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Th e current President of Gambia, who belongs to the Jola tribe, is Alhaji Dr. Yahya Abdul-Azziz Jemus Junkung Jammeh. He also has the title of the Commander In Chief of The Armed Forces, Secretary of State For Defence and the Chief Custodian of the Constitution of The Gambia. The Office of the President is the Highest Executive Office in The Gambia which means he has responsibility over other government departments.
Yahya Jammeh was born on the 25th May, 1965 in Kanilai village which is in the Foni Kansala District, Western Region. His mother's name is Aja Fatou Ashombi Bojang and he is married to the Gambia's First Lady Madam Zineb Yahya Jammeh. She was born in Rabat, Morocco, on the 5th October 1977 to the Guinean Soumah family.
He received his early education at Kanilai Primary School, Saint Edwards Primary School in Bwiam, and Gambia High School in Banjul. In 1983 he passed the General Certificate of Education (GCE 0' Level) with Credits in Geography, English, French, Biology and Physics. Also obtained passes in Chemistry and Oral English.
The following year President Jammeh joined what was then the Gambia National Gendarmerie in 1984 and later moved to The Gambia National Army and was commissioned in 1989. He attended the Military Police Officers Basic Course (MPOBC) at For McClellan, Alabama, in the United States of America and in 1994 obtained a Diploma in Military science.
President Jammeh served under various military units in The Gambia National Army. From 1984-1986 he was in the Special Intervention Unit, 1986-1989 the Gendarmerie Training School (Escort Training Instructor); 1989-1990 Presidential Guards (in charge of Presidential Escort); 1991 served as Officer commanding in the Mobile Gendarmerie and in 1992 was Officer Command The Gambia National Army Military Police, up till 22nd July 1994 when the Gambia National Army toppled Sir Dawda Jawara and his PPP administration in a bloodless coup.
At the time the Jawara regime was toppled, Jammeh was a Lieutenant. In 1994, Jammeh was promoted to the rank of Captain and in 1996 he was promoted to the rank of Colonel. President Jammeh retired from the army in 1996.
President Jammeh saw Gambia through the two years transitional period leading to the restoration of Constitutional and Civilian Government. In 1996 he was elected as the Chief Executive of the Second Republic on the 27th September, 1996.
Titles, Honours & Decorations:
• 1993: He was made an Honorary Citizen of the State of Georgia.
• 1994: appointed honorary Lt. Col. ADC of the Alabama State Militia.
• 1995: Decorated by Libya with the Grand Commander of the Order of Al-Fatah.
• 1996: He was decorated by the Chinese President with the insignia of the Order of the Brilliant Jade with Grand Cordon of the Republic of China.
• 1997, during the 12th Conference of Heads of State and Government of CILSS held in Banjul, he was elected Chairman, CILSS Heads of State.
President Jammeh was also awarded "The 1997 Pan-African Humanitarian Award" by the Pan-African Foundation and the World Council of Culture based in London, UK.
• 1997: nominated Man of The Year by the American Biographical Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA
• 1998: Awarded The Gold Record of Achievement for 1997 by The American Biographical Institute in Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
• 1998: Appointed Honorary Admiral, Alabama State Navy by the Governor of The State of Alabama.
• 1998: Awarded the Grand Order of Bravery by the Libyan Leader Colonel Muammar Gadaffi.
• 1998: Awarded the Islamic Worldwide "Grand Prix" by The Cheikhna Cheikh Saad Bouh Foundation of Dakar, Senegal.
• 1999: Awarded the Doctor of Civil Laws Degree from St. Mary's University, Halifax, Canada.
• 1999: Appointed Deputy Governor of American Biographical Institute Research Association (ABIRA) North Carolina, United Stated of America.
• 1999: Awarded the 2000 Millennium Medal of Honour from the American Biographical Institute of the United States of America.
• 1999: Nominated Outstanding People of The 20th Century by the International Biographical Institute, Cambridge, England.
• 1999: Nominated 1999 Platinum Record for Exceptional Performance by the American Biographical Institute, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
• 1999: Awarded the World Lifetime Achievement Award by the American Biographical Institute, Raleigh, North Carolina, USA.
• 1999: Decorated with Libya's Highest Honour The African Medal by Libyan leader Colonel Muammar Gadaffi.
• 2000: Decorated with Orders of The Distinction of Liberia.
• 2001: President Jammeh was decorated with Grand Croix dans l'Ordre National du Lion.
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