The Gambia’s new president Adama Barrow has been sworn into office at the Gambia embassy in Senegal, Dakar, while the defeated ex-president Yahya Jammeh refuses to step down.
President Barrow was inaugurated on Thursday 19th Jan where thousands of Gambians in Senegambians attended and about 40 dignitaries were hosted in the embassy hall in Dakar to witness the ceremony. Among the dignitaries were a Senegalese Prime Minister and the Chairman of the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) Alh Momar Alieu Njie. Also in attendance were UN, ECOWAS and AU official representatives.
In his inaugural speech, President Barrow I called on the security forces to be loyal to my “I called on the all the security forces to be loyal to my government and stay in their barracks, anyone found with firearm on the streets without my orders, you shall be considered a rebel,” President Barrow stated.
ECOWAS and Senegal are seeking backing from the UN Security Council for intervention. However, Nigeria said on Thursday that its “armed reconnaissance air force are over Gambia”, the AFP reports.
“They have the capacity to strike,” Nigerian Air Force spokesman Ayodele Famuyiwa told the news agency.
Meanwhile, immediately after the swearing in ceremony, the United Nations have passed the resolution tabled by Senegal to mandate ECOWAS to enter the territory of the Gambia to flush out the ex-president Yahya Jammeh from power.
Ex-President Jammeh was at the official residence, State House, in the Gambia’s capital, Banjul, and has no intention of leaving, according to a senior source in the Statehouse. He added that the regional force would have to arrest him there.
The Gambia’s army is divided over its loyalties to Jammeh, and those who are not loyal to him will not leave until they are invited by the new government, but many of Jammeh’s loyalists at the State House will resist, according to the source.