The year-old ex -President currently in exile in the United Kingdom alleged that the abolition of the Bill of Rights as contained in the Gambian constitution by military Decree No. It was his submission that The Gambia Government has since violated various articles of the human rights charter. It added that the decrees did not prohibit the enjoyment of freedoms. They were merely to secure peace and stability the state further argued. The Commission posited that the existence of a local remedy must be sufficiently certain not only in theory but also in practice, failing which it will lack the requisite accessibility and effectiveness.

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Their father Almammi, who had several wives, was a well-to-do trader from an aristocratic family who commuted from Barajally Tenda to his trading post in Wally Kunda.

His family, the Jawaras, had once served as members of the Gbara of Old Mali. Dawda from an early age attended the local Arabic schools to memorize the Quran , a rite of passage for many Gambian children. There were no primary schools in Barajally Tenda: the nearest was in Georgetown, the provincial capital, but this boarding school was reserved for the sons of the chiefs.

Dawda was enrolled at Mohammedan primary school. After graduation from Mohammedan, Jawara won a scholarship to an all-boys High School, where he enjoyed all his classes, but showed the greatest aptitude in science and mathematics. Upon matriculation in , he worked as a nurse until at the Victoria Hospital in Bathurst now Banjul.

While at Prince of Wales College and School popularly known as Achimota College , Jawara showed little interest in politics at a time when Ghana and many colonies in Africa were beginning to become restless for political independence or internal self-government.

At the time, colonial education was intended to train Africans for the most menial of clerical tasks in the civil service. And it was rare for Gambians to be awarded scholarships in the sciences. In he joined the African Students Association and was later elected secretary-general and president, respectively. Also, while at Glasgow, Jawara honed his political interests and skills by joining the Student Labour Party Organization, Forward Group, and became active in labour politics of the time.

He completed his studies in Return to The Gambia[ edit ] When Jawara returned home in after completing his studies as a veterinary surgeon, he first served as a veterinary officer. The Aku, a small and educated group, are descendants of freed slaves who settled in The Gambia after manumission.

Despite their relatively small size, they came to dominate both the social, political and economic life of the colony. Many opponents[ who? As a veterinary officer, Jawara travelled the length and breadth of The Gambia for months vaccinating cattle. In the process, he established valuable social contacts and relationships with the relatively well-to-do cattle owners in the protectorate. This group, with the district chiefs and village heads, in later years formed the bulk of his initial political support.

As noted, British colonial policy at that time divided The Gambia into two sections; the colony and the protectorate. Adults in the colony area, which included Bathurst and the Kombo St. Mary sub-regions, were franchised, while their counterparts in the protectorate were not. Political activity and representation at the Legislative Council were limited to the colony. The same year, a delegation headed by Sanjally Bojang a well-off patron and founding member of the new party , Bokarr Fofanah and Madiba Janneh, arrived at Abuko to inform Jawara of his nomination as secretary of the party.

Jawara resigned his position as chief veterinary officer in order to contest the election. Over time, the PPP and Jawara would supersede the urban-based parties and their leaders. This change is what Arnold Hughes termed a "Green Revolution", a political process in which a rural elite emerges to challenge and defeat an urban-based political petty-bourgeoisie. As one of the few university graduates from the protectorate, the only other possible candidate was Dr.

Lamin Marena from Kudang. Jawara was appointed Prime Minister in the same year, and independence came on February 18, With a small civil service, staffed mostly by the Aku and urban Wollofs , Jawara and the PPP sought to build a nation and develop an economy to sustain both farmers and urban dwellers. Many in the rural areas hoped that political independence would bring with it immediate improvement in their life circumstances. These high expectations, as in other newly independent ex-colonies, stemmed partly from the extravagant promises made by some political leaders.

In time, however, a measure of disappointment set in as the people quickly discovered that their leaders could not deliver on all their promises. During the self-government period of —65, promising overtures were made from Jawara to Senegal. The British attitude was said to be one of "friendly encouragement". Particular focus was to be placed on the field of agriculture.

The hegemony of the PPP, contraction of intra-party competition and growing social inequalities were factors that could not be discounted. Also crucial to the causes of the aborted coup was a deteriorating economy whose major victims were the urban youth in particular. The economic situation has generally been characterized by rampant inflation, periods of excessive monetary instability and credit squeeze These worldwide problems have imposed extreme limitations on the economies like the Gambia.

Yet it was relinquished expediently. Senegambian Confederation[ edit ] Three weeks after the aborted coup and the successful restoration of Jawara by Senegalese troops, Presidents Diouf and Jawara, at a joint press conference, announced plans for the establishment of the Senegambian Confederation. In December , five months after the foiled coup, the treaties of confederation were signed in Dakar.

President Jawara was under great pressure because of the repercussions of the aborted coup and the Senegalese government. Under the treaty with Senegal, Diouf served as president and Jawara as his vice president. A confederal parliament and cabinet were set up with several ministerial positions going to The Gambia.

Additionally, a new Gambian army was created as part of a new confederate army. By agreeing to the creation of an army, Jawara had planted the very seeds of his eventual political demise. The army would in time become a serious contender for political office, different from political parties only in its control over the instruments of violence. Such an atmosphere, however, as the events of would show, was fertile ground for coups and counter coups.

The confederation collapsed in Jawara did not resort to the authoritarian and often punitive backlash that follows coups in most of Africa. Instead, he made overtures of reconciliation, with judicious and speedy trial and subsequent release of over detainees. Individuals who received death sentence convictions were committed to life in prison instead, and many prisoners were released for lack of sufficient evidence. More serious offenders were tried by an impartial panel of judges drawn from Anglophone Commonwealth countries.

Since independence, there has been little change in the structure of the economy, which remains very heavily dependent on groundnut production. Agriculture and tourism are the dominant sectors and also the main sources of foreign exchange, employment, and income for the country. There was a 75 percent increase in total government employment over the period from to Under ERP, in —86, the deficit was 72 million Dalasis, and it increased to million Dalasis in — The government reduced its budget deficit, increased its foreign exchange reserves, and eliminated its debt service arrears.

Corruption created a serious legitimacy crisis for the PPP. Several cases of corruption were revealed and these seriously indicted the PPP regime. This was particularly embarrassing because the people and organisations with the highest loans were close to PPP. In an embezzlement scheme at The Gambia Cooperative Union GCU , fraud was revealed in Customs, [17] and through the process of privatisation, it was discovered that many dummy loans had been given to well-connected individuals at GCDB.

Corruption had become a serious problem in The Gambia, especially during the last two years of the PPP rule. By , The Gambia was one of the poorest countries in Africa and the world, with a year life expectancy at birth, an infant mortality rate of per live births, a child mortality rate of per , and an under-five mortality rate of per At that time, out of every live births died of malaria.

The Gambia also had a 75 percent illiteracy rate, only 40 percent of the population had access to potable water supply, and over 75 percent of the population were living in absolute poverty. The 30 years the PPP regime operated with diminished resources and therefore could no longer rule as it always had. In doing this, he did not use coercion.

That Jawara was able to eschew coercive techniques and still survive reflected an element of good fortune, and yet his skillful political leadership was also crucial. Within his own party Jawara was fortunate to be surrounded by individuals willing to refrain from violence to achieve their goals, and yet much of the credit for this restraint must go to Jawara—his skilful manipulation of patronage resources, cultivation of affective ties and shrewd balancing of factions within the PPP.

Lacking the coercive option, and given that affective ties, which had to be earned, were a medium- to long-term resource, Jawara initially relied heavily on instrumental ties and distribution of patronage. His limited resource base posed an obvious, though not insurmountable, problem.

Within the ruling group, ministerial positions—which provided a generous salary, perks and for some, access to illicit wealth—constituted the most sought after form of patronage and yet, before , the number of ministerial posts did not exceed seven. After independence, in response to the pre challenges to his authority, Jawara moved to reduce the size, cohesion and authority of the founding members as a group. Jawara may not have used force, but neither was he hampered by sentiment; his pragmatism and willingness to demote, or even drop, former supporters in order to strengthen his personal political position was apparent.

Jawara further strengthened his political position with the incorporation of new sources of support within the ruling group. The original group resented the fact that newcomers had not participated in the early struggle for power and yet were now enjoying the fruits of their labour. The secondary factor of ethno-regional considerations compounded this resentment; those who were co-opted came from all ethnic groups in the former colony and protectorate.

Corruption and political survival[ edit ] For many years observers viewed corruption in The Gambia as significantly less prevalent than in many other African states. In retrospect this view appears overstated, though it is true that corruption did not reach the heights seen elsewhere.

Jawara himself refrained from excessive self-enrichment and many of his lieutenants followed suit. The possibility of exposure in parliament or by the press provided a further constraint. Jawara understood the political advantages of corruption. Fundamentally, corruption formed an important component of the patronage network, facilitating elite accumulation. It provided a means of creating and sustaining mutually beneficial and supportive relationships between PPP politicians headed by Jawara , senior civil servants and Gambian businessmen.

Initially, then, corruption played a significant part in the survival of the PPP, uniting political, bureaucratic and business interests in a series of mutually beneficial and supportive relationships. In the longer term, however, it served to undermine the regime. The increased public awareness of corruption weakened the PPP regime and furnished the conspirators with a suitable pretext for intervention. Since many soldiers reportedly regarded their unsatisfactory living conditions as a manifestation of corruption, it also gave them a motive.

Jawara may have underestimated the real risk a new army would pose to himself and the country, and in fact, may have dragged his feet in dealing accordingly with corruption. To this accusation he responded: I believe in the rule of law and democracy.

We are a poor country where petty jealousies exist. One buys a car or builds a house, so he must be corrupt, and Jawara did not do anything. I am expected to serve as a judge and policeman at the same time. At the Cooperative Union it was agreed that a Presidential Commission be established to investigate alleged corruption.


Dawda Jawara

Their father Almammi, who had several wives, was a well-to-do trader from an aristocratic family who commuted from Barajally Tenda to his trading post in Wally Kunda. His family, the Jawaras, had once served as members of the Gbara of Old Mali. Dawda from an early age attended the local Arabic schools to memorize the Quran , a rite of passage for many Gambian children. There were no primary schools in Barajally Tenda: the nearest was in Georgetown, the provincial capital, but this boarding school was reserved for the sons of the chiefs.


Jawara v Gambia (Communication No. 147/95, 149/96) [2000] ACHPR 17; (11 May 2000)

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