Gambia is at a center of a political storm. President Yahya Jammeh, who was defeated in the latest elections is not ready to step down from his position. While Adama Barrow, who won the elections wants to take over as the next President. And as international pressures increased and military intervened, Barrow took his oath as Gambia’s next President in Senegal. Does that mean Jammeh was sacked or forced to quit? Does that mean Jammeh has vacated his post? These are some questions, which still seek an answer.
For starters, Jammeh has not relinquished his position. As a result, Barrow’s inauguration took place in Senegal. Instead of a grand ceremony in the soccer stadium in Banjul, Barrow’s team agreed to have the ceremony in Gambia’s embassy in Dakar, Senegal. This they believed, was the closest they could get to their homeland in the current situation.
President Adama Barrow’s swearing in ceremony
An article in the New York Times states that, Barrow arrived at the embassy dressed in white. A cheering crowd welcomed the new President. Just before 5 pm, Barrow placed his hand on the holy Quran and promised to serve his motherland “without fear of failure.” He then gave a short speech, in which he promised to end the violence in the country. Barrow added that the country is already unified now and this can give Gambia a fresh start.
He also promised to respect the “rule of law” and promised significant democratic reforms. He then requested Jammeh to respect people’s choices and step aside. Barrow also asked Gambia’s military forces to pledge their support to him. He also asked them to stay in their barracks as troops from neighboring countries approached his country.
#CitiUpdates: "Most Gambians are united to give The Gambia a new start … I am now president of Gambia, whether you voted for me or not … This is change that should bring liberty and prosperity to everyone." – Adama Barrow / sworn in President of the Gambia Tags: #AdamaBarrow #Gambia #Democracy #Senegal
According to a report in ABC News, Senegal’s troops have already arrived in Gambia. Nigeria too has positioned fighter planes in Dakar and sent a navy ship. Ghana too has promised to send troops as part of the regional intervention to support the newly elected President. Media reports indicate spotting army vehicles in Karang already. They are slowly making way towards Banjul. Senegal’s army has also revealed that Economic Community of West African States’ (ECOWAS) regional intervention activities have started. The armies, which are part of the ECOWAS bloc has begun strikes.
However, Jmmeh has promised to fight back even if he doesn’t have the support he needs to do so. For instance, even though the military might still be loyal to him, many of Jammeh’s senior leaders have left the country. The international community too is supporting Barrow.
An article in CNN states that many foreign diplomats attended Barrow’s swearing in ceremony in Dakar. US too has supported the military intervention in order to stabilize the situation in the country. UN’s security council too has supported the ECOWAS’ decision to ensure peaceful power transfer. As a result, Jammeh is already facing political isolation.
Some Gambians, who have not left the country believe that Jammeh will eventually step down. And it seems like everyone is waiting.
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