Photograph — BT.com

The first president of The Gambia following independence from Britain, Dawda Jawara, died on Tuesday at the age of 95, officials have said. Current President Adama Barrow, in online comments, described Jawara’s death as “a great loss to the country in particular and humanity in general”.

Jawara, a Glasgow-trained veterinary doctor, led the former British Colony to Independence on 18th February 1965 until July 1994 when his reign was brought to an end by a bloodless military coup led by Yahya Jammeh, who went on to rule the tiny West African state for 22 years.

The Gambian presidency, in a statement on Twitter, announced that a state funeral would be held on Thursday. Meanwhile, Fisheries Minister James Gomez revealed that flags would fly at “half-mast” and the former leader’s body will lie in state for mourners to pay their respects.

Read more at France 24

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