Yahya Jammeh

Dictator and President of Gambia Yahya Jammeh

Full Name: Yahya Abdul-Aziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh
Profession: Dictator and President of Gambia


Biography: Jammeh, a former Gambian military officer, lead Gambia from 1994 to 2017—first as the head of a military junta, then as elected president.

While Jammeh ruled by decree from 1994 after leading a bloodless coup, he won the 1996 presidential election and was re-elected in 2001, 2006, and 2011. Jammeh lost the 2016 election to Adama Barrow.

The 1994 coup in which Jammeh came to power was initially planned as a mutiny, with a group of military officers planning only to make certain demands. They took control of the airport, a radio station, and a power station; at this news, President Dawda Jawara—whose government had been increasingly unpopular—attempted to flee to a U.S. warship that was in the area. Upon abandoning his country, the mutiny became a de facto coup.

Despite the easy success of this coup, the new military junta quickly sought to stomp out all possible resistance to their government.

The new regime was characterised by increasingly authoritarian measures intended to prevent criticism and maintain their hold on power. After two years of this, Jammeh ran for president in the 1996 elections largely unopposed and won—thus legitimising the new regime.

Born: May 25, 1965
Birthplace: Kanilai, The Gambia
Age: 58 years old

Generation: Generation X
Chinese Zodiac: Snake
Star Sign: Gemini

Historical Events

  • 2015-11-23 President Yahya Jammeh of Gambia bans "Khatna", the Islamic ritual practice of genital mutilation of young girls
  • 2016-12-01 Gambia presidential election: dictator Yahya Jammeh is defeated by Adama Barrow after 22 years in power
  • 2016-12-11 Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh says he will contest his election defeat in court, after his 1st election loss in 22 years
  • 2017-01-19 Adama Barrow sworn in as President of Gambia in Dahkar as Senegalese troops enter Gambia to persuade former President Yahya Jammeh to leave
  • 2018-01-21 Gambian Dictator Yahya Jammeh finally concedes office and leaves Gambia 2 months after losing the presidential election
  • 2019-03-27 Former president of the Gambia Yahya Jammeh stole almost 1 billion from his country before his exile in 2017 according to a corruption report
  • 2019-06-26 Former Gambian beauty queen Fatou "Toufah" Jallow says she was raped by former President Yahya Jammeh as part of a Human Rights Watch and Trial International report

Biographies and Sources

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