Gambia in a state of political turmoil, nationals and foreigners flee.


Gambia’s outgoing President Yahya Jammeh who seized power in a 1994 military coup and whom human rights groups have described his regime as abusive, with hundreds of political prisoners languishing in jail, has refused to step down following his loss during last month’s election and hand over power to elected Adama Barrow, whose inauguration is due Thursday.

Jammeh, rejected the results of the December 1 election and his refusal to vacate the office  has thrown Gambia into political turmoil and prompted concern for nationals and foreigners in the country.
Following the Wednesday deadline for Jammeh to step down, troops from several West African countries, Nigeria included are on standby to enter Gambia if Jammeh insists on staying in the post. Barrow is determined and would be inaugurated Thursday at Gambia’s embassy in neighboring Senegal.
Jammeh initially conceding defeat after the election in a televised address, a week later he announced his “total rejection” of the outcome and said new elections would be held.
Since then, he has remained inflexible despite mediation attempts from ECOWAS and United Nations for him to respect the election results.
Tens of thousands of Gambians, many of them children, are reported to have fled their homes amid fears of political violence, some heading to rural Gambia and others into Senegal. The potential for military intervention and civil disturbance is high and could result in Banjul International Airport being closed at short notice thus foreigners/tourists had to cut their stay short amid the uncertainties.


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Posted in News, Politics

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