The United States lifted on Tuesday restrictions on bilateral assistance imposed against The Gambia in 1994, paving way for a full normalisation of relations and increased support from the US.
A statement from the US Embassy in the capital Bangul, said the restrictions were lifted on 5 March, because "the US has determined that a democratically elected government assumed office following presidential elections in October 2001 and legislative elections January 2002".
The Gambia with an estimated population of 1.3 million has a per capita income of US $330, and mainly exports agricultural produce especially groundnuts. In 2001 it received US $6.2 million in food aid and assistance to democracy and human rights programs from the US.
Relations with the US soured after a 1994 military coup that brought President Yahya Jammeh into office, prompting the US to cut technical assistance. Jammeh however won 55 percent of the votes in an election in October 2001 which international observers said was free and fair.
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