Yahya Jammeh is the current President of The Gambia.
Born in 1965, Yahya Jammeh joined the army in 1984 upon leaving school. He came to power in 1994 when a bloodless military coup ousted the elected president, Dawda Jawara, who had led the country since independence.
He has since won three widely criticised multi-party elections since then.
He won his third five-year term in September 2006 with more than two-thirds of the votes cast.Oussainou Darboe, rejected the result, saying there had been widespread intimidation by local chiefs, governors and members of the security forces.
Commonwealth observers said overt support for Jammeh from public officials during the run-up to the vote may have given him an unfair advantage.
Mr Jammeh raised eyebrows early in 2007 when he claimed that he can cure AIDS. His cure involves a green herbal paste, a bitter yellow liquid and eating bananas and he says his methods produce positive results within days.
The country representative of the United Nations development programme in The Gambia, Fadzai Gwaradzimba, was told to leave the country after she expressed doubts about the president's claims and said the remedy might encourage risky behaviour.
Mr Jammeh's government has been criticised by international rights groups for its attitude to civil liberties, especially freedom of the press.
Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has described press freedom in Gambia as "catastrophic", with death threats, surveillance and arbitrary night-time arrests the daily lot of journalists "who do not sing the government's praises".
Many Gambians privately disapprove of the iron-fisted nature of his rule, which has seen political opponents and journalists imprisoned without charge, but say he has done much to improve schools, hospitals and roads.
(Information found at bbc.co.uk)