Winner of the 2016 Gambian presidential elections, Adama Barrow, has been sworn in as the country’s new president.
The ceremony took place in Gambia’s embassy in Senegal, following incumbent president Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to step down as president.
The ceremony was broadcast live on Senegalese TV, and Barrow said after taking the oath of office: “This is a day no Gambian will ever forget in a lifetime. This is the first time since the Gambia became independent in 1965 that the Gambia has changed the government through the ballot box.”
“I hereby make a special appeal to Ecowas, AU [African Union] and the UN, particularly the security council, to support the government and people of the Gambia in enforcing their will, restore their sovereignty and constitutional legitimacy,” he added.
I call on all civilian and military personnel of the state to support my presidency, since it is built on a constitutional foundation,” Barrow said. “They are assured that they will not be subjected to any injustice or discrimination but will be provided with better working conditions and terms of service.”
As Barrow remains in Senegal over concerns for his safety, ECOWAS troops have already entered Gambia as part of efforts to get Jammeh to step down.
Celebrations have already begun in Gambia following. Barrow’s swearing-in, but Jammeh remains in the State House and refuses to step down after 22 years.
Nigeria’s foreign minister, Geoffrey Onyeama has confirmed that the ECOWAS is prepared to do everything to make sure Jammeh steps down.
Onyeama said: “There’s a bottom line. There’s a new president. He has to leave power. Ecowas is ready to take steps to ensure that the elected president is able to assume his mandate. The new president will have his say. He might not want necessarily to ride into Banjul on the tank of a foreign country.”