Gambia: President Barrow to Establish Commission to Investigate Jammeh

Gambia’s new President Adama Barrow said Saturday he plans to establish a commission to investigate potential wrongdoing by former President Yahya Jammeh during his 22-year rule.

Barrow also told a local radio station that he plans to appoint a new cabinet that will consist of members of all of Gambia’s political parties.

Jammeh is expected to leave the country Saturday after ceding power in a televised address, a move that only came after he spent weeks trying to overturn the results of the December 1 election in which voters turned against him.

Jammeh has attached conditions to his departure, including protection from future prosecution. He has also requested leave to contest future elections in Gambia.

Jammeh is expected to depart from the capital, Banjul, with Guinean President Alpha Conde. Conde was part of a West African delegation that convinced Jammeh to step down. Observers speculate that Jammeh will go into exile in Guinea.

Citizens are already petitioning Barrow to reject these terms.

People celebrated on the streets in Gambia and neighbouring Senegal, hooting their cars while others were heard chanting “Freedom at last!”

Some of those who have lived in exile for years also plan to return. Gambians who recently fled in fear of violence are already making their way home.

The United Nations said about 45,000 people fled from Gambia to neighbouring Senegal, while another 800 people crossed into Guinea-Bissau to the south, amid the threat of military intervention.

Barrow was forced to take his oath of office outside of the country when Jammeh initially refused to leave office. He was eventually sworn in as president in the Gambian embassy in Senegal’s capital, Dakar, on Thursday. Barrow remains in Senegal after he fled Gambia amid security concerns.

About 7,000 troops from several West African nations had earlier crossed from Senegal into Gambia, making their way to Jammeh’s home in the town of Kanilai.

Gambian army chief Ousman Badgie told journalists that his troops would not be drawn into a “political misunderstanding” that could be solved “politically, not militarily.” He invited Gambians who have fled the country to return.




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