Gambia to shift from English, says Yammeh

Dakar - Gambia's president says that he wants to implement a policy change that would shift the country's language from English to a local language.

Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh. File photo: Itsuo Inouye. Credit: AP

Yahya Jammeh said on Friday that “we no longer subscribe to the belief that for you to be a government you should speak English language.” He spoke during the swearing-in ceremony of Gambia's new Chief Justice.

He made the announcement months after the West African country announced it is withdrawing from the Commonwealth, a collection of 54 nations made up largely of former British colonies.

Though a popular destination for British tourists, Gambia has been criticized by the United Kingdom and rights groups for human rights abuses.

Jammeh, who came to power in a military coup, said Western countries have no “moral platform” to talk about human rights. - Sapa-AP