After last minutes negotiations with deadlines pushed back twice, from 12 noon to 4:00pm, and beyond Friday January 20, 2017, Yahya Jammeh has finally stepped down as president of The Gambia.
President Adama Barrow Tweeted: “I would like to inform you that Yahya Jammeh has agreed to step down. He is scheduled to depart Gambia today.”
It is not clear which country he is heading to.
Jammeh stepped down after long negotiations with Economic Commission of West African States (ECOWAS) officials, UN, the Presidents of Mauritania and Guinea.
ECOWAS troops under the ECOWAS Mission in The Gambia (ECOMIG), numbering 7000 entered the country Thursday night January 19, 2017, soon after winner of the elections, Adama Barrow was inaugurated in the Embassy of The Gambia in the Senegalese capital Dakar. They entered the country to force Jammeh out of office. They then gave him a deadline of 12 noon Gambian time on Friday, but he asked for an extension to 4:00pm, which was granted. The negotiations however dragged on into the evening.
Jammeh who took power in a coup in 1994, and transformed himself into a civilian leader after elections in 1996, has won all elections ever, until the last one held on December 1, 2016, which outcome he accepted, but rejected a week later and called for reelections, leading to a stalemate in the tiny country of some two million people.
By Emmanuel K Dogbevi