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Wednesday 18 October 2017

Gambia's new president to arrive in the country on Thursday

Senegalese soldiers check a motorcyclist at the entrance of the State House compound in Banjul, Gambia (Sylvain Cherkaoui/AP)
Senegalese soldiers check a motorcyclist at the entrance of the State House compound in Banjul, Gambia (Sylvain Cherkaoui/AP)

Gambia's new president Adama Barrow will arrive in the country on Thursday, a week after he was sworn into office in neighbouring Senegal, an official with the new government has confirmed.

Gambians are eagerly awaiting the arrival of Mr Barrow, who has promised to reverse many of the actions of longtime leader Yahya Jammeh.

Mr Barrow defeated Mr Jammeh in December elections that the ruling party challenged.

Mr Jammeh finally flew into exile over the weekend after international pressure, ending a more than 22-year rule.

He has been accused by rights groups and others of leading a government that suppressed opponents with detentions, beatings and killings.

A West African regional military force that was poised to oust Mr Jammeh if diplomatic talks failed has been securing Gambia for Mr Barrow's arrival.

He has requested that the force remain in Gambia for six months, but it is unclear whether heads of state with the regional bloc known as ECOWAS will approve a deployment of that length.

Mr Barrow has been waiting in Senegal, where he took the oath of office at Gambia's embassy amid fears for his safety.

He has been busy this week forming his cabinet and has named a woman, Fatoumata Tabajang, as vice president.

She has vowed to seek prosecution for Mr Jammeh.

On Tuesday, Gambia's politicians lifted the country's state of emergency and revoked a three-month extension of Mr Jammeh's term, as the new government began dismantling his final attempts to cling to power.

AP

Press Association

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