Gambian incumbent Yahya Jammeh ‘agrees to give up power and go into exile’
The Gambia’s longtime ruler Yahya Jammeh, who refused to accept his election defeat last month, has agreed to go into exile, a senior adviser to new President Adama Barrow said on Friday, but talks to finalise the deal were holding up his exit.
Regional armies, who entered The Gambia late on Thursday, were meanwhile poised to remove him by force if required, as even his army chief, who had stood beside the former coup leader, recognised Mr Barrow as commander-in-chief.
West African leaders Alpha Conde of Guinea and Mauritania’s President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz travelled to the capital Banjul on Friday to allow Mr Jammeh one last chance to cede power peacefully.
“I can assure you that he has agreed to leave,” Mai Ahmad Fatty, Mr Barrow’s special advisor, told Reuters in Senegal’s capital Dakar. He could not say where Mr Jammeh would go into exile.
Mr Barrow, who won the 1 December poll by a slim margin, was sworn into office at The Gambia’s embassy in Dakar on Thursday and immediately called for regional and international support.
West African militaries announced soon after that they had crossed into The Gambia, which is almost completely surrounded by Senegal.