The merger project with Senegal and the formation of the
Senegambia Federation existed as an idea until 1982, but the
coup attempt against the Gambian government meant that the
project was now realized. Senegambia formally existed from
February 1982 to the end of 1989. The federation was led by
a Bedouin President, Abdou Diouf, and a Council of Ministers
in consultation with a joint parliament between the two
countries. The treaty protected Dawda Jawara from possible
internal insurgency, and at the same time Senegal was able
to carry out more strict control over the capital flight
that the smuggling entailed. Both countries retained their
individual characteristics and internal organization.
From 1985, however, the Gambia began to reduce its
participation in agreements aimed at strengthening the
relationship between the two countries, and Jawara ceased to
fulfill the agreements on mutual military assistance in
Senegal's internal or external conflicts. In late 1989, the
Gambia signed a Mutual Defense Agreement with Nigeria. The
Gambia's purpose in the agreement was to secure its defense,
thus regaining the independence it had lost in the
federation with Senegal. The agreement with Nigeria was in
effect a dissolution of Senegambia.
Countryaah official website,
the Finance Minister announced in the Finance Act 1991-92 an
increase of 6% of the salaries of public servants, as well
as a reinstatement of the benefits that had been repealed
when a structural adjustment program was initiated. The
Gambia already has one of the highest rates of child
mortality in the world.
In May 1991, the Gambia and Senegal took a first step
towards improving their relationships as they entered into a
friendship and cooperation agreement. The agreement
envisages an annual meeting between the country's heads of
state and the formation of a joint commission with the two
countries' foreign ministers as chairmen.
In 1993, the agricultural and tourism sectors were
affected by the effects of the crisis in Europe. At the same
time, trade with Senegal was affected by a decision by the
West African Central Bank to no longer finance trade in CFA
Francs outside the participating countries.
The Government of The Gambia took steps towards opening a
new stage of national reconciliation. Among other things. it
granted amnesty to members of the rebel movements who were
pressing for the regime to fall.
In July 1994, a military coup removed President Dawda
Jawara from power. He sought political asylum in Senegal
after first seeking refuge on a North American warship
visiting the Gambia. The presence of this warship in Banjul
suggested the connection between the cavalry and the United
States. The coup led by Yahya Jammeh started with protests
from soldiers demanding payment for their peacekeeping
efforts in Liberia.