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Barrow’s swearing-in holds Gambia’s embassy in Senegal

By Joshua Olalekan, Lagos with agency reports
Gambia’s President-elect Adama Barrow is currently being inaugurated at the country’s embassy in Dakar, Senegal.
This is coming just as ECOWAS troops move to enter his country to oust the incumbent leader, President Yahya Jammeh whose tenure terminates on Thursday from power.
According to a post by the president-elect, Mr. Adama Barrow on his Facebook page, “I would like to inform you that the Inauguration Ceremony is going to take place at the Gambian Embassy in Dakar, Senegal.’’
Barrow was relocated in Dakar by ECOWAS mediation team led by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.
Incumbent President Yahya Jammeh who had earlier conceded defeat in the December 1 presidential election has refused to vacate office in spite of regional and international intervention.
Barrow had earlier said: “My dearest Gambians — the presidency of Yahya Jammeh is officially over. The new era of Gambia is here at last. #NewGambia“, Barrow wrote on his Twitter handle this morning.
Barrow, going by the vows of West African leaders, is expected to be sworn in today. Where it will be done, is yet unclear as Jammeh ignored military threats and stay put in Banjul, refusing to step down.
The country’s national stadium was initially the choice venue for the swearing in. But Barrow’s spokesman Halifa Sallah said he would be sworn in an undisclosed location.
Mauritanian President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz who initiated a last minute effort to break the political deadlock by visiting Jammeh on Wednesday said Jammeh was adamant about hanging on to power..
Mr Abdel Aziz flew in to the Gambian capital Banjul on Wednesday evening to meet Mr Jammeh before flying on to Dakar airport for further discussions with Mr Barrow and Senegal’s President Macky Sall.
Aziz left Gambia shortly before midnight, when Gambian leader Yahya Jammeh’s presidential mandate expired, according to a Reuters correspondent.
After the talks, Aziz’s plane left Dakar at about 1:45 a.m.(0145 GMT), a Reuters witness saw. Aziz spoke with Barrow and Sall at the airport in Dakar. About 30 vehicles with tinted windows then sped away from where the talks took place.
“I am now less pessimistic [that Mr Jammeh] will work on a peaceful solution that is in the best interest for everyone,” Mr Abdel Aziz said.

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