- By Michael Twee
Senegal troops invade The Gambia as Adama Barrow sworn in as President
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Senegalese troops have invaded The Gambia after Adama Barrow was sworn in as the country’s new president.
The invasion follows the refusal of his predecessor Yahya Jammeh to step down from office, saying he does not accept the result of an election held in December.
The United Nations Security Council has backed the efforts of the West African union of nations: ECOWAS, to remove Jammeh from power by force.
Until Barrow, who is internationally recognised as the officially elected President, was sworn in any UN intervention required a UN security council vote under international law. However as acting legal President Barrow can formally request international assistance in a state of emergency to remove the reluctant out going President with out the need for any council vote.
President Barrow said his inauguration, held at The Gambia’s embassy in Senegal, was “a victory of the Gambian nation”. Our national flag will fly high among those of the most democratic nations of the world.”
Barrow, 51, also warned armed forces to “remain in their barracks” and said anyone “found wanting or in possession of firearms without my order will be considered rebels”.
In an official statement, UK Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson urged Jammeh to step aside.
“The elections…were free and fair, and an orderly expression of democratic choice by the Gambian people. They represent a new chapter in the country’s history and an opportunity for change in The Gambia.”
President Barrow lived in the UK for three and a half years when he was younger working at an Argos store in London.
Until a matter of months ago he was a political unknown, but was thrust into the limelight when eight opposition parties put him forward as a unifying figure.
Scenes in The Gambia’s capital Banjul this evening are rejoiced if some what cautious. Thousands of people have flocked to the streets of this tiny West African nation, cars are sounding their horns, people are making noise.
Earlier there was fear that the Senegalese military invasion could be seen as a hostile act by many civilians of The Gambia after Senegal and Nigeria offered military assistance to incoming President Barrow.
— Adama Barrow (@adama_barrow) January 7, 2017
Some soldiers have been deployed in certain areas but they don’t seem at present to be intervening in any particular way. There does not appear to be any violence, just lots of people shouting and celebrating what they see as a change of power following the long term of Jammeh, ever since he himself seized power in a non violent coup d’etat in 1994.
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