Gambian President Gets New Title

The Gambia’s long-serving President Yahya Jammeh has had the title of Babili Mansa added to his name.

President Yahya Jammeh

President Yahya Jammeh

The Mandika-language phrase can be translated as “chief bridge builder” or “conqueror of rivers.”

A statement from the presidency said Jammeh should now be known as “His Excellency Sheikh Professor Alhaji Dr Yahya AJJ Jammeh Babili Mansa.”

He had taken the title once before, in 2014, only to drop it four months later.

President Jammeh seized power in 1994 as a young army lieutenant and has won four widely criticised multi-party elections since then and faced down several coup attempts.

He was reported in 2011 to have said that he would rule for “one billion years… if Allah says so.”

Since President Jammeh took over,, The Gambia has been transformed with the building of numerous infrastructure projects, including bridges.

However, The Gambia seems reluctant to build a bridge over the River Gambia to link the southern Casamance region of Senegal to the capital, Dakar, as Senegal has long requested.

Instead, travellers have to queue for many hours for a ferry across the river.

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