Gambia Revolution Day

Gambia Revolution Day

July 22
The tiny country of Gambia, a former British colony in West Africa, celebrates the anniversary of a coup in 1994 that ousted the country's president, Sir Dawda Jawara, and ushered in a military government. Following the bloodless coup, which was staged by a group of soldiers led by Lieutenant Yahya Jammeh, the government made the transition to civilian leadership and the people elected Jammeh president.
The commemoration is essentially a vehicle to show the Gambian people's approval of their president. Since the 1994 coup, there have been a number of public changes to foster support for the celebration: the name of a major park in the capital city, Banjul, was changed from MacCarthy Square to July 22 Square, and the president commissioned the construction of the Arch 22, a tall gateway also in Banjul.
Past celebrations have included the unveiling of new development initiatives as well as cultural festivities. Dissident leaders in Gambia have voiced their disapproval of the anniversary, which they feel does not honor the country's legacy because it commemorates an unconstitutional overthrow of the government.
CONTACTS:
Embassy of the Gambia
1424 K St. N.W., Ste. 600
Washington, D.C. 20005
202-785-1399; fax: 202-785-1430
www.gambiaembassy.us