© 2019 - International Centre for Investigative Reporting
Gambian President Barrow Sworn In The Second Time
The Gambia has sworn in its new president, Adama Barrow, for the second time, in front of a crowd of thousands.
The first time was at very low-key event at the country’s embassy in Senegal last month, after a lengthy power struggle forced him into exile.
After his predecessor, Yahya Jammeh, finally agreed to step down, President Barrow was able to arrange a stadium event back in his homeland, near the capital city Banjul.
Crowds queued through the night to get a good spot inside the stadium.
Barrow is only the third president in the history of The Gambia, and the celebrations also mark 52 years of the West African country’s independence.
Long-time leader Jammeh was voted out in December but he only agreed to step aside when regional powers sent in troops ready to remove him by force. He has since fled to Equatorial Guinea.
The new President has promised a new dawn for the country, which Jammeh had ruled with an iron fist.
Many political prisoners have already been freed and The Gambia is set to rejoin international institutions such as the International Criminal Court, ICC, and the Commonwealth.
Barrow, a successful property developer who has never held public office, defied the odds by winning the election.
Speaking to the BBC just before the election, Barrow said that Gambians “had been suffering for 22 years” and were ready for change.
His predecessor had once said that he would rule for a billion years, if necessary.