popularly known as Yahya Jammeh) refused to step down, following the December presidential elections, which he lost to Adama Barrow.
  2. The 51-year old Jammeh has been the president of Gambia since 1994, when as a young lieutenant he seized power as the leader of a military coup.
  3. Jammeh's regime has been accused of widespread human rights abuses, including a massacre of students and a journalist in April 2000. He has been outspokenly against LGBT rights and women's equality. He has even claimed the ability to cure HIV/Aids, though to date no cure for the disease is known to science.
  4. After the election results were announced, Jammeh initially agreed to step down. However, he suddenly changed his mind again. He declared: "After a thorough investigation, I have decided to reject the outcome of the recent election. I lament serious and unacceptable abnormalities which have reportedly transpired during the electoral process."
  5. Jammeh appears determined to hold on to power, in spite of international pressure, especially from Economic Community of West African States (Ecowas). A deadline of Wednesday midnight passed without any sign that he intended to comply with the directive issued to him, raising the spectre of military intervention from his neighbouring states to force him to hand over power to Barrow.
  6. On Thursday, Barrow tweeted that he would be going ahead with his inauguration, at the Gambian embassy in neighbouring Senegal.
  7. At least eight members of Jammeh's cabinet has resigned since December, however key members of the defence ministry staff appear to be backing him.
  8. Al-Jazeera reports that Nigerian, Ghanaian and Senegalese ground, air and naval forces are amassing on the borders of Gambia, as of Thursday morning.

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