UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) has now officially declared that “most
visits to The Gambia are troubled-free”.
opposed to previous travel warnings regarding safety and security of travelling
to The Gambia, several European countries now consider visits to the country as
both tourists and other visitors from UK and other European countries are
encouraged to discover Banjul.
approval is as a result of the country’s successful presidential and
parliamentary elections which brought Adama Barrow and his coalition to power
with a promise to “govern in accordance with the rule of law and democratic
the UK FCO highlighted certain precautions, citing that there are a number of
checkpoints operating in and around the capital and that visitors should expect
their vehicle to be searched if stopped by security forces.
countries regard UK as more proximate to The Gambia not only due to the bond
shared between the two countries but also the UK was Gambia’s former colonial
Point has also gathered through several recommendations that The Gambia’s
profile is monitored from the UK by not only other European countries but also by
its allies as an endorsement”.
the FCO further cautioned that even though most visits to The Gambia are
trouble-free, “independent travellers are at increased risk due to the lack of
local support in an emergency”.
FCO also advised that travellers should make sure that their next of kin in the
UK have details of their itinerary and keep in regular touch.
the reign of Yahya Jammeh, the UN Human Rights Council Special Rapporteur on
extrajudicial, summary or arbitrary executions observed that The Gambia is
“characterised by disregard for the rule of law, infringements of civil
liberties and the existence of a repressive state apparatus”.
also revealed that activities of civil society organisations were “closely
monitored by the executive” and there were “many manifestations of fear and
frustration in civil society, with reports of rampant state-led violence,
persecution of the media and critical voices, and impunity for human rights
a result, in those days, European visitors were warned to be wary and cautious,
leading to many suspending or cancelling their travel and investment proposal
despite persistent and relentless efforts to woo them.
officials had also observed that human rights defenders, journalists and political
opponents were systematically targeted by security agencies and are subjected
to arbitrary arrest, detention, torture, enforced disappearance and
extrajudicial execution, particularly at the hands of the National Intelligence
the new recommendations, a European travel agencies operating in The Gambia
confirmed to this correspondent that “everything is now up and running as we
expect a large number of people to The Gambia during the winter months and this
time around it, is not only tourists but also well known business travellers.