Promising that his nation has "zero tolerance" for homosexuality, the President of The Gambia addressed newly promoted army chiefs and threatened to fire all gay and lesbian officers serving in the military, according to Freedom Newspaper, a Gambia-focused website:
"We will not encourage lesbianism and homosexuality in the military. It is a taboo in our armed forces. I will sack any soldier suspected of being a gay, or lesbian in The Gambia. We need no gays in our armed forces," President Yahya Jammeh said. The Gambian leader said soldiers whose sexual orientation is gay should contemplate leaving the army, as his Government have zero tolerance for gays. The President advised the army chiefs to monitor the activities of their men, and deal with soldiers bent on practicing lesbianism in the military. The President wants the newly hired army chiefs to weed out suspected gays in the army. Although, there is no evidence of lesbianism being practiced in the country’s military. The President said he wants a Professional army free of gays, and saboteurs.
In recent years the West African dictator has attracted international attention for his anti-gay rhetoric and violent threats. In May and June 2008, the Gambian leader ordered all homosexuals to leave the country and promised to "cut off the head"of any gay man remained in the West African nation.
An anonymous Gambian official tells the website the president has "gone nuts": "He does not remember some of the things he said. I am sure his statement on gays will offend the gay community. He wants to comment on issues he doesn’t have any clue about. This is the type of president we have in the Gambia. He even threatened to fire female soldiers suspected of skin bleaching."