Gambia's six main opposition parties have opted out of the parliamentary elections, alleging unfair treatment by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC), which has refused to heed their request for a postponement of the polls from 29 March, PANA confirmed. PANA reports that the IEC insisted that the election date will remain as scheduled. In addition, the IEC received nomination forms for candidates for the exercise between 8-10 March and even went ahead to declare 24 candidates from the more

Gambia has appealed for food aid after it said that 70 percent of its crops failed during the last growing season, extending the reach of a food crisis already hitting millions of people across Africa's Sahel strip. Gambia's agriculture ministry said the impact of poor rains last year had been exacerbated by high world food prices, crippling household incomes in the West African state, which has ridden out previous food crises.

Seven Gambian opposition parties have asked the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to create a level playing field for the 29 March 2012 National Assembly election. The opposition is also urging the IEC to postpone the election for a meeting between them to discuss how to put the right conditions in place for a genuine vote. The demand follows a series meetings of the opposition parties which cited the preamble of the 1997 Constitution that guarantees participatory democracy reflecting more

The ECOWAS Community Court in Abuja, Nigeria, on 6 February 2012 ordered the Gambian government to comply with its ruling on Musa Saidykahn, a former editor-in-chief of the banned The Independent newspaper, by compensating him for violating his human rights in 2006. On 16 December 2010, the regional court confirmed that Saidykhan was tortured by President Yahya Jammeh's security agents while in detention in 2006. It also ruled that Saidykhan’s arrest and subsequent detention were illegal more

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh has been sworn in for a fourth term and says he will crack the whip on laziness and corruption as he bids to turn Africa's smallest mainland country into an economic powerhouse. Jammeh, who came to power in a coup in 1994 aged 29, also said his government would not tolerate any terrorist or racist acts. 'I will be more dangerous in the next five years than when I was, even in uniform, because people have to change their attitude to work,' he earlier said on more