Gambia: Adama Barrow sworn in as president as ECOWAS forces intervene to dislodge Jammeh

Adama Barrow sworn in as President of Gambia

Adama Barrow was sworn into office Thursday at the Gambian Embassy in neighboring country of Senegal.

“This is a day no Gambian will ever forget in a lifetime,” Barrow said in a speech immediately after taking the oath of office.

Also at the event were officials from the regional Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which had been threatening to invade Gambia to force outgoing president Yahya Jammeh to step down. The first troops moved in Thursday, according to a Senegal army spokesman.

Restore Democracy

West African troops have entered Gambia in a bid to depose the country’s defeated ruler, who is still clinging to power after a newly elected president was sworn in Thursday.

Senegal’s army said on Thursday that an ECOWAS regional force has begun strikes as part of Operation “Restore Democracy”.

Col. Abdou Ndiaye did not say what type of strikes they were, but said in a statement that “significant” land, air and sea resources had been made available.

Jammeh, initially conceded defeat after the December 1 election, however, he changed his mind.

The UN Security Council which voted Thursday,  has unanimously adopted a resolution that expressed its support to ECOWAS’ commitment to ensure results of 1st December elections are respected, endorsing the regional force’s “all necessary measures” to remove Jammeh.

AU no longer recognizeS Jammeh as Gambia’s President

Jammeh has said he would not accept the results, claiming the election was marred by irregularities. He has resisted strong international pressure for him to step down and allow Barrow to take office and allow a peaceful resolution to Gambia’s crisis.

African nations began stepping away from Jammeh, with Botswana announcing it no longer recognized him as Gambia’s president. His refusal to hand over power “undermines the ongoing efforts to consolidate democracy and good governance” in Gambia and Africa in general, it said.

The African Union (AU) earlier announced that the continental body would no longer recognize Jammeh once his mandate expired.

Source: Associated Press