Former President Yahya Jammeh’s unilateral decision to name The Gambia an Islamic Republic is about to be reversed. Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow said the country will only be referred to as “The Republic of The Gambia.”
Jammeh made the controversial decision angering Christians in the West African nation. The declaration was criticized by Gambians as an attempt to surge sectarian divide that may lead to violent reprisals.
Churches were stopped from drumming during the Ramadan, Christians could not hold celebrations and festivities and some far right clerics attempt to connive with local officials to shutdown a Christian cemetery.
Jammeh’s Islamic state declaration was seen as a political move to lure the majority Muslim population to vote for him the elections and to gain financial support from Arab and Gulf states.
Jammeh’s relation with the West soured and the country’s main development partner, EU withheld more than €33 million in budgetary aid and the tourism sector suffered a major setback due to the regional Ebola crisis, forcing Jammeh to turn to Middle Eastern nations.
Jammeh lost elections last month over his controversial decisions. Barrow during the campaign promised to reverse them. Jammeh has since fled to Equatorial Guinea where he is said to be housed on an island.