The Gambia: Uses and Abuses of State Intelligence Agencies

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract / Description of output

This chapter examines the intelligence services of The Gambia, with a primary focus on the National Intelligence Agency (NIA). The NIA was created by presidential decree in 1995, while the country was under provisional military leadership following a coup. As this chapter demonstrates, the organization expanded over time and was central to regime protection for President Yahya Jammeh (1994–2017). As such, the intelligence service was mostly focused domestically and aimed at anyone seen as a threat to the president. The NIA developed a reputation for brutality and became one of the most feared parts of the state. There were widespread calls to dissolve the NIA following the democratic transition of 2017, but instead the organization was renamed to State Intelligence Service (SIS). While their powers to make arrests were revoked, the size and personnel remain largely the same. However, the fate of the intelligence services remains precarious especially as additional information has come to the public attention following numerous testimonies about abuses by the intelligence personnel at the country’s Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparation Commission (TRRC).
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Handbook of African Intelligence Cultures
EditorsRyan Shaffer
Publisher Rowman & Littlefield
Number of pages12
ISBN (Electronic)9781538159989
ISBN (Print)9781538159972
Publication statusPublished - Feb 2023

Publication series

NameSecurity and Professional Intelligence Education Series
PublisherRowman & Littlefield


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