Home Jawara v Gambia (Communication No. /95, /96) [] ACHPR 17; (11 May ). Jawara v Gambia (Communication No. /95, /96) []. The African Commission on Human and Peoples’ Rights (ACmHPR) held that the Government of Gambia, by failing to provide any defense to the allegations. Jawara v Gambia, Merits, Communication no /95, Communication no /96, 27th ordinary session (27 April May ), 13th Annual Activity Report.

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He trained as a veterinary surgeon at the University of Glasgow ‘s School of Veterinary Medicine and then completed his training at the University of Liverpool.

He returned to The Gambia in and married Augusta Mahoneybeginning work as a veterinary officer. He decided to enter politics and became secretary of the new People’s Progressive Party PPP and was elected to the House of Representatives in the election.

InThe Gambia became a republic, with no monarchy, and Jawara was elected as its first President. Following the coup attempt, Jawara and Senegalese President Abdou Diouf announced the creation of the Senegambia Confederationbut it collapsed in Following this, he went into exile, but returned inand now lives in jaara in The Gambia.

At 94, he is currently the oldest living former Gambian president. One of six sons, Dawda is the lastborn on his mother’s side and a younger brother to sister Na Ceesay and brothers Basaddi and Sheriffo 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 Qurana rite of passage for many Gambian children. There were no primary schools in Barajally Tenda: Aroundyoung Jawara’s uawara education was sponsored by a friend of his father, a trader named Ebrima Youma Jallow, whose trading post was across the street from Alammi’s in Wally-Kunda.

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 inhe worked as a nurse until at the Victoria Hospital in Bathurst now Banjul. The limited career and educational opportunities in colonial Gambia led to a year’s stint at Prince of Wales College and School in AchimotaAccrain the then Gold Coastwhere gamnia studied science. While at Prince of Wales College and School popularly known as Achimota CollegeJawara showed little interest in b at a time when Ghana and many colonies in Africa were beginning to become restless for political independence or internal self-government.

While he was happy to have met Ghana’s founding father, Kwame Nkrumahthe impact did not prove significant at the time. After attending Achimota College, Jawara won a scholarship to Scotland’s Glasgow University to study veterinary medicine.

//96 Sir Dawda K. Jawara / Gambia (The) / Decisions on Communications / ACHPR

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. It was at Glasgow University in the late s, that Jawara’s interest in politics began. In he joined the African Students Gamhia 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 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 gambiaa 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. At the time of his return to The Gambia, politics in the colony were dominated by a group of urban elites from Bathurst and the Kombo St.

Sir Dawda K Jawara v. The Gambia

At a meeting in at Basse, a major commercial town almost at the end of The Gambia River, the leadership of the People’s Progressive Society decided to change its name to challenge the urban-based parties and their leaders. Thus was born the Protectorate People’s Party. The same year, a delegation headed by Sanjally Bojang a well-off patron and founding member of the new partyBokarr Fofanah gaambia 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 jswara 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.

Jawara’s ascendance to the leadership of the party was hardly contested. As one of the few university graduates from the protectorate, the only other possible candidate was Dr.

Lamin Marena from Kudang.

With Jawara’s rise to power after the elections, the colonial administration began a gradual withdrawal from The Gambia, and self-government was granted in Jawara was appointed Prime Minister in the same year, and independence came on February 18, This completed The Gambia’s peaceful transition from colonial rule. With a small civil service, staffed mostly by the Aku and urban WollofsJawara and the PPP sought to jswara a nation and develop an economy to sustain both farmers gamba 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”.

Dawda Jawara

Particular focus was to be placed on the field of agriculture. The greatest challenge to Dawda Jawara’s rule other than the coup that ended his power in was an attempted coup inheaded by a disgruntled ex-politician turned Marxist, Kukoi Samba Sanyang. The coup, which followed a weakening of the economy and allegations of corruption against leading politicians, [9] occurred on July 29, and was carried out by the leftist National Revolutionary Councilcomposed of Kukoi Samba Sanyang’s Socialist and Revolutionary Labour Party SRLP and elements of the “Field Force” a paramilitary force which constituted the bulk of the country’s armed forces.

President Jawara immediately requested military aid from Senegal which deployed troops to Gambia on July 31, and by August 6 2, Senegalese troops had been deployed and they had defeated the coup leaders’ forces.

The attempted coup reflected the desire for change, at least on the part of some civilians and their allies in the Field Force. Despite Kukoi’s failure to assume power, the attempted coup revealed major weaknesses within the ruling PPP and society as a whole. 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.

We live in a world saddled with massive economic problems. 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. The most striking consequence of the aborted coup was the intervention of the Senegalese troops at the request of Jawara, as a result of the defence treaty signed between the two countries in While Senegal’s intervention was ostensibly to rescue President Jawara’s regime, it had the effect of undermining Gambian sovereignty, which was something that had been jealously guarded by Gambians and Jawara in particular.


Yet it was relinquished expediently. The presence of Senegalese troops in Banjul was testimony to Jawara’s growing reliance on Senegal, which consequently was a source of much resentment. 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 Decemberfive 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.

The creation of a new Gambian army was cause for concern for many observers.

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 gambiq, was fertile ground for coups and counter coups. The confederation collapsed in Jawara did not resort to the jawaga 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 jxwara. The Gambia was incorporated into the world economy as a supplier of agricultural exports largely groundnuts and tourism.

Since independence, there has been little change in the structure of the economy, which remains very heavily dependent on groundnut production. Thd and tourism are the dominant sectors and also the main sources of foreign exchange, employment, and income for the country.

Thanks to the growing economy, the government introduced in the s the policy of ‘Gambianisation’, which led to an agmbia of the state’s role in the economy. 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 thd arrears.

Under the ERP, economic opportunities became more abundant, and many private businessmen and public officials turned to illegal means to make profit. 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 Gambka Union GCUfraud was revealed in Customs, [16] and through the process of privatisation, it was discovered that many dummy loans had been given to well-connected individuals at GCDB.

A group of para-statal heads and big businessmen closely associated with the PPP nicknamed the Gambla Mafia were seen as the culprits responsible for corruption in the public sector.