Former Gambian president Yahya Jammeh has finally agreed to step down and relinquish power, following pressure from the ECOWAS and UN.
Jammeh had previously refused to step down for winner of the country’s presidential elections, Adama Barrow. Barrow had been sworn in Senegal on Thursday, as ECOWAS military forces prepared to enter Gambia.
In a statement while speaking on national TV, Jammeh thanked the entire Gambian nation for their support during his 22-year rule, and said that he’d give the mantle over peacefully.
“I have decided today in good conscience to relinquish the mantle of leadership of this great nation with infinite gratitude to all Gambians,” he said.
“I promise before Allah and the entire nation that all the issues we currently face will be resolved peacefully.”
The ECOWAS was prepared to take military action should Jammeh have resisted, and he said in his speech that it was “not necessary that a single drop of blood be shed”.
Jammeh will not be remaining in the country, taking up exile in Mauritania.