To Ensure Its Democratic Transition, Gambia Will Need Justice—and Reconciliation

To Ensure Its Democratic Transition, Gambia Will Need Justice—and Reconciliation
Gambian President Adama Barrow rides a motorcade after flying in from Senegal, where he took his oath of office abroad, Banjul, Gambia, Jan. 26, 2017 (AP photo by Jerome Delay).

In December 2016, the people of Gambia elected an opposition presidential candidate for the first time in the country’s history. The outcome caught virtually everyone by surprise, including the incumbent, Yahya Jammeh, who had brutally ruled the small West African nation as a veritable mafia state for more than two decades. Despite initially conceding defeat on national television, Jammeh reversed his position a few days later, declaring the election null and void after claiming he had personally discovered “voting irregularities” in the final results. Jammeh’s attempt to defy the will of the Gambian people sparked a two-month-long crisis, provoking an […]

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