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adama barrow inauguration

Gambia’s newly-elected President Adama Barrow has returned to the country to assume power – days after his predecessor Yahya Jammeh left to go into exile.

Adama Barrow’s plane touched down at Banjul airport where jubilant crowds waited to welcome him. After landing, he tweeted: “I’m finally home #Gambia.”

The president, who has been in neighboring Senegal, won elections on December 1st.

However, a handover was stalled when Yahya Jammeh, Gambia’s leader of 22 years, refused to step aside.

Yahya Jammeh left for exile at the weekend after mediation by regional leaders and the threat of military intervention.

The new president, dressed in white robes and a cap, stepped off the plane in Banjul as heavily armed troops from Senegal and Nigeria stood by.

Overhead, a fighter jet from the West African force guaranteeing Adama Barrow’s security performed fly-pasts.

He told a reporter from the Associated Press in the crush at the airport: “I am a happy man today.”

He added: “I think the bad part is finished now.”

Adama Barrow said his priority was to appoint his cabinet and “then get the ball rolling”.

He was driven from the airport in a convoy of cars and waved to the crowds who lined the route.

The new president is staying at his own home while a security assessment is carried out at the official residence, State House.

AdamaBarrow was sworn in as president at the Gambian embassy in Senegal a week ago, but a public inauguration on home soil is planned soon, aides say.

The UN envoy for West Africa, Mohamed ibn Chambas, has said the UN will help guarantee security in The Gambia.

Several thousand West African soldiers remain in The Gambia amid reports that rogue pro-Jammeh elements are embedded in the country’s security forces.

President Adama Barrow has asked for the force to remain in The Gambia for six months.

His spokesman Halifa Sallah said an inauguration was being planned for the national stadium in Banjul.

Yahya Jammeh, who was a 29-year-old army lieutenant when he came to power in a 1994 coup, had refused to accept the results of the December election.

In other developments, parliament has canceled the state of emergency declared by Yahya Jammeh last week. It also revoked legislation that would have extended its life for a further 90 days.


Gambia’s outgoing President Yahya Jammeh says he will step down, after refusing to accept defeat in elections.

Yahya Jammeh made the announcement on national TV, saying it was “not necessary that a single drop of blood be shed”.

The statement followed hours of talks between Yahya Jammeh and West African mediators. He gave no details of what deal might have been struck.

Yahya Jammeh has led The Gambia for 22 years but was defeated in December’s election by Adama Barrow.

Adama Barrow has been in neighboring Senegal for days and was inaugurated as president in the Gambian embassy there on January 19.

Troops from several West African nations, including Senegal, have been deployed in The Gambia, threatening to drive Yahya Jammeh out of office if he did not agree to go.

Image source Wikimedia

Yahya Jammeh’s decision to quit came after talks with the presidents of Guinea and Mauritania.

He said: “I have decided today in good conscience to relinquish the mantle of leadership of this great nation with infinite gratitude to all Gambians.

“I promise before Allah and the entire nation that all the issues we currently face will be resolved peacefully.”

Shortly before the TV address, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz said that a deal had been struck and that Yahya Jammeh would leave the country. He gave no further details.

Yahya Jammeh was given an ultimatum to leave office or be forced out by UN-backed troops, which expired at 16.00 GMT on January 20.

The deadline was set by the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), a regional grouping backed by the UN.

Yahya Jammeh had at first accepted defeat in the election but then reversed his position and said he would not step down.

He declared a 90-day state of emergency, blaming irregularities in the electoral process.

The electoral commission accepted that some of its early results had contained errors but said they would not have affected Adama Barrow’s win.

Yahya Jammeh had vowed to stay in office until new elections were held.


The ECOWAS has given Gambian incumbent President Yahya Jammeh a final opportunity to relinquish power after Senegalese troops entered his country.

Yahya Jammeh has been given until noon on January 20 to leave office or be forced out by UN-backed regional forces.

Troops have been told to halt their advance until the deadline passes.

The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) is acting in support of Adama Barrow, who was sworn in as the new Gambian president on January 19.

Adama Barrow’s legitimacy as president, after winning last month’s election, has been recognized internationally.

Last-ditch mediation talks, led by Guinea’s President Alpha Conde, were due today. Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz is on his way to Banjul, and Alpha Conde is reported to be with him.

Chairman of the ECOWAS commission, Marcel Alain de Souza, said that if the meeting with Alpha Conde proved unsuccessful, military action would follow.

“If by midday, he [Yahya Jammeh] doesn’t agree to leave The Gambia under the banner of President Conde, we really will intervene militarily,” Marcel Alain de Souza said.

ECOWAS said that its forces had encountered no resistance after entering The Gambia on January 19.

Troops from Senegal and other West African countries crossed into The Gambia after an initial deadline for Yahya Jammeh to stand down passed without his resignation.

Adama Barrow, who remains in Senegal, has said that he will not return to Gambia’s capital, Banjul, until the military operation has ended.

The threat by the West African regional bloc ECOWAS to remove Yahya Jammeh by force is supported by the 15-member UN Security Council, although the council has stressed that a political solution should be the priority.

In his inaugural speech at the Gambian embassy in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, President Adama Barrow ordered all members of The Gambia’s armed forces to remain in their barracks.

Any found illegally bearing arms would be considered “rebels”, he said.

Amid the crisis, the UN refugee agency reported that more than 45,000 people had fled The Gambia for Senegal so far in 2017.

More people could leave if the situation was not resolved, the UNHCR said.

After first accepting defeat in the election Yahya Jammeh reversed his position and said he would not step down. He declared a 90-day state of emergency, blaming irregularities in the electoral process.

The electoral commission accepted that some of its early results had contained errors but said they would not have affected Adama Barrow’s win.

Yahya Jammeh has said he will stay in office until new elections are held.

Remaining in power would also give Yahya Jammeh protection against prosecution for alleged abuses committed during his rule.

The Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow has announced he will be sworn in at the country’s embassy in neighboring Senegal.

The message, posted on his social media accounts, invited the general public to attend the ceremony.

Last-ditch efforts by regional leaders to convince outgoing President Yahya Jammeh to step down failed overnight.

Yahya Jammeh lost elections last month, but wants the results annulled citing errors in the electoral process.

Image source Wikimedia

West African military forces are ready to enforce a transfer of power in The Gambia, a popular beach destination among European tourists.

Senegalese troops remain stationed at the Gambian border, despite the deadline for Yahya Jammeh to stand down passing at midnight.

The threat of military action is supported by Nigeria and other states in the region.

Adama Barrow has been in Senegal since January 15 following an invitation to attend a summit of African leaders who back his victory.

He tweeted and posted on Facebook that his inauguration would take place at 16:00 GMT at the embassy in the capital, Dakar.

At least 26,000 Gambians, fearful that violence could erupt, have sought refuge in Senegal.

Meanwhile, thousands of European tourists continue to be evacuated from The Gambia.


Gambian President Yahya Jammeh’s term has been extended by 90 days after the parliament declared a state of emergency in the crisis-hit West African country.

Yahya Jammeh’s term is due to end on January 19 following his defeat in elections by Adama Barrow.

Regional leaders have threatened to use military force to oust Yahya Jammeh if he refuses to hand power to President-elect Adama Barrow tomorrow.

Thousands of tourists are being evacuated from The Gambia.

The Gambia is popular with European holidaymakers because of its beaches.

The country was plunged into crisis after Yahya Jammeh rejected Adama Barrow’s shock victory in the December 1st election.

In a TV announcement on January 17, the outgoing president said: “Any acts of disobedience to the laws of The Gambia, incitement of violence and acts intended to disturb public order and peace were banned under the state of emergency.”

Yahya Jammeh said security forces were instructed to “maintain absolute peace, law and order”.

The US State Department urged Yahya Jammeh to transfer power to Adama Barrow on January 19.

Spokesman John Kirby said: “Doing so would allow him to leave office with his head held high and to protect The Gambian people from potential chaos.

“Failure to do so will put his legacy, and more importantly The Gambia, in peril.”  

Regional bloc ECOWAS (the Economic Community of West African States), has prepared a Senegal-led force to oust Yahya Jammeh if he refuses to step down.

The African Union has warned that it will not recognize Yahya Jammeh as president after January 19.

Adama Barrow, a property developer, has been in Senegal since January 14. His aides said he would return to The Gambia for his inauguration.

Last month, Adama Barrow said he would be sworn in at a ceremony organized by his transition team, raising the possibility of two rival presidents.

Yahya Jammeh’s declaration of a state of emergency was seen as an attempt to block the ceremony, scheduled to take place at a stadium in Bakau town, west of the capital Banjul, from going ahead.

Adama Barrow could, technically, also be sworn in at The Gambian embassy in Senegal.

Thousands of Gambians, including women and children, have been fleeing to Senegal and further afield to Guinea-Bissau, fearing unrest.

Yahya Jammeh has ruled The Gambia since taking power in a bloodless coup in 1994.

The Gambia regularly held elections, which he won until his shock defeat in the latest poll.

Yahya Jammeh has said there were irregularities in the election process, including the turning away of some of his supporters from polling stations, and errors made by the electoral commission.

The commission accepted that some of the results it initially published contained errors, but said Adama Barrow had still won.

Yahya Jammeh has said he will stay in office until new elections are held.

Retaining power would also ensure Yahya Jammeh was not prosecuted in The Gambia for alleged abuses committed during his rule.