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The Gambia: Information on the current situation, particularly in Mbanta and for Wolofs

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board, Canada
Publication Date 1 July 1993
Citation / Document Symbol GMB14664
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, The Gambia: Information on the current situation, particularly in Mbanta and for Wolofs, 1 July 1993, GMB14664, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/3ae6accf84.html [accessed 27 December 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

 

Information on this specific subject is currently unavailable to the DIRB; however, the following general information on the ethnic composition of the country, its record on human rights and the level of acceptance of democratic practice might be useful.

Despite the country's small size, the Gambia is ethnically very diverse (Kurian 1992, 660). It is made up of the Mandingo (Bambara, Dyula and Kuranko), Fula, Peul, Fulbe, Jola, Serahuli, Aku and the Diola (Ibid.). The Mandingo are found in most parts of the country, while the Fula are mostly in the east. The Wolof and the Diola are concentrated in the west, the Serahuli in the east and the Aku in the national capital of Banjul.

Although the Gambia has never been seriously challenged by internal forces, there has been resentment against Mandingo power in the country (Ibid., 661). The Gambia is considered one of the few countries in Africa that has been loyal to "Westminster-type parliamentary democracy", and it is one of the most stable countries on the continent (Ibid.). The Encyclopedia of the Third World attributes that stability to the fact that ethnicity is not a divisive issue in the country.

The same source states that human rights in the Gambia are not only guaranteed in the constitution, but they are also observed in practice. According to Country Reports 1992, the Gambia has made particular efforts to promote the respect for human rights (1993, 98). Censorship does not exist and different view points are discussed openly in the print media and on the radio (Kurian 1992, 662). The ordinary Gambian can openly criticize government policies in public meetings or in private conversations (Country Reports 1992 1993, 100). The Gambia is also one of the few places in Africa with a truly working multiparty system (Kurian 1992, 663).

Additional and/or corroborative information on the requested subject could not be found among the sources currently available to the DIRB in Ottawa.

References

Kurian, George Thomas, ed. 1992. Encyclopedia of the Third World. 4th ed. Vol. 1. New York: Facts on File.

Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 1992. 1993. U.S. Department of State. Washington: U.S. Government Printing Office.

Attachment

Kurian, George Thomas, ed. 1992. Encyclopedia of the Third World. 4th ed. Vol. 1. New York: Facts on File.

Copyright notice: This document is published with the permission of the copyright holder and producer Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada (IRB). The original version of this document may be found on the offical website of the IRB at http://www.irb-cisr.gc.ca/en/. Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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