Title: The Republic of The Gambia

Population: 2,221,301

Population Change: 2.94

National Average Age: 18

Urban Percentage: 59

Christian Population: 79,000

Christian Percentage: 4.2

Introduction: 'The Gambia is a small West African country bounded by Senegal with a narrow Atlantic coastline. It''s known for its diverse ecosystems around the central Gambia River. Abundant wildlife in its Kiang West National Park and Bao Bolong Wetland Reserve includes monkeys leopards hippos hyenas and rare birds. The capital Banjul and nearby Serrekunda offer access to beaches.'

Overview: The Gambia gained its independence from the UK in 1965. Geographically surrounded by Senegal it formed a short-lived Confederation of Senegambia between 1982 and 1989. In 1991 the two nations signed a friendship and cooperation treaty but tensions have flared up intermittently since then. Yahya JAMMEH led a military coup in 1994 that overthrew the president and banned political activity. A new constitution and presidential election in 1996 followed by parliamentary balloting in 1997 completed a nominal return to civilian rule. JAMMEH was elected president in all subsequent elections including most recently in late 2011. A presidential election is scheduled for December 2016.