Africa | News | Senegal | The Gambia

Gambian President Announces Plans to Behead All Gays


Gambian President Yahya Jammeh yesterday issued a stern warning to gays and those who befriend them:

"Gambian President Yahya Jammeh says he will 'cut off the head' of any homosexual caught in his country. Addressing supporters at the end of his meet the farmers tour Sunday, Jammeh also ordered any hotel or motel housing homosexuals to close down, adding that owners of such facilities would also be in trouble. He said the Gambia was a country of believers, indicating that no sinful and immoral act as homosexual would be tolerated in the country. He warned all homosexuals in the country to leave, noting that a legislation 'stricter than those in Iran' concerning the vice would be introduced soon."

In February, it was reported that gays were fleeing to The Gambia from surrounding Senegal, to avoid persecution from that government.

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  1. "The US Congress has announced that Gambia is to be removed from a key development fund, through which most of Washington's foreign aid is channelled, reacting to the severe setbacks for democracy and human rights in the country. Gambia was only made eligible to the fund in November and has yet to receive funds.

    The US Congress was advised by the board of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) that Gambia should not receive grants from the fund, as the country no longer qualified by the MCC's criteria. The Fund has "documented evidence of growing human rights abuses, increased restrictions on political rights, civil liberties and press freedom, as well as deteriorating economic policies and anti-corruption efforts," the US Congress was informed.

    Thus, authorities in Gambia were not complying with two of the MCC's main criteria for receiving US development funds; "political rights and trade policy," according to the fund. Therefore, "the MCC Board of Directors decided to suspend Gambia's eligibility for MCA assistance," according to the US Congress. Gambian authorities have formally been notified of this suspension "

    Well, lets hear it for the dem controlled congress!!!!! Good work

    This nut is just digging the hole bigger on NEVER ever getting US aid
    though pat robertson would love to buy a vacation home there.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 19, 2008 4:26:39 PM

  2. Fucking Africa. Will that continent ever get its act together and join the rest of the human race? When your policies make Iran look enlightened, you are seriously fucked up.

    Posted by: Christopher | May 19, 2008 4:28:23 PM

  3. Yahya Jammeh is disgusting. His actions are akin to genocide, which unfortunately is no stranger to the African continent.

    Posted by: Marc in Chicago | May 19, 2008 4:33:42 PM

  4. Christopher

    Gambia is one country out of a GIANT continent.

    Gambia does not equal Africa.

    The man is a fool, no need to blame all of Africa for his foolishness.

    It also doesn't help that many US politicians and big wigs uphold such via their biz dealings.

    Pat Robertson helped finance Zaire and other corrupt governments with his kick backs on some blood diamond mines he owned. Heck, Pat robertson got busted for only shipping 2 planes of aid to africa out of 40 that he claimed were all aid. The other 38 turned out to be mining equipment.

    McCain's wife helped uphold the Sudanese genocide via her biz dealings in Sudan which she has been forced (due to the campaign) to cut.

    Gambia is not africa. Many problems in Africa are not there because the US or at least US citizens didn't have any hand in causing them.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 19, 2008 4:36:59 PM

  5. That guy should be beheaded himself for wearing that ridiculous hat.

    And Jimmyboyo is right. Gambia is not Africa... we need to stop thinking of the whole continent as one single entity.

    Posted by: The Milkman | May 19, 2008 4:39:59 PM

  6. To add to Jimmyboyo's comments, I would like to point out that South Africa has *constitutional protection* of nondiscrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. We don't even have an Employment nondiscrimination law in the US. The visionaries of modern South Africa, people like Mandela and Tutu, are so far ahead of us it isnt even funny. The transition to majority rule was amazing - and the notion of the Truth and Reconciliation commission was brilliant and helped defuse and prevent violent reprisals against the former minority rulers. Was it perfect ? No, of course not - but the outcome was better than most would have predicted.

    Posted by: Alex | May 19, 2008 4:44:43 PM

  7. Yepp milkman

    Its like come on people (like christopher)

    Africa is made up of vastly different countries.

    Some are animist (pagan) , some muslim, some die hard catholic. Some are democracies while some aren't. Many different languages and cultures.

    Heck It would be like saying there is no difference between Spain and England. Both on the same continent but both totaly different.

    Africa is 3 times the size of europe

    europe has an area of 10,180,000 km2
    africa has an area of 30,221,532 km2 (wiki is my friend)

    Ireland forbids abortion for any reason yet the rest of europe doesn't

    Gambia wants to behead gays (HORRID) does not mean all of africa does.


    The area is 3 times larger than europe. Each country is vastly different from the others.

    Sorry for getting on my soap box


    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 19, 2008 4:49:07 PM

  8. CHRISTOPHER, I'd like to remind you that South Africa, another country on the African continent, is a country where the legal regognition of GLBT individuals and couples is DECADES ahead of those in the US.

    Posted by: Zeke | May 19, 2008 4:49:41 PM

  9. There have been homosexuals in Africa since the beginning of sex. It's the concept and rise of a "gay subculture" that has made African homosexuals the scapegoats and targets for hate and violence.

    Africa will "join the rest of the human race" (on the issue of gay civil rights) right after Eastern Europe and Russia. And what about South Africa: the only country to ban discrimination against gay people in its national constitution.

    Yes, African leaders are disgusting and cowardly in how they use gay people as targets for hatred--they're also hypocrites in a Larry Craig sort of way (if you get my drift). African people are desperately poor. Desperate circumstances can cause people to latch on to desperately false and dangerous the Germans did before & during the rise of Hitler.

    Posted by: Derrick from Philly | May 19, 2008 4:50:00 PM

  10. Gambia and Senegal are AFRICA.They represent the permanent feeling of Africa against gays.All the rest of the continent is the same whether is Eqypt or Zimbawe.The muslim africans are as anti-gay as the christian africans.The whole continent is anti-gay even more than Latin America which in some countries is more tolerant.But YES Gambia and Senegal are AFRICA and ANTI-GAY to the core and anything else anybody says is BULLSHIT.

    Posted by: Oscar | May 19, 2008 4:54:51 PM

  11. Oscar

    and you are the same as david duke. You are both americans which automaticaly makes you exactly the same.

    Anything anybody says to the contrary is saying bullshit.

    Now if you were to say that many of the African animist religions either still do or once accepted homosexuality as a given and an acceptable life style choice much like all other pagan religions around the world, but when christian and muslim missionaries and conquerers arrived they ingrained the hate of homosexuals in large swaths of afrrican people.......just like they did everywhere else........then you would actualy have a decent topic for discussion

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 19, 2008 5:02:01 PM

  12. Christopher,

    What Dogpatch state are u from? POS

    Posted by: BBG | May 19, 2008 5:17:13 PM

  13. Which country in Africa is run by animist or pagan governments my dear Jimmyboyo?.Come down to Earth and realize that from the Mediterranean to the tip ofAfrica all governments are anti-gay.That South Africa is a little and I mean a little only more enlighting may be true but tell me which one n the whole continent has a civil-partners or gay marriage.Will they ever have it,NOOOO.The whole continent is ANTI-GAY no matter what ever you say.In real life, that'sthe truth.

    Posted by: Oscar | May 19, 2008 5:21:35 PM

  14. What does Gambia offer to the world again?
    I never had any intention of going to Africa but this just confirms it. I thought US leadership was a mess but this fuckwad takes stupidity and hatred to a whole new level. He's Fred Phelps with power. Sad.

    Posted by: SFshawn | May 19, 2008 5:24:50 PM

  15. You know? This sounds like JUST the place for the "religious right" to move and begin a new life, far from all those "sinning and morally corrupt" homosexuals. What a perfect match! And besides, they would be closer to the birthplace of their "religion". I will personally pay for a one way ticket to Gambia for a husband and wife who are members of the religious right. Sounds like a winning proposition for all those involved.

    Posted by: noteasilyoffended | May 19, 2008 5:24:52 PM

  16. By the way Jimmyboyo I'm a cuban that even with a communist dictatorship is by far and I mean by super far more enlighten that the whole of Africa.Get real and face the truth.

    Posted by: Oscar | May 19, 2008 5:25:30 PM

  17. I sort of agree with everything said here. Africa is made up of many different nations, and certainly every other continent is fucked up in its own way.

    Though I will say I see what Christopher is saying. In terms of "matter of degree," Africa does seem to stand out as 'extra fucked up.' Of all these nations, a disproportionate number seem to be in debt, shot through with corruption, plagued by perpetual revolution, obsessed with chopping off people's arms, and hurtling towards famine and disease despite decades and decades of aid.

    It's so fucking depressing. I've been blathering on for years against all the batshit racists in this country, and yet every time I turn on the news there's another fucking catastrophe. And the whole "the colonials are STILL to blame" for the state of affairs over there is just not cutting it anymore. And South Africa's success is even more of a let-down! It's the country in Africa with the largest white population of all!

    We need a couple of real success stories in Africa! Man, would that be something. Ultimately, we can't force success on anyone.

    Fuck! Arrrrggh!

    Posted by: Yeek | May 19, 2008 5:32:49 PM

  18. Ok, point well taken. We can't tar the entire continent with one brush. That is a quick rundown of the websites of international rights groups such as Amnesty International, Genocide Watch, Committee on Conscience, Physicians for Human Rights, Human Rights Watch and The International Rescue Committee that shows just how wide the chaos and violence spreads across the Africa:

    RWANDA: ethnic genocide, between 800,000 and 1,000,000 dead in space of just one-hundred DAYS in 1994.

    DARFUR: 450,000 dead and millions displaced since 2003. Hundreds of thousands of civilians have died from violence, disease, and starvation, and thousands of women have been raped. More than 2.5 million civilians have been driven from their homes, their villages torched and property stolen. Thousands of villages have been systematically destroyed and more than 230,000 people have fled to neighboring Chad.

    CHAD: Human Rights Watch reports that growing violence in Chad has put the $300 million international aid mission supporting millions of people in the north African country at risk, while the deployment of the European Union's peacekeeping mission to Chad and neighboring Central African Republic has been delayed.

    CONGO: IRC estimates that 5,400,000 people have died since 1998 in from genocide and war-related causes. According to the United Nations, 27,000 sexual assaults were reported in 2006 in South Kivu Province alone, a figure that represents only those assaults that were officially reported.

    SUDAN: An estimated two million people, mostly civilians, died in Sudan and four million were displaced between 1985 and 2005 as the result of civil war. Rights groups cite the Sudanese government for the use of mass starvation as a weapon of destruction, toleration of the enslavement of women and children by government-allied militias and the incessant bombing of hospitals, clinics, schools, and other civilian and humanitarian targets.

    WEST AFRICA: According to the IRC, for more than 16 years, interrelated conflicts in Liberia, Sierra Leone and Ivory Coast, compounded by periodic instability in Guinea, have plagued West Africa, causing the deaths of hundreds of thousands and displacing millions across the region. Rape, child abuse, trafficking, torture, mutilation, sexual exploitation and forced prostitution have been common practices during West Africa’s protracted conflicts.

    And on the news front:

    KENYA: CNN is reporting just today that gangs of young men armed with machetes are roaming the streets in Kenya as post-election violence threatens to engulf the country. Horrific attacks are being reported, including the torching of a church where people who had sought refuge were burned alive.

    SOUTH AFRICA: Again CNN reporting today that thousands of Zimbabwean immigrants in Johannesburg have fled their homes amid a growing tide of mob violence that has left at least 23 people dead and many badly injured after being set on fire by angry mobs.

    Posted by: Christopher | May 19, 2008 5:35:30 PM

  19. Methinks the lady doth protest too much.

    Posted by: theo | May 19, 2008 5:42:03 PM

  20. hmmm... this guy just has a TEENY bit of crazy going on, doesn't he?

    Posted by: oakling | May 19, 2008 5:43:20 PM

  21. It's definitely infuriating to see morons as heads of states! And CHRISTOPHER, the continent has a long way to go in terms of human rights-among other things- but as you realize it IS A CONTINENT. Some countries are achieving a lot and some are not. I mean we still have pastors blaming gays for Katrina and that's not an indication of how fucked up all of AMERICA is, now, is it?

    Posted by: Shabaka | May 19, 2008 5:54:34 PM

  22. Yes, I'm conflating ethnic violence across Africa with human rights abuses against gays and lesbians in Gambia, which is the topic of this post. Agreed, on the civil rights score MANY nations including South Africa have it all over the US in terms of being progressive towards gays. That said, when it comes to human rights (like, say, the right not to be set on fire by a mob) Africa on the whole is abysmally behind the rest of the world.

    And I resent being labeled a TEENY bit crazy; anyone who knows me knows that I'm at least very crazy.

    Posted by: Christopher | May 19, 2008 5:55:16 PM

  23. Oscar

    Cuban = 1/2 of the population is either of pure african descent or of mixed african descent. Oscar, you might want to be nicer in your views of Africa or your ancestors might be offended.

    Christopher, you listed a total of 12 African countries. There are 53 African countries and 8 dependencies for a total of 61 seperate and distinct areas. 12 out of 63 is .25 more than 1/5 of Africa.

    Yeek, colonialism and its affects ..................hello most African countries didn't gain indipendence till just 50 years ago. 50 years means many enabelers of the colonial governments are still around and in power or at least their children are in power in Africa.

    There are problems in Africa. Many problems. Just as there are many problems everywhere in the world.

    Posted by: Jimmyboyo | May 19, 2008 5:57:36 PM

  24. It'd be better if the headline was:

    Gambian President Announces Plans to Give Head to All Gays

    Posted by: yeek | May 19, 2008 5:58:11 PM

  25. The Kenyan post-election violence was encourage by Opposition Leader Raila Odinga.

    During the violence, scores of Anglican and Catholic churches were torched and the rioting Muslims ethnically cleansed portions of the country of Christian Kenyans, all encouraged by Odinga, who stepped in after the violence, called for calm, and forced his way into a "coalition government."

    Prior to the election, Odinga was visited and supported by Barack and Michelle Obama.

    Posted by: JeffNYC | May 19, 2008 5:59:23 PM

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