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The biggest news that got us talking in 2016
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The biggest news that got us talking in 2016

 

Jammeh’s shock defeat

A virtually unknown and unsophisticated politician, Adama Barrow ended Jammeh’s 22-year-old regime.  He was declared the winner of the December 1 presidential election. Jammeh accepted defeat and promised to provide a smooth transition, but a few days later he came back on national TV to reject the results calling for a fresh election.

Killing of Solo Sandeng

He was brutally tortured to death while in the custody of the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). Solo was arrested while leading a protest calling for electoral reform. Solo Sandeng is the biological father of Fatoumatta Sandeng who recently married a Germany- based political activist, Musa Darboe. She is currently exiled in Dakar, Senegal.

Arrest and incarceration of UDP leader, Ousainou Darboe and some members of his party

The leader of the United Democratic Party (UDP) along with 18 members of his party were arrested and taken to court for “unlawful protest”. They were peacefully protesting and requesting for the dead body of their colleague, Solo Sandeng.  A  Nigerian high court judge sentenced them to three years in jail. They were later released following Adama Barrow’s victory.

Jammeh’s rant against Mandinkas

The president ended his last year’s ‘Meet the People tour’ with the most outrageous, childish and tribalistic rant ever against Mandinkas. According to him, they are not “original Gambians” and vowed to “deal with them”. Many were irked and disgusted by his remarks and there were calls that he should apologise to the country’s biggest ethnic group.

Child marriage outlawed

The banning of child marriage in The Gambia last year was warmly received and applauded by the international community.

President Jammeh, during a meeting with Muslim leaders, declared marriage under the age of 18 illegal.  He said: "Anyone who marries a girl under 18 years will spend 20 years in jail. The girls' parents would spend 21 years in jail and anyone who knows about it and fails to report the matter to the authorities would spend 10 years in jail.”

Inauguration of country’s tallest building

In August 2016, President Jammeh inaugurated the country’s tallest building – Petroleum House- located at the Brusubi turntable. The building, which is not yet accessible to the public, cost the Government of The Gambia two hundred and thirty two million, six hundred and eighty-six thousand, seven hundred and eighteen dalasi (D232, 686, 718, 00).

Closure of Senegal-Gambia border

It was big news in both The Gambia and Senegal. The border was closed following the sudden increase of charges for commercial truck drivers entering The Gambia. Both Senegalese nationals and Gambians were worried and called on both governments to work together to find a lasting solution to the border impasse. 

 

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