Last Updated: Friday, 08 December 2017, 11:58 GMT

Gambia: Treatment of members and supporters of the Gambia Students Union (GAMSU)

Publisher Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada
Author Research Directorate, Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Ottawa
Publication Date 22 July 2008
Citation / Document Symbol GMB102899.E
Cite as Canada: Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada, Gambia: Treatment of members and supporters of the Gambia Students Union (GAMSU), 22 July 2008, GMB102899.E, available at: [accessed 11 December 2017]
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 the treatment of members and supporters of the Gambia Students Union (GAMSU) was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate.

On 10 April 2000, students led by GAMSU members, demonstrated against the killing of Ebrima Barry, a student who died while in the custody of Fire Services, and against the rape of a teenage girl by paramilitary officers (The Gambia Echo 9 Apr. 2008; Freedom Newspaper 9 Apr. 2008; see also Foroyaa 23 Apr. 2008). Security forces opened fire, resulting in the death of 14 students (Freedom Newspaper 9 Apr. 2008; see also Foroyaa 23 Apr. 2008 and The Gambia Echo 9 Apr. 2008).

Media sources indicate that several former members of the GAMSU, including Alhagie (or Alagi) Nyabally, a former leader of the GAMSU, Omar Joof, former GAMSU president, and Ebrima Dibba, also a former GAMSU leader and former Information Minister have left the Gambia to live abroad in exile (Freedom Newspaper 9 Apr. 2008; Foroyaa 23 Apr. 2008; ibid. 5 Nov. 2007). One newspaper states that Nyabally had to leave the Gambia because he was facing problems including repeated arrests and detentions (ibid.; ibid. 23 Apr. 2008). As an example, The Gambia Journal reports that Nyabally was arrested on 17 April 2006 and detained for 41 days (30 May 2006). Freedom Newspaper reports that after the events of 10 April 2000, he was expelled from the University of the Gambia and his scholarship was suspended (9 Apr. 2008).

Several articles from The Gambia Echo, a newspaper based in Raleigh, North Carolina which focuses on Gambian news (The Gambia Echo n.d.), report that GAMSU was dissolved or dismantled by the government and replaced by the National Patriotic Students Association (NAPSA) (ibid. 19 Mar. 2008; ibid. 9 Apr. 2008; ibid. 26 Apr. 2007; ibid. 10 Apr. 2007), which the regime uses to "keep the lid on student militancy" (ibid.) or "undermine" GAMSU's activities (Freedom Newspaper 9 Apr. 2008). However, no other source among those consulted by the Research Directorate corroborated GAMSU's dissolution.

This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.


Foroyaa [Serrekunda]. 23 April 2008. "April 10: A Forgotten History." [Accessed 3 July 2008]
_____. 5 November 2007. "Some Are Leaving and Others Are Dying: What Next for the Conscience of the Nation?" [Accessed 3 July 2008]

Freedom Newspaper [Raleigh, North Carolina]. 9 April 2008. "SOS Badjie, SOS Jatta, Army Chief Jatta and IGP Rex King Blamed for the April 10th Killings!!" [Accessed 9 July 2008]

The Gambia Echo [Raleigh, North Carolina]. 9 April 2008. Adama Hawa. "Another April 10th Anniversary; Still No Justice in Sight." [Accessed 8 July 2008]
_____. 19 March 2008. Njie Khakatarr and Ebrima G. Sankareh. "Million Dalasis Fraud Allegation Follows Neneh Macdouall Gaye's Sacking." [Accessed 8 July 2008]
_____. 26 April 2007. Adama Hawa. "JT Kujabi Fires First Shots at the Gambia Press Union." ( [Accessed 7 July 2008]
_____. 10 April 2007. Adama Hawa. "Another Silent Anniversary for the April Student Massacre." ( [Accessed 8 July 2008]
_____. N.d. "Contact Us." [Accessed 8 July 2008]

The Gambia Journal [Banjul]. 30 May 2006. "Alhagie Nyabally Released." ( [Accessed 8 July 2008]

Additional Sources Consulted

Internet sites, including:, Amnesty International (AI), British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Daily Observer [Banjul], European Country of Origin Information Network (, Freedom House,, Human Rights Watch (HRW), Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN),, Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), The Point [Banjul], United Kingdom Home Office Country of Origin Information Service, United States Department of State, World News Connection (WNC).

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 Documents earlier than 2003 may be found only on Refworld.

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