Gambia's President Al Hadji Yahya Jammeh
Gambian President Yahya Jammeh took power in a 1994 bloodless military coup, and has since gained a reputation for eccentricity.REUTERS

Gambia will fight gay people in the same way it tackles mosquitoes, Gambia's President Yahya Jammeh said in a statement.

"We will fight these vermin called homosexuals or gays the same way we are fighting malaria-causing mosquitoes, if not more aggressively," Jammeh said in a speech on state television to mark the 49th anniversary of Gambia's independence from Britain, reported Reuters.

Jammeh said his country would defend its sovereignty and Islamic beliefs, and not yield to outside pressure on lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) issues.

"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," he said.

"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 added.

This is not the first time that Jammeh expresses his homophobic views.

As reported by Towleroad, in public a statement in 2013, Jammeh said: "Homosexuality is anti-humanity. I have never seen homosexual chicken, or turkey.. If you are convicted of homosexuality in this country, there will be no mercy for offenders. We will put you in the female wing of the prison."

"We want the population to grow. There will be children in this country. Homosexuality is anti-god, anti-human, and anti-civilization. Homosexuals are not welcome in the Gambia. If we catch you, you will regret why you are born. I have buffalos from South Africa and Brazil and they never date each other. We are ready to eat grass but we will not compromise on this. Allowing homosexuality means allowing satanic rights. We will not allow gays here," Jammeh continued.

Later that year, Jammeh labelled homosexuality as one of the three "biggest threats to human existence."

The Gambian President used his address to say that homosexuality, along with greed and obsession with world domination, is "more deadly than all natural disasters put together."

In 2009, Jammeh threatened to "cut off the head" of any homosexual caught in his country.

Jammeh, who seized power in a 1994 coup, drew strong international criticism after he executed a number of prisoners in 2012.