Gambian Dictator Says 'I Am Sorry'

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh apologised to former colonial master Britain on Sunday for saying its nationals were involved in a failed coup attempt last month.

Gunmen attempted to storm the presidential palace in the beachside capital of the West African nation overnight on Dec. 30 while Jammeh was abroad, but were repelled by guards.

In the immediate aftermath of the coup, Jammeh accused foreign-backed dissidents in Britain, the United States and Germany of mounting the attack.

However, on Sunday he withdrew the reference to Britons.

“So far there is not a single Gambian or dissidents from Britain who came to join to them (the coup plotters); so I am very sorry,” Jammeh said on Monday in a speech before the armed forces near his palace.

Prosecutors in the United States have charged a Texas businessman with bankrolling and trying to lead the coup with the support of a former U.S. Army sergeant. No details of any German involvement in the coup have emerged so far.

Gambia, whose borders are fabled to have been fixed by cannonballs fired from a British warship on the eponymous river, is a popular destination for European tourists.

But despite the economic ties, 49-year-old Jammeh, who seized power in a 1994 coup, faces growing Western pressure over alleged human rights abuses.

In an apparent jab at the former coloniser, Jammeh said in the same speech: “If God says so I will be very happy to rule Britain. After all they ruled us, so if I can rule them; if Gambia can rule them, that will be the biggest gift.”

Jammeh, who typically wears a large white African tunic called a boubou and carries prayer beads, has earned a reputation in the West for colourful speeches.

He once claimed publicly to have personally found a cure for AIDS and told the BBC that he would rule for “a billion years”.



  1. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Wow! That’s a change of tune. God save the Queen.


  2. gambian people are peaceful so therefore we need peace through.the country cannot be destructed by any form of unconstitutional mean…

  3. Gambian people are peaceful, therefore we need peace throughout. the country must not be destroyed by any form of unconstitutional mean….

  4. Hi Alieu, if i may ask, how did president Jammeh come to power? And do you think with all his undemocratic behavior, peaceful means lead to a change of government.

  5. He should open the democratic space and conduct free and fair elections. He cannot eat his cake and have it too. Yaya came to power through an unconstitutional means and never respected the will of the Gambian people. He stated in his speeches that the only way to remove him from power is through the same method he used to get to power. What are we waiting for? Yaya has to go and now. Gambians have to insist on that because dictators do not compromise until they are driven out of power by force.

  6. Mr. fatty, Yaya came to power through unconstitutional means and he will not allow anybody to remove him through constitution means. Therefore, Gambian people are sick and tired of Yaya Jammeh and his brutal rule. Please tell me what other options are available to Gambians? The West do not care about us at all. We Gambians have to do the job to save our country and people.

  7. Excuse me guys…

    If Yaya Jammeh made a statement of claim, then all sensible people must weigh that statement against available facts to determine its truth or otherwise…Just because Jammeh made a statement of claim does not change that into a statement of fact…And Just because Yaya Jammeh claimed that he cannot be removed by constitutional means does not mean that he cannot be removed by constitutional means…

    If anyone believes in that claim, then they must also believe that..
    (1)…Jammeh decided when he was to be born into this life. ..(because he claimed so);
    (2)…Jammeh can cure HIV/AIDS (because he claimed so);
    ( 3)…Somewhere up there is Allah’s central bank with an account in Jammeh’s name (because he claimed so);
    (4)…Somewhere, in the depths of the River Gambia, along the Janjanbureh stretch, Jammeh fought and banished a “ninkinanka”(mythical sea serpent) to build the Janjanbureh bridge (because he claimed so);
    ( 5)…Jammeh does mediate between warring Jinns (because he claimed so);
    ( 6)…Somehow, Jammeh will live for a billion years and stay in office for the same period…(because he claimed so )…

    Unless anyone believes in these claims, his claim that he cannot be removed by constitutional means should be dismissed as empty ramblings from a deluded mind, intoxicated by power and it’s trappings…

  8. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Bax, was it a court matter; statement of claim?? God knows what sort of philosophy you got in your head but it’s really obscure and absurd.

    For your information, a statement of facts can either be truthful or not truthful; or a combination of both. All that it means is a statement one presented as facts and wants or expect others to deem it as such.


  9. Lafia Touray la Manju

    Bax needs to go and play “Pointless” on BBC1 because he has an obscure view on almost everything and can definitely provide obscure answers to any question. No sure if they would be the right answers though.


  10. It’s too late Mr.chucky yaha jaama. we will get you by anyhow necessary . You unseated an elected democratically gov’t and u think is legal. 2015 you like it or not u are out.

  11. @Lafia. ..”Bax, was it a court matter; statement of claim??”

    Comment….I remember someone writing that you are a lawyer..May be, with such a background, it is excusable to associate any mention of “statement of claim” with the courts…However, that is.not the context in which the phrase was used…I merely used it to show that Jammeh was making statements claiming certain things, which shouldn’t be believed.. I think the subsequent sentences clearly showed the context. .I don’t know how you misunderstood me…

    @Lafia. ..”For your information, a statement of facts can either be truthful or not truthful; or a combination of both….”

    Comment…I disagree totally with this view..A “fact” is something that exists; that is truth; that is known to have happened..and established beyond doubt…A fact can only be the truth and nothing else..So a statement statement of fact cannot be untrue (not true/a combination of both)..

    @Lafia. ..”All that it means is a statement one presented as facts and wants or expect others to deem it as such.”

    Comment…You got to be kidding me.. No, it doesn’t…Expecting or wanting others to believe a statement as a fact, does not make that statement a fact..It is only when the truth truth of the claim is established beyond doubt that it becomes a “statement of fact”…

    I don’t know about obscurity but your views as expressed above are definitely an absurd understanding of the phrase (a) “statement of fact”…

    • Lafia Touray la Manju

      Bax, let me put it another way for you; a statement of facts can be factual or not factual. It is factual if it is true and otherwise if it is not. In English, there is what you call contextual meaning. You don’t just take words by their literally all the time as if they are standing on their own. You will definitely be better off playing “pointless” on BBC1.

      By the way, I wish I am a lawyer but no, it’s the way you expressed things.


  12. No matter how you put it, you’re still saying the same thing and it’s wrong and absurd..

    A statement of fact or a factual statement consist of, and conveys facts, and so must always be true..A statement that is not true cannot be a “factual statement” or a statement of fact..

    Did you say that there is something called “contextual meaning in English” ? Now see who is talking about context, eh..!

    In my first posting, I made a few statements about Jammeh’s claims and then gave the setting from which it must be understood and assessed…That’s context…But what did you do.? Jumped in and talked about a court of law…I even had to respond and.say that was not the context in which the phrase was used.. Now you’re telling me about “contextual meaning”..You’re a joker mate..

    Anyway, these are trivial issues that distract main points of argument..I argued that Jammeh may claim that he cannot be removed by constitutional means, but that this claim means nothing…If you hold a different view, then say so and stop.wasting my time on side issues…

  13. Bax, you missed the point again. Yaya Jammeh the president made the statement that he cannot be remove from power through elections but only through the way he stole power from the people. It doesn’t matter how you slice it or dice it, it is what he said. President of a democratic country shouldn’t make that kind of statements. Please stop being too philosophical with me because I do not buy those things. He meant what he said because he thinks that Gambians are naive and full of excuses. Which country in the world will allow such a leader to make that kind of statements? Please answer that for me. Thanks.

  14. Janjanbureh…. I don’t think I missed the points, but just in case I did, could you tell me what the points are…For clarity sake, here’s what I was responding to..

    Some people are of the view that because Yaya Jammeh claimed that no constitutional means will remove, the only way to remove him is by unconstitutional means….

    Point (1)…In my response, I did not dispute the fact that Yaya Jammeh made this claim, nor did I “slice” and “dice” anything. .

    Point ( 2 )…I stated that just because Jammeh made such a claim does not mean that it is a statement of fact…In other words, what I’m saying is that Jammeh can be removed by constitutional means, and that his claim should be dismissed as the empty ramblings of a deluded mind , intoxicated by power….

    Now coming back to you personally…If you believe in what Jammeh claims and are of the view that he cannot be removed by constitutional means, should abandon your association with the UDP and seek some other group that has the same belief.. That’s because the UDP believes in the constitutional means… Here’s my suggestion : Try Mousieur Bayo.

    Of course, I agree with you that no (sane) president should talk to his fellow citizens like that, but is Jammeh a sane person.? I will leave that to you. .

    You stated that Jammeh meant what he said because of so and so…How do you know that he meant what he said..? Is it because he said so ? If so, then let me remind you that Jammeh has made so many claims in the past, which has been shown by time to be empty meaningless rhetoric that he did not believe for one minute..

    Here’s a few examples…

    In/around 1994, while castigating Jawara for overstaying in office, Jammeh ‘vowed’ that no one.would rule the Gambia for.more than 10 years ever again…It’s been more than 20 years and counting…

    During the Transition Period, Jammeh left no one in doubt that they (AFPRC) were “soldiers with a difference”, who were not motivated by position, wealth or status but intervened to “rectify a situation” and return to barracks….Not only did they fail to go back to barracks, but even worse, Jammeh has become the wealthiest man in the country, living a far more extravagant lifestyle than President Jawara..

    Most recently, he vowed to carry out all death sentences by a certain date, or eat pork and drink alcohol…He may have executed 9 people but that was not the entirety of death row inmates…I don’t know.about you, but I haven’t heard that he’d eaten pork and drank alcohol yet..

    Once again, Jammeh’s. utterances, if not backed by facts, should be dismissed as rubbish…

  15. Jammeh is fascinating.. And @ definitely missed the point here.. Jammeh is a president or shall we say 3rd in command.. God, prophet, and a king or a president.. We the peoples will believe in almost anything from these 3, so therefore their utterance should not be taken lightly..Jammeh challenged Gambians to come after him, if not he is gonna rule one billion years…What do you expect? The MAN has said it, and he is standing by it everyday, hence the hardship our fathers, mothers, brothers and sisters are going through…I will not blame the oppositions, after all this is politics at its best.They must be neutral in order to win the sympathy of the international community.One thing I know for sure is that two-thirds of Gambians will not rest till this nefarious politician is gone..We are working on it day and night…ENOUGH IS ENOUGH..5yrs gone, 10,15,20 gone 25 peeping at the corner, and 30 just right behind it likewise 35.Jamneh we accept the challenge.. I would to draw a parallel line between the late Samuel k. Doe, and Yaya jammeh sometimes next week .. The similarities are outstanding..