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Barrow sworn in as new Gambia president in Dakar embassy

RTS TV screenshot of the swearing in which was live on Senegal TV

Barrow demands army loyalty after swearing in, Senegal troops enter Gambia

Dakar, Senegal | AFP | 

The Gambia’s new president, Adama Barrow, took the oath of office in the country’s embassy in Senegal on Thursday and immediately called on the security forces to “demonstrate their loyalty” in his standoff with defeated leader Yahya Jammeh. Soon after, Senegalese troops entered The Gambia.

Barrow, 51, was sworn in days after seeking shelter in Dakar, with Jammeh still refusing to stand down after losing a December election despite international pressure.

Senegal’s army had warned it would intervene in The Gambia if Jammeh had refused to leave office by the end of his mandate at midnight Wednesday, with a regional African force massed on the border.

“I command the chief of defence staff and officers of high command to demonstrate their loyalty to me as commander-in-chief without any delay,” Barrow said.

“I command all members of the armed forces to remain in their barracks, those found wanting or in possession of firearms without my order will be considered rebels.”

Barrow, an opposition coalition candidate, won the December 1 election in a surprise victory over Jammeh, who had ruled the former British colony with an iron fist for more than two decades.

“This is a day no Gambian will ever forget,” he said.

“This is a victory of the Gambian nation. Our flag will now fly high among those of the most democratic nations of the world.”

A small, narrow enclave of Senegal except for its coast, The Gambia is the smallest country on the African continent. It has been ruled by Jammeh for 22 years, an era marked by chronic poverty and human-rights abuse.

 

Nigerian air force overflies The Gambia

The Nigerian air force is flying over The Gambia, an official said Thursday, as African troops seemed ready to force incumbent Yahya Jammeh to quit after his December election defeat.

President-elect Adama Barrow was sworn in at the country’s embassy in Senegal, while Jammeh has continued to cling on to power.

Jammeh initially acknowledged president-elect Adama Barrow as the victor in the December vote but later rejected the result.

“I confirm that the armed reconnaissance air force are over Gambia,” Nigerian Air Force spokesman Ayodele Famuyiwa told AFP.

“They have the capacity to strike.”

 

Famuyiwa said that negotiations were still ongoing with Jammeh, a leader who has ruled the West African country for 22 years.

“What we understand right now is that it appears he’s trying to reconsider his position, he may stand down,” Famuyiwa said, speaking from Abuja.

“But we have our troops there and they are there to enforce the mandate.”

The UN Security Council was set to vote Thursday on backing ECOWAS efforts to force Jammeh to hand over power as the West African regional bloc amassed a military force ready to intervene.

The Economic Community Of West African States has repeatedly called on Jammeh to accept his defeat and honour the country’s constitution.

 

 

 

 

 

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