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Drama as Jammeh agrees to quit, leaves Gambia

Drama as Jammeh agrees to quit, leaves Gambia File photo

*Demands amnesty for crimes committed

*Army pledges allegiance to new President

*Gambians commend ECOWAS, Buhari THE Gambia’s new President, Mr. Adama Barrow has said that the country’s veteran leader, Mr. Yahaya Jammeh has finally agreed to cede power and leave the country. Writing on Twitter on Friday,  Barrow said: ‘’ I would like to inform you that Yahya Jammeh has agreed to step down.

He is scheduled to depart Gambia today. #NewGambia,” he tweeted.

Red carpets were reportedly laid out at the airport in Gambia’s capital in what appeared to be preparations for a speech by Jammeh and a departure. Also yesterday, Gambia’s Chief of Defence Forces, Ousmane Badjie pledged his allegiance to the country’s new president.

The development happened while the leaders of Guinea and Mauritania tried to persuade Jammeh to cede power in the West African nation. Guinean President Alpha Conde arrived in Banjul with Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz. Mauritania has been mentioned as a possible home in exile for Jammeh.

The indication suggesting that Jammeh would step down for the internationally-recognized  Barrow, came after failing three deadlines to leave. West African troops had entered the country to bolster new President Barrow, but military operations were suspended in favour of a final diplomatic push to convince Jammeh to exit peacefully. Jammeh, who started negotiations with ECOWAS on Thursday, demanded an amnesty for any crimes that he may have committed during his 22 years in power.

He also asked that he be permitted to stay in Gambia, at his home village of Kanilai. Those demands were not acceptable, said Marcel Alain de Souza, head of ECOWAS. Jammeh’s continued presence in Gambia would “create disturbances to public order and terrorist movements” he said.

Meanwhile, Barrow took to twitter thanking the people of the Gambia and the world. Other Gambians also commended ECOWAS and President Muhammadu Buhari for intervening in the post-election crisis. Adama Barrow  @BarrowOfficial1, said: “Am taking this opportunity to thank the entire electorate of the #Gambia and Gambians in the Diaspora for making this day possible.” Gambian Voices  said: “Thank you @MBuhari and thank you ECOWAS for being the guardian of democracy in our mama #Africa, you made us all proud! #Gambia is graceful.”



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