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Gambia's New President Adama Barrow Finally Returns Home

 Gambia's new President Adama Barrow finally returned home to his to his country on Thursday. He was welcomed by thousands of people who lined up along the streets from the airport. He had been holed up in neighboring country Senegal, due to former leader Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to quit power despite losing the recent elections. Barrow was initially supposed take power in Gambia's capital, Banjul, on January 19. He had earlier left the country, and gone to Senegal. He was therefore forced to take the oath of office from Senegal. Senegal and ECOWAS sent troops into Gambia that day, threatening to oust Jammeh if he continued to cling to office. Tens of thousands of people fled their homes in Gambia, fearing political violence. Faced with a military confrontation, Jammeh stepped down and fled to Equatorial Guinea.

Barrow’s plane was guarded by Senegalese, and Nigerian troops after it touched down in Banjul. A spokesman for Barrow's group, Halifa Sallah, said more formal welcome plans are being planned. The special U.N. representative for West Africa, Mohammed ibn Chambas, says the U.N. forces are assigned to ensure the safety of Barrow, his administration and all Gambian citizens. Upon his inauguration Thursday, he pledged to "respect the rule of law and fundamental freedoms" and promised "significant democratic reform."

 

 

Africa Team

 

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