Notorious homophobe: President Yahya Jammeh

Notorious homophobe: President Yahya Jammeh

Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s twisted obsession with homosexuality continues; with him now calling gay people “vermin” that need to be eradicated like mosquitoes.

The ruthless leader used the occasion of the 49th anniversary of Gambia’s independence from Britain to once again attack gays and lesbian, reports Reuters.

In a televised speech on Tuesday, Jammeh said: “We will fight these vermins called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively.”

He went on to say that the country would not be swayed from this course by international pressure or threats of reduction in foreign aid.

Jammeh said: “We will therefore not accept any friendship, aid or any other gesture that is conditional on accepting homosexuals or LGBT as they are now baptised by the powers that promote them.

“As far as I am concerned, LGBT can only stand for Leprosy, Gonorrhoea, Bacteria and Tuberculosis; all of which are detrimental to human existence,” he ranted.

In October 2013, Gambia withdrew from the Commonwealth, apparently as a result of growing criticism of Jammeh’s campaign against LGBT people.

Speaking at the UN in New York in September that year, Jammeh said that homosexuality was amongst the biggest threats facing the world and was “more deadly than all natural disasters put together”.

In 2008, Jammeh – who has been president of Gambia since 1996 – infamously gave gays and lesbians 24 hours to leave the country or face having their heads cut off.

He has claimed that homosexuality is “anti-God, anti-human, and anti-civilisation.” At the opening of the Gambian Parliament in Banjul in March 2013, Jammeh warned LGBT people in Gambia: “Homosexuals are not welcome in the Gambia. If we catch you, you will regret why you are born.”

The president has also previously claimed to be able cure HIV/AIDS with natural herbs and has been accused of numerous human rights abuses and of restricting freedom of the press.

Under British colonial era laws, homosexuality is illegal in Gambia and those found guilty of “unnatural offenses” face up to 14 years in prison.

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