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Gambia

Yearbook 1998

The Gambia. According to Countryaah, three former officers were sentenced in October to death by the Supreme Court for treason. They were accused of trying to overthrow President Yahya Jammeh by an attack on a regiment in 1997. The same officers are also said to have participated in a coup attempt against Jammeh following his takeover in 1994.

1998 Gambia

The first inhabitants of the valley of the Gambia River arrived from present-day Senegal. They were attracted to the opportunities for sailing and trade along the river, settling throughout its length, and further developing subsistence farming.

In the 15th century, the area was colonized by the Mandinga people, who, as allies with the Empire of Mali, exercised their authority in the Gambia Valley. It founded a number of kingdoms, controlled coastal trade and achieved high economic and cultural development.

When the Portuguese arrived in the area in 1455, this meant that trade gradually shifted to the Atlantic coast, which meant that the kingdoms in the interior of the country that had previously closed on this trade were sued. For the Portuguese, Gambia became a major shipping port for precious metals, and an important enclave on the route to the Far East as they controlled.

In 1618, the Portuguese crown sold its trade and territorial rights to the British Empire, which was expanding its navy and conquering land in the battle for the colonies. During the same period, the conflict between England and France broke out over the next 200 years. France possessed i.a. neighboring Senegal. From 1644, Gambia was first and foremost an important enclave for the slave shipping, and British traders entered into alliances with the chiefs in the interior of the country to capture and sell slaves.

Throughout the 17th century, the enclave was of significance only to the shipment of slaves used by the British in its own colonies or sold in rival colonies. In the first instance, Britain confined itself to setting up a necessary trading post in the area in 1660. It was not until the 18th century that the conflict between the British and the French led to the border crossing.

Throughout the 19th century, the interior of the country was marked by religious wars that ended with the country's total Islamization and immigration of Muslims from other parts of Africa. When the colonial powers at the same time banned slavery and the trade of slaves, the area lost all economic importance. However, slavery continued in Gambia and was first banned in 1906. In contrast, the colony gained strategic importance as early as the 19th century because of its location within Senegal, which played a central role in French control of sub-Saharan Africa.

In 1889, France and Britain entered into an agreement on the boundary between their respective colonies. It guaranteed peace in the area and led the other European colonial powers to recognize Britain's supremacy in the Gambia.

 

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