By Pinky Khoabane
President Adama Barrow took his oath of office at a hastily-arranged ceremony at The Gambia’s embassy in Senegal while longtime ruler, Yahya Jammeh, refused to step down following a disputed election of 1 December.
Jammeh initially accepted the election but later changed his mind, plunging the country into a political crisis.
Shortly after the inauguration, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, who is the Chairperson of the African Union Commission tweeted: “I welcome & congratulate the new President of The Gambia, H.E. Adama Barrow, just sworn-in at the Embassy of The Gambia in Dakar, Senegal”.
She added: “President Adama Barrow has been sworn-in in extra-ordinary circumstances. It’s historic for Gambians as it is for the rest of Africa. I hope the former President Yahya will in the interest of The Gambia, bow out peacefully, in accordance with the Constitution”.
She said she would be inviting Barrow to attend the upcoming 28th AU Summit taking place on 30-31 Jan 2017 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Shortly after his inauguration, the United Nations Security Council unanimously adopted a resolution backing West Africa’s states to ensure Barrow assumes power from Jammeh.
BBC reported shortly thereafter that Senagalese troops had entered The Gambia to back Barrow as president. Hundreds of West African soldiers had already been deployed to the Gambian border in a showdown with the strongman Jammeh.