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Gambia president-elect plans inauguration in Senegal

19 January 2017, 15:17

Dakar -  Gambia's president-elect said on Thursday he will be sworn into office at the Gambian embassy in neighboring Senegal, while there was no word from longtime leader Yahya Jammeh on the day that his mandate expired.

The Facebook and Twitter accounts for Adama Barrow, run by his staff, said his inauguration would take place on Thursday at 16:00 in Gambia's embassy in Senegal's capital, Dakar.

Senior members of Barrow's political coalition could not be immediately reached to provide details of the ceremony.

Barrow won the December election, defeating Jammeh, who came to power in a coup in 1994.

Jammeh initially conceded defeat but then changed his mind and said he would not accept the results, saying the election was marred by irregularities.

Jammeh has resisted strong international pressure for him to step down and allow Barrow to take office and allow a peaceful resolution to Gambia's crisis.

His mandate expired at midnight, and troops from Senegal and other West African countries have positioned themselves on Gambia's border with the intention of forcing Jammeh out if he doesn't agree to leave.

In a last-minute effort to find a diplomatic resolution, Mauritania President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz flew to Gambia's capital, Banjul, and met with Jammeh on Wednesday night before traveling to Senegal to meet with Barrow and Senegal President Macky Sall.

However, no resolution was announced by Thursday morning, and Jammeh made no public statements.

It was not clear where Jammeh was on Thursday.

The streets of Banjul were quiet on Thursday, with few cars and scattered groups of men gathered on roadsides chatting under trees.

Jammeh declared a state of emergency this week, but there were no signs of military activity and fewer checkpoints than in previous days.

Thousands of Gambians have fled the country, including some former cabinet members who resigned in recent days. Hundreds of foreign tourists, including many from Britain and the Netherlands, were evacuated on special charter flights.

- AP


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