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The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965. Geographically surrounded by Senegal, it formed a short-lived federation of Senegambia between 1982 and 1989. In 1991 the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation treaty, but tensions have flared up intermittently since then. Yahya JAMMEH led a military coup in 1994 that overthrew the president and banned political activity. A new constitution and presidential elections in 1996, followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997, completed a nominal return to civilian rule. JAMMEH has been elected president in all subsequent elections including most recently in late 2011.


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Geography

Location
Western Africa, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and Senegal

Geographic coordinates
13 28 N, 16 34 W

Map references
Africa

Area World Ranking: 167
Total 11,295 sq km
Land 10,000 sq km
Water 1,295 sq km

Area - comparative
Slightly less than twice the size of Delaware

Land boundaries
Total 740 km
Border countries Senegal 740 km

Coastline
80 km

Maritime claims
Territorial sea 12 nm
Contiguous zone 18 nm
Exclusive fishing zone 200 nm
Continental shelf Extent not specified

Climate
Tropical; hot, rainy season (June to November); cooler, dry season (November to May)

Terrain
Flood plain of the Gambia River flanked by some low hills

Elevation extremes
Lowest point Atlantic Ocean 0 m
Highest point Unnamed elevation 53 m

Natural resources
Fish, clay, silica sand, titanium (rutile and ilmenite), tin, zircon

Land use
Arable land 27.88%
Permanent crops 0.44%
Other 71.68% (2005)

Irrigated land
20 sq km (2003)

Total renewable water resources
8 cu km (1982)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural)
Total 0.03 cu km/yr (23%/12%/65%)
Per capita 20 cu m/yr (2000)

Natural hazards
Drought (rainfall has dropped by 30% in the last 30 years)

Environment - current issues
Deforestation; desertification; water-borne diseases prevalent

Environment - international agreements
Party to
Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
Signed, but not ratified
None of the selected agreements

Geography - note
Almost an enclave of Senegal; smallest country on the continent of Africa


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  The Gambia (Banjul):


  GPS points from The Gambia (Banjul)

Yala North Bank Division

Amdulai Western Division

Darsilami Western Division

Sinchu Sara Upper River

Jamwell Central River Division

Sare Dadi Central River Division

Koli Kunda Upper River

Mbaien Burama Central River Division




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