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Friday, January 27, 2017

Rousing welcome for Barrow in Gambia

Gambians Thursday evening treated their new President Adama Barrow to a historic tumultuous welcome on his return from a 13-day exile.
President Barrow left Gambia on January 13 for Mali to meet regional leaders to discuss his country's political situation and later proceeded to Dakar, Senegal where he took the oath of office on January 19.

A massive crowd cheered his first official convoy in Banjul, escorted by heavily armed Ecowas forces from the Banjul International Airport to his Brufut residence.
A septuagenarian, Mr Musa Sillah, described the crowd as historic.

The campaign
The presidential convoy comprised top officials of the seven party coalition that defeated dictator Yahya Jammeh in the December 1, 2017 election.
“I was present during the attainment of independence, the coup d’etat of Yahya Jammeh and the campaign and victory of Adama Barrow, but can’t compare the crowd here to any,” Mr Sillah said.
Sources said President Barrow might, in the meantime, not use the State House in Banjul as the place was undergoing a clean-up and investigations by the Ecowas army.
Ms Ida Jobe, in her late 20s said: “I do sympathise with President Barrow when I look at him waving to the cheering crowd because I know that he is to govern the same Gambia that Jammeh ruled for more than two decades with enormous challenges.”

Two decades
Nigeria Foreign minister Geoffrey Onyeama told journalists that discussions with Mr Jammeh were yet to be concluded and that President Barrow would be leaving for more talks in Mali.
Mr Jammeh had insisted on remaining in office until Supreme Court of The Gambia rules on his petition against the December poll loss.
He insisted on a fresh election and further filed an injunction against the inauguration of President Barrow.
Mr Jammeh also secured the backing of the National Assembly to declare a state of emergency, despite the Ecowas calls for respect for the people's will and the constitution.

Human righs
Presidents Muhammed Buhari of Nigeria and Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and former Ghanaian leader John Mahama tried to persuade Jammeh to hand over power before the intervention of presidents Alpha Conde of Guinea and Mohamed Ould Abdul Aziz of Mauritania.
The Ecowas forces that have now entered Banjul will remain in Gambia for at least six months.
Meanwhile, Mr Jammeh’s fate was yet to be decided over 22-year reign characterised by gross violation of human rights.
The opposition in Equatorial Guinea where he is exiled has objected to his presence in the country.


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