GAMBIA: President Adama Barrow Returns Home

BANJUL JANUARY 27, 2017 (CISA) – Gambia’s President Adama Barrow has returned to the country a week after his predecessor Yahya Jammeh fled into exile.

An aircraft carrying the new president, his two wives and some of his children arrived in the capital Banjul yesterday January 26 from Senegal, to rousing welcome by jubilant crowds.

President Barrow was elected December 1, 2016 but was forced to flee to Senegal when his predecessor who ruled the country for 22 years refused to step down.

He was sworn in as president of The Gambia at his country’s embassy in Dakar, Senegal last week.

According to the government, President Barrow will be staying at his own residence until further notice while State House is assessed for potential risks.

Jammeh finally left the country on January 22 after mediation by regional leaders and the threat of military intervention from a multinational African force and went into exile in Equatorial Guinea.

According to Reuters, around 4,000 West African troops have remained in The Gambia charged with ensuring safety.

“President Adama Barrow has asked us to remain for two or three weeks to see if there are arms caches or mercenaries hiding out,” said Marcel Alain de Souza, head of the 15-nation Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) commission.

The UN envoy for West Africa, Mohamed Ibn Chambas, who briefed the Security Council on The Gambia, stressed that the United Nations was working to bolster stability in the country.

Elsewhere, The Gambian parliament has cancelled the state of emergency declared by Jammeh last week. It also revoked legislation that would have extended its life for a further 90 days.

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