The newly elected Gambian president has been inaugurated in neighbouring country Senegal due to problems in Gambia. The defeated president of Gambia, Yahya Jammeh, has refused to step down following his defeat, citing foreign interference in the election.
Adama Barrow inaugurated on Thursday in a ceremony arranged in Gambia’s embassy in Senegal. There were around 40 people in attendance including the Senegal prime minister and Gambia’s electoral commission head.
The inauguration was broadcast via big screens to people outside the embassy.
The event was attended by officials from West Africa’s regional bloc, ECOWAS. The group is threatening to invade Gambia if the president refuses to go.
The U.N. Security Council are to vote on Thursday for a draft resolution to remove Jammeh by force.
Barrow said, “This is a day no Gambian will ever forget. Our national flag will now fly high among the most democratic nations of the world. There is no loser in this election. One Gambia, one people, one nation.”
He has ordered Gambia’s armed forces to remain in their barracks.
“Jammeh will not last 90 days remaining in power”
Alex Vines, head of the Africa program at Chatham House in London, commented, “I think events will move quickly now. Jammeh will not last 90 days remaining in power.
“He may cling onto power for a few more days, increasingly isolated. After the inauguration of Adam Barrow, the trickle of power flowing to him will become more of a flood.
“Jammeh clearly believes leaving Gambia in a hurry is an option — his aircraft has been on standby at Banjul airport for two weeks”.
Thousands of Gambians have fled the country fearing armed conflict. Some of those fleeing are former cabinet members. Hundreds of tourists from all over the world have been evacuated.
One Gambian, Lamin Sama, said, “It’s unbelievable! Today I can say anything. I am the happiest man on earth. For 22 years we couldn’t say anything, we were like slaves.”