On August 9th, Gambian President Yahya Jammeh “issued a directive to the military command in Banjul ordering them to immediately stop military training cooperation with the United States and the U.K.” Around the same time, according to Carl LeVan, Africanist and Assistant Professor at American University, Politico reported that The Gambia hired a public relations firm, BGR, to “lobby for additional foreign aid” for the country. Politico reports that the $45,000 per month contract is specifically intended to look for “more western commitment to its adolescent and adult female education and health programs.”
It is unclear why President Jammeh made this order to the Gambian military command and whether he will actually hold them to it. However, in light of these recent reports about U.S. assistance to The Gambia, below is a look at the current breakdown of U.S. foreign aid and training to The Gambia. This information will soon be available in our online database of U.S. security assistance, the Security Assistance Monitor. All of the information below is compiled from various official U.S. Government reports, including the Congressional Budget Justifications, the Defense Department’s Section 1209 reports, and the Foreign Military Training Reports.
As seen below, training of Gambian police and military increased significantly in 2010 and 2011. The majority of the trainees received training through the Regional Centers for Security Studies program (130 in 2011 and 223 in 2010). More details are available in the Foreign Military Training Reports for 2010-2011 and 2011-2012.