Troops Poised To Remove Gambia's Leader Amid Last-Ditch Negotiations
Jan 21 2017 by Lorena Waters
Senegal, which surrounds the much smaller Gambia, has been mandated to use force if necessary by the Ecowas leaders.
"We understand that the goal is to help stabilise a tense situation and to try to observe the will of the people in The Gambia", State Department spokesman John Kirby said.Dressed all in white, 51-year-old Barrow waved to a crowd of thousands of jubilant Gambians during his inauguration, which officially ended Jammeh's 22-year rule.
African nations began stepping away from Mr Jammeh, with Botswana announcing it no longer recognised him as Gambia's president.
Mr. Barrow took his oath of office at the Gambian embassy in the Senegalese capital city.
After initially accepting the result of the election Jammeh launched a challenge in the country's Supreme Court, claiming irregularities around the election process and alleging some of his supporters were blocked from voting.
Gambia's defeated leader Yahya Jammeh has said he has chose to relinquish power, after hours of talks with regional leaders and the threat by a regional military force to make him leave.
"Its very significant (for Africa)", said Mr Barrow, "I think democracy is growing in Africa and that is positive so we believe it is changing and it is changing positively and that is good for this Continent".
Barrow has remained in Senegal while regional leaders tried to persuade Jammeh to leave, while simultaneously crafting a possible military operation to oust him.
After 11th-hour talks in Banjul, Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel flew on to Dakar where he met with Barrow for talks at which Senegalese President Macky Sall was also present, the private RFM radio station reported.
As midday and 4pm deadlines to go passed on Friday, two regional leaders arrived in the capital, Banjul, in a last-ditch diplomatic effort.
New president of The Gambia, Adama Barrow, has returned to the country, after his swearing in ceremony at their embassy in Senegal.
The United Kingdom, in a statement by its Foreign Secretary, Boris Johnson, congratulated the new president, saying his election "were free and fair, and an orderly expression of democratic choice by the Gambian people".
After Jammeh rejected the election results, Adama Barrow was moved to a safe house for protection and was later moved into Senegal in the days before his inauguration. His declaration also called for civilians to maintain law and order. Barrow has little political experience - he was once a security guard at a London department store - but many Gambians see him as the symbol of a fresh start for the country.
Only about a few thousand worldwide tourists are believed to still be in Gambia, and efforts continued to evacuate them.