GAMBIA: THE POST-COLONIAL PERIOD- PART III
By Capt. Ebou Jallo, 18 February 2021
- 1970 15 January: PPP opens campaign for republic. 26–27 January: GWU calls unsuccessful general. strike. 24 April: Voters approve proposal for a republic in a second referendum. Sir Dawda Jawara became the first president under a new constitution. May: Radio Syd begins broadcasting. 8 May: P. S.N’Jie replaced as UP leader by his brother, E. D. N’Jie. 1 July: First meeting of House of Representatives under a republic. 20 October: Death of E. D. N’Jie in a car crash; P. S. N’Jie resumes UP leadership.
- 1971 2 February: Gambian government sends strong protest to Senegal over the actions of its troops in The Gambia. 15 November: The Gambia supports “Two Chinas” resolution at the United Nations.
- 1972 12 February: PPA formally dissolved; Sisay and Samba apply to rejoin PPP. 28–29 March: Parliamentary election. PPP further increases its majority, winning 28 seats to UP’s three (one independent also wins). 29 March: Jawara declared president on basis of earlier vote by MPs. 1 July: P. S. N’Jie forfeits seat in House of Representatives for nonattendance. 15 September: Sheriff Dibba resigns as vice president following “butut” affair replaced by Andrew D. (latter Assan Musa) Camara. 9 October: Dibba replaced as minister of finance by I. Garba-Jahumpa.
- 1973 Establishment of Gambia Produce Marketing Board. March: Agreement on Cultural and Scientific Cooperation signed with Soviet Union. 2 March: Diplomatic relations established with North Korea. 24 April: Name of capital changed from Bathurst to Banjul. 23 June: Census conducted. 25 October: Diplomatic relations severed with Israel following Arab–Israeli
- 1974 The Gambia establishes diplomatic relations with Libya. 19–24 February: Jawara attends Organization of Islamic Conference (OIC) in Lahore and is elected chairman of OIC. 10–24 July: Senegalese forces arrest around 20 Gambians in separate border incidents, resulting in strong Gambian protests. 14 December: The Gambia establishes diplomatic relations with China. 30 December: Taiwan’s ambassador departs after diplomatic relations broken
- 1975 Adoption of First Five-Year Development Plan. 24 May: North Korean embassy opened in Banjul. 28 May: Treaty of Lagos establishes the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) with The Gambia as one of its 15 inaugural members. 28 July–1 August: GWU organizes successful general strike. 29 July: Sheriff Dibba sacked from PPP cabinet. 21August: Dibba expelled from PPP. 7 September: Formation of National Convention Party (NCP). 4 October: Launch of National Liberation Party
- 1979 8 January: Louise N’Jie appointed as first female parliamentary secretary. 26 April: Special Criminal Court to investigate corruption established. December: Movement for Justice in Africa–Gambia (MOJA-G) founded.
- 1980 27 October: Deputy commander of Gambia Field Force, E. J. Mahoney, murdered by a soldier, Mustapha Danso. 30 October: The Gambia breaks off diplomatic relations with Libya. 31 October: MOJA-G and Gambia Revolutionary Socialist Party declared prohibited organizations.
- 1981 June: African Charter on Human and People’s Rights formally adopted by Organization of African Unity; named the Banjul Charter in recognition of President Jawara’s efforts to achieve it. 30 July: Attempted coup in Banjul by disaffected paramilitary police and radical political opponents of PPP government. Senegalese army intervenes to restore President Jawara to power on orders of President Abdou Diouf. 2 August: Jawara flies into Banjul at end of coup in which an estimated 600 people are killed. State of emergency declared. 19 September: First batch of individuals detained after the coup released without trial. 30 September: Mustapha Danso executed by firing squad for murder of E. J. Mahoney and further killings during 1981 coup; only instance of capital punishment after independence prior to 2012. 17 December: Agreement establishing Senegambia Confederation signed in Dakar by Jawara and Diouf. 29 December: House of Representatives formally ratifies confederation agreement.
- 1982 1 February: Senegambia Confederation officially inaugurated. 2 February: First death sentences passed in treason trials; all later commuted to life imprisonment. March: PPP holds Third National Congress. 4–5 May: Parliamentary and presidential elections. PPP returned to power with 27 out of 35 seats. Jawara wins first direct presidential election with 72 percent of the vote, defeating Dibba. 11 May: Major cabinet reshuffle. A. M. Camara is replaced as vice president and M. L. Saho as attorney general. 18 June: Sheriff Dibba acquitted of treason. 23 August: Commission of inquiry into External Aid Fund opens. 31 December: Evaluation of Assets and Properties Act passed.
- 31 October: Leadership of The People’s Movement for Independence against Neo-Colonialism and Capitalism (PMINCC) arrested.
- 1984 State of emergency after 1981 coup ends. 26 April: All charges against the PMINCC leadership dropped. 8 November: Gambia National Army (GNA) formally established.
- 1985 Gambia Armed Forces established. January: Louise N’Jie appointed minister of education, youth, and sport, the first woman to sit in the cabinet. August: Cabinet approves Economic Recovery Program (ERP).
- 1986 4 February: A. M. Camara resigns from PPP. 7 February: M. L. Saho resigns from PPP. 29 March: Launch of Gambia People’s Party (GPP) led by Camara. 19 August: Formation of People’s Democratic Organization for Independence and Socialism (PDOIS) at end of inaugural conference.
- 1988 6 October: Sanna Manneh, editor of The Torch, accuses four ministers, M. C. Cham, Saihou Sabally, Lamin K. Saho, and Landing Jallow Sonko, of corruption.
- 1989 5 April: Sanna (TICS) Manneh acquitted of libel against Saihou Sabally and Lamin K. Saho. 18 August: Senegalese security personnel in The Gambia stood down. 24 August: President Abdou Diouf announces “freeze” of Senegambia Confederation. 21 September: Jawara signs agreement to suspend confederation. 7 October: Formal dissolution of Senegambia Confederation by House of Representatives.
- 1991 14 June: First pay mutiny by GNA soldiers. 1–4 December: Fifth PPP National Congress held at Mansakonko. 4 December: Jawara announces decision to stand down as PPP presidential candidate. 17 December: Jawara agrees to contest the 1992 presidential election for PPP.
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