In February 2005, Jammeh visited Brazil, where the two
countries signed a series of cooperation agreements,
including the Brazilian oil company Petrobras to assist
Gambia with the exploitation of the oil sources discovered
In March 2006, a number of civilian and military persons
were arrested, suspected of taking part in a coup d'état led
by General Staff Chief Mbure Cham, who according to. the
government had escaped to Senegal. Among those arrested were
former intelligence chief Abdulaye Kujaby and former finance
minister Alieu Jobe. President Jammeh had to return from a
state visit to Mauritania.
In 2006, Jammeh ran for a third term as president in the
September elections. He won it by 67.3% of the vote. His
counterpart, Ousainou Darboe, got 26.7% of the vote and
criticized Jammeh for electoral fraud, for threats against
voters and for failing to make a fair election.
In January 2007, Jammeh stated that he had developed a
cure based on herbal medicine that allegedly could cure
HIV/AIDS and asthma. According to
the head of the UNDP office in the country, Fadzai
Gwaradzimba, was subsequently thrown out after she expressed
doubts about the value of the president's medicine, saying
it could be directly dangerous.
In July 2007, President Jammeh criticized what he
perceived as the attempts to establish an African unity
government: "Some try to run for African unity, but the
Gambia cannot be colonized twice," Jammeh declared without
specifying what he was referring to.
In May 2008, the president declared open war on gays,
saying he would implement tougher legislation than in Iran.
He further stated that he would "cut" the head of any gay or
lesbian in the country, and during a meeting in Tallinding,
he gave the country's homosexuals a "last ultimatum" to
leave the country or be killed. Jammeh continued his
rhetorical rhetoric when in September 2013 he spoke to the
UN General Assembly in New York. In February 2014, he talked
about fighting homosexuality in the same way that the
country fought malaria.
In March 2009, Amnesty International reported that
state-sponsored witch doctors had captured about 1,000
Gambians accused of witchcraft and sorcery. They were
brought to detention centers where they were forced to drink
a poisonous cocktail. The New York Times reported
two months later that the witch hunt had started by
President Jammeh himself, who believed his aunt's death a
few months earlier was due to sorcery.
During the NATO war against Libya in the spring and
summer of 2011, Gambia was the first African country to
recognize the National Transitional Council as the
legitimate representative of the state. The year before,
Gambia had cut off diplomatic relations with Iran after a
"mysterious arms shipment" had been brought up in Nigeria.
The November 2011 presidential election was won by Jammeh
with 72% of the vote. He could thus begin his 4th term. The
election was overseen by observers from the African Union
(AU), the EU, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation and
the Commonwealth. The AU described the election as free and
fair. ECOWAS did not send any observers, pointing out that:
"the electronic media is under the complete control of the
ruling party and both opposition and electorate are
suffering from repression and intimidation".