The Gambia profile - Timeline

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A chronology of key events:

1455 - Portuguese establish trading stations along Gambia river.

Image source, visnews
Image caption,
Dawda Jawara was prime minister at independence and was ousted in 1994

1889 - Present boundaries of The Gambia set by agreement between Britain and France.

1894 - The Gambia becomes a British protectorate.

1965 - The Gambia becomes independent with Dawda Jawara as prime minister.

1970 - The Gambia becomes a republic following a referendum; Mr Jawara elected president.

1981 - Five hundred people are killed as Senegalese troops help suppress a coup.

1982 - The Gambia and Senegal form a loose confederation called Senegambia, which collapses in 1989.


1994 - President Jawara ousted in coup led by Lieutenant Yahya Jammeh.

Image source, Getty Images
Image caption,
Gambia has an unusual voting system in which voters deposit marbles into a steel drum marked with the candidate of their choice

1996 - New multiparty constitution promulgated, but three major political parties still banned from taking part in elections; Jammeh elected president.

2001 23 July - President Jammeh lifts the ban on the political parties he overthrew in his military coup of 1994.

Second term for Jammeh

2001 October - President Jammeh wins a second term. Foreign observers give the poll a clean bill of health in spite of rising tension ahead of the vote.

2002 May - Opposition MPs and journalists condemn a new media law, passed by parliament, as draconian and intended to muzzle the independent press.

2004 February - President Jammeh announces the discovery of large reserves of oil.

2004 December - New press law provides for the jailing of journalists found guilty of libel, sedition. Days later a critic of the law, prominent editor Deyda Hydara, is shot dead.

2006 August - Thousands flee into Gambia from Senegal's southern Casamance region to escape fighting between Senegalese troops and separatists.

Third Jammeh term

2006 September - President Jammeh wins a third term.

Image caption,
Deyda Hydara, a critic of strict media laws, was murdered in 2004. Others journalists have gone missing or have been jailed

2007 February - UN development envoy Fadzai Gwaradzimba is expelled for criticizing the president's assertion that he can cure AIDS.

2008 May - President Yahya Jammeh tells a rally that he would "cut off the head" of any homosexual found in The Gambia, prompting an outcry from international gay rights campaigners.

2009 March - Amnesty International says hundreds have been kidnapped during a government campaign against "witchcraft".

2009 September - President Jammeh threatens to kill human rights workers as saboteurs.

2010 October - Death penalty introduced for possession of cocaine or heroin in a bid to discourage international drug trafficking.

Fourth Jammeh Term

2011 November - President Jammeh wins another term in widely criticised elections.

2012 June - Ex-justice minister Fatou Bensouda is sworn in as the International Criminal Court's new chief prosecutor in The Hague.

2013 October - President Jammeh announces Gambia's withdrawal from the Commonwealth, describing it as a "neo-colonial institution".

2015 January - Dozens of soldiers and civilians are arrested following December foiled coup bid.

2016 Summer - Government carries out crackdown on political opponents ahead of December elections. Opposition party member Ebrima Solo Kurumah dies in custody in August.

End of Jammeh's rule

2017 January - President Jammeh goes into exile after losing December election to opposition candidate Adama Barrow, but only after neighbouring countries threaten military intervention.

2017 April - Parliamentary elections give an absolute majority to the United Democratic Party. It trounced the APRC - the dominant party under Yahya Jammeh's rule.