Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh, prays while administering his alleged herbal HIV cure to a patient at the State House in Banjul, Gambia, Thursday, Feb. 15, 2007. Surrounded by bodyguards, the president of Gambia pulls on a pair of surgical gloves and approaches the patient's bedside. From inside his billowing white robe, he pulls out a plastic container holding a green herbal paste, a key ingredient in what he is billing as a cure for AIDS. (AP/Photo Candace Feit)

Banjul - Gambian President Yahya Jammeh on Tuesday reiterated his stance that he would never accept homosexuality in his country, after recent pressure from abroad on African states to respect gay rights.

“We know what human rights are. Human beings of the same sex cannot marry or date,” Jammeh said while swearing in 15 ministers of his new government.

“If you think it is human rights to destroy our culture, you are making a great mistake because if you are in the Gambia, you are in the wrong place then,” he added.

In 2008, Jammeh gave an ultimatum to homosexuals to leave the country and vowed to “cut off the head” of any homosexual found in the Gambia.

In the west African nation homosexuality is punishable by up to 14 years imprisonment, for men and women. Jammeh has threatened to introduce even stricter laws.

UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon recently told leaders at an African Union summit they must respect gay rights.

“If we Africans are to build our societies based on outside dictates and structure, our cultures based on alien cultures, we will be the losers,” said Jammeh. - Sapa-AFP