Thursday, 19 January 2017

Senegal troops invade Gambia as Adama Barrow sworn in as President

Adama Barrow is sworn in as President of The Gambia in Senegal
Senegalese troops have invaded The Gambia after Adama Barrow was sworn in as the country's new president. The invasion follows the refusal of his predecessor Yahya Jammeh to step down from office, saying he does not accept the result of an election held in December.

The United Nations Security Council has backed the efforts of the west African bloc of nations, ECOWAS, to remove Jammeh from power by force.

The political crisis prompted the evacuation of thousands of Britons from The Gambia, as the threat of a military action grew.

Mr Barrow said his inauguration, held at The Gambia's embassy in Senegal, was "a victory of the Gambian nation".

He said: "Our national flag will fly high among those of the most democratic nations of the world."

Mr Barrow, 51, also warned armed forces to "remain in their barracks" and said anyone "found wanting or in possession of firearms without my order will be considered rebels".

In a statement, Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urged Jammeh to step aside.

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He said: "The elections...were free and fair, and an orderly expression of democratic choice by the Gambian people.

"They represent a new chapter in the country's history and an opportunity for change in The Gambia."

He added: "It is vital that former president Jammeh now stands aside to allow an orderly transition."

Mr Barrow lived in Britain for three-and-a-half years when he was younger, and worked at an Argos store in London.

Until a matter of months ago he was a political unknown, but was thrust into the limelight when eight opposition parties put him forward as a unifying figure.

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