The Gambia. Shortly after the International Monetary Fund (IMF) granted the Gambia debt amortization of over half a billion dollars, President Yahya Jammeh promised that all public servants would receive a 20 percent higher salary. At the same time, he said government spending would be tightened to curb inflation.
During the year, several examples were given of the regime’s authoritarian tendencies. The president said in a speech to the nation in May that all homosexuals must leave the country within 24 hours. He said the country’s laws would be “stricter than Iran’s” and threatened to behead those homosexuals who dared to stay.
- ABBREVIATIONFINDER: Click to see the meanings of 2-letter acronym and abbreviation of GA in general and in geography as Gambia in particular.
Harassment against journalists continued. One reporter at an Internet newspaper was sentenced to four years in prison for criticizing the president, a Nigerian journalist at a Gambian newspaper was arrested a couple of times and his home was searched, a reporter was stabbed under unclear circumstances and the editor-in-chief of a government-friendly newspaper was dismissed without justification.
A British missionary couple was sentenced in December to one year of penal work for revival. They acknowledged that they had sent critical comments about the country’s leaders.
According to Countryaah reports, the population of Gambia in 2008 was 1,793,085, ranking number 149 in the world. The population growth rate was 3.040% yearly, and the population density was 177.1933 people per km2.