Gambia: Newest, Smallest

Gambia—not to be confused with Gabon or Zambia—last week became Africa's 37th country to gain its independence.

In ceremonies at the capital at Bathurst, the British formally turned over sovereignty to the continent's smallest nation, a wriggle of land 200 miles long and 15 to 30 miles wide situated on both sides of the lower Gambia River. Except for its coast, it is entirely surrounded by the former French colony of Senegal, and one British governor-general called Gambia "a geographic and economic absurdity." The British, who arrived in Gambia in the 16th...

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