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Palpable Fear In The Gambia As Barrow Takes Oath In Senegal

The Gambia's President-elect, Adama Barrow
The Gambia’s President-elect, Adama Barrow

It’s eerily quiet in Banjul, capital of The Gambia, on Thursday as tension mounts on what will become of President Yahya Jammeh’s refusal to handover power even after the expiration of the deadline set by the Economic Community of West African States, ECOWAS.

Meanwhile, President-elect, Adama Barrow has said that his inauguration will now take place at The Gambian embassy in Dakar, Senegal.

In a post on his social media handle, he wrote: “Adama Barrow will be sworn in today at 4pm as the President of the Republic of The Gambia at The Gambian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal. The general public is hereby invited.”

Nevertheless, Senegalese troops, supported by the Nigerian military, remain stationed at the Gambian border, awaiting orders from the ECOWAS commission.

Last-ditch efforts by the sub-regional body to convince Jammeh to step down as president failed Wednesday night.

Reports emanating from the tiny West African Country have it that most streets are deserted and there’s very little traffic on the main roads.

Shops, gas stations and banks are all reportedly closed, as people are mostly staying home not knowing what may happen next.

Streets in The Gambia are empty
Streets in The Gambia are empty

A BBC reporter said: “We talked to a few of them who said that they were waiting for Yayha Jammeh to go. They said they would take to the streets once Adama Barrow is sworn-in this afternoon.

“They wanted West African troops to come in as soon as possible.Some also told us they were worried about what Jammeh might try to do to resist any offensive against him.”

The journalist added that so far, “we’ve seen little presence of security forces in the city.”

In the meantime, European tourists continue to evacuate their hotels and are being shuttled to the airport to board charter flights that will take them home earlier than they had planned.

 

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