In recent years, claims that enforced disappearances, torture and extra judicial executions are taking place in the West African country, have increased. Amnesty International reported in 2008 that Gambia was ruled by Fear.
President Yahya Jammeh who came to power in a bloodless coup in 1994, will not campaign for his own re-election in November because he is so confident of winning, say local commentators. In a recent six-week voter registration exercise, 869,600 people signed up to ensure they will receive a vote. The country has a population of 1.7 million of whom more than a quarter are under voting age.